Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

Tennis

Stephens earns first championship on clay

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Sloane Stephens invited a friend to come watch her play at the Volvo Car Open.

"And I was like, 'Well, I've never won a match there, so the earlier in the week you could come, the better,' " Stephens said, laughing.

Turns out, Stephens had a nice long stay, winning her third WTA title this season with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory over Elena Vesnina in Sunday's final.

Stephens, 23, of Plantation had won one match in her previous five main-draw appearances in Charleston, but this time she dropped only one set on the way to her first title on clay.

U.S. Men's Clay Championship: Juan Monaco took advantage of defending champ Jack Sock's aching shoulder and leg cramps in the final to rally for a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory in Houston. Early in the match, Monaco also received attention from the trainer for an apparent back issue.

Soccer

Leicester qualifies for 2016-17 UEFA Champions League

Leicester City qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time and moved closer to the English Premier League title with a 2-0 win at 18th-place Sunderland. Jamie Vardy scored twice to keep Leicester seven points clear of Tottenham, which beat Manchester United 3-0.

U.S. women win: Defender Julie Johnston scored twice and Tobin Heath had two assists as the U.S. women's team defeated Colombia 3-0 in an exhibition in Chester, Pa. The Americans are 11-0 in 2016, outscoring their opponents 42-1.

MLS: Chad Marshall scored in the 94th minute to give visiting Seattle a 1-1 tie with Houston.

Boxing

Pacquiao wins; is he done?

Manny Pacquiao might not be ready for retirement yet. Pacquiao, 37, returned from the biggest loss of his career with a bang late Saturday, knocking down Timothy Bradley twice on his way to a unanimous 12-round decision in their welterweight showdown in Las Vegas. Pacquiao (58-6-2), who has considered retiring, hadn't fought for nearly a year after losing to Floyd Mayweather but outclassed Bradley (33-2-1) to win the rubber match in their three meetings. "As of now I am retired," said Pacquiao, a Senate candidate in his native Philippines. "I am going to go home and think about it, but I want to be with my family. I want to serve the people."

Colleges

Duke's Thornton to transfer

Derryck Thornton is transferring from Duke after one season, the school announced. The former five-star recruit played all 36 games and started 20 for the Blue Devils this season. He averaged 7.1 points and 2.6 assists in 26 minutes a game but did not start any of Duke's ACC or NCAA Tournament games despite being the only true point guard on the roster.

ET CETERA

Gymnastics: Simone Biles began her preparations for the Rio Olympics in dominant fashion in late Saturday's Pacific Rim Championships, winning the all-around title to lead the U.S. women to the team title in Everett, Wash. Biles, 19, the three-time world all-around champion, finished first in the vault, balance beam and floor routine and third in the uneven bars. Fellow American Aly Raisman was second.

Award: Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds and Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart won the AAU's Sullivan Award as the most outstanding U.S. amateur athletes who also demonstrate premier leadership, character and sportsmanship.

Olympics: Japanese badminton player Kento Momota was indefinitely suspended for gambling, denying him a spot in the Rio de Janeiro Games. … Two-time double Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima, 33, of Japan announced his retirement from competitive swimming two days after failing to qualify for Rio.

Cycling: Australian Matthew Hayman, 37, won the prestigious Paris-Roubaix race.

Times wires

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