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Sports in brief

Hockey

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U.S. advances to semis at World juniors

UFA, Russia — Boston College's John Gaudreau had a hat trick, Miami (Ohio's) Riley Barber scored twice and the United States beat the Czech Republic 7-0 to reach the semifinals of the world junior championship on Wednesday.

The Americans play Canada in the semifinals today. Defending champion Sweden faces Russia, which beat Switzerland 4-3 in a shootout.

In Russia's win, Lightning forward prospect Nikita Kucherov scored the goal that tied it at 3 late in regulation and had the shootout winner. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, a Lightning prospect, had 41 saves.

Tennis

No. 1 Azarenka starts season well

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka opened her season with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Sabine Lisicki to join No. 3 Serena Williams and fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber in the Brisbane International quarterfinals in Australia.

American Sloane Stephens, 19, had a 6-3, 6-4 win over Sofia Arvidsson to set up a quarterfinal against Williams.

Azarenka plays Kazakh qualifier Ksenia Pervak, who has ousted former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and Urszula Radwanska in matches decided by third-set tiebreakers.

hopman cup: Bernard Tomic upset top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, but Australia lost to Serbia 2-1 in the eight-country mixed-team event at Perth, Australia. Tampa resident John Isner withdrew from the U.S. team because of a right knee injury, handing a championship berth to Spain, which was scheduled to play the Americans today. Isner was teamed with Venus Williams, who will continue to play but be teamed with Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis. Isner, the highest-ranked American at No. 14, said he still plans to play in next week's Sydney International and at the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 14.

Qatar Open: Nikolay Davydenko reached the quarterfinals in Doha by beating fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-3, and Gael Monfils upset third-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Top-seeded David Ferrer beat qualifier Tobias Kamke 6-3, 6-2. Second-seeded Richard Gasquet rallied past 55th-ranked Grega Zemlja 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 7-6.

Shenzhen Open: Top-seeded Li Na advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over American Julia Cohen in China.

Et cetera

Basketball: LeBron James was chosen USA Basketball's male athlete of the year for 2012. He won the NBA's MVP and NBA Finals MVP awards in leading the Heat to the championship, and he led the United States to the Olympic gold medal in London. Michael Jordan is the only other player to accomplish that in a calendar year, in 1992.

Greyhounds: Paint Miapicture and Venus Espinosa won semifinal races in the $8,000 Inaugural Stakes at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. Also advancing to Saturday night's finale: Flyin Pink Floyd, Kb's Epic Win, Lily Rose, Nefarious, Pj Domo and Se's Home Owner.

Bowling: Former tennis great Billie Jean King is the celebrity owner of the New York City WTT KingPins, joining Clippers guard Chris Paul and former NFL stars Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens as celebrity owners in the Professional Bowlers Association's inaugural PBA League, which begins play Jan. 19.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief 01/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 11:52pm]
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