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Sports in brief

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Americans win world junior title

UFA, Russia — Florida Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi, benched for one game and demoted to fourth-line duty for a while, scored twice and the United States won the world junior title 3-1 over Sweden on Saturday.

"He took (the benching) the right way and proved how good of a player he was," U.S. coach Phil Housley said.

Grimaldi, who plays at North Dakota, said he was just happy his goals happened. "Basically, I just threw (the first one) on the net, and the second one just hit me in the chest and went in."

Anaheim Ducks prospect John Gibson made 26 saves for the win and was the tournament MVP. The Americans won their third title, adding to 2004 and 2010.

In the bronze-medal game, Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime. Canada did not medal for the first time since 1998.

Tennis

Serena starts '13 with a title

Serena Williams won her 47th career title with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Brisbane International final in Australia.

"I was looking at a lot of old matches on YouTube, and I feel like right now I'm playing some of my best tennis," said Williams, winner of 35 of her past 36 matches.

In the men's draw, Andy Murray advanced to the final when fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori retired with an injured knee while trailing 6-4, 2-0 in their semifinal. Grigor Dimitrov, ranked 48th but hyped as "Baby Federer," reached his first ATP Tour final with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) win over Marcos Baghdatis.

Hopman Cup: Spain beat Serbia 2-1 to win the eight-country mixed-team event at Perth, Australia. Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues won the deciding mixed doubles vs. Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic.

Et cetera

Cycling: The director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, David Howman, said Lance Armstrong has not approached his group about admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs, the Sunday Star-Times in New Zealand reported. The New York Times said Armstrong is thinking about admitting to drug use and seeking to meet with Howman.

Horses: Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another, and BC Mile winner Wise Dan are finalists for Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards. Winners will be announced Jan. 19. … Great Attack won the $75,000 Turf Dash for the second consecutive year at Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar. Ridden by Angel Serpa for trainer Wesley Ward, Great Attack ($3.80) clocked 5 furlongs in 56.13 seconds. Silver Cloud and Hold On Smokey were next.

Soccer: Robin van Persie scored an injury-time goal for Manchester United to tie Wes Ham 2-2 and earn a replay in England's FA Cup.

Greyhounds: Lily Rose of Floyd & Porter kennel upset heavy favorite Venus Espinosa and won the $8,000 Inaugural Stakes for her first stakes victory at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. She paid $22.60 to win and clocked 550 yards in 30.85 seconds. Kb's Epic Win was third.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief 01/05/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 11:52pm]
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