Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

Colleges

USF men three-peat as AAC champs

At Memphis, the top-seeded USF men's tennis team (20-8) rolled to a 4-0 victory against No. 2 Tulsa in Sunday's final to capture its third straight American Athletic Conference tournament title.

After winning the doubles point, the Bulls got singles wins from Sasha Gozun (No. 2), Peter Bertran (No. 4) and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (No. 6) for their second shutout victory of the event.

USF, which reached the Sweet 16 at last season's NCAA Tournament, learns its postseason destination during the May 3 selection show. The NCAA Tournament starts May 13 with bracket play at campus sites, and the championships are May 19-30 in Tulsa, Okla.

More tennis: The Florida men and women both claimed SEC tournament championships. The Gator women defeated Georgia 4-2 in Baton Rouge, La., for their 20th SEC tournament title. The UF men also topped Georgia 4-2 in Gainesville for their fifth title and first under coach Bryan Shelton. … In the ACC women's final, top seed North Carolina defeated No. 2 Miami 4-2 in Cary, N.C.

Obituary: Former Boston College DT Ron Brace died Sunday at 29. The cause was not immediately known. Police told masslive.com that the death was not suspicious. Brace also played briefly for the Patriots in the NFL.

Tennis

Nadal ties career record for clay titles

Rafael Nadal beat defending champion Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-5 to win the Barcelona Open for the ninth time, equaling Guillermo Vilas' record of 49 career titles on clay. Nadal added this title to his trophy from Monte Carlo last week as the 14-time Grand Slam winner regains form on his favorite surface ahead of next month's French Open. "I'm very happy because besides this being one of the most important tournaments that I have won, this is another week that I am playing very well," said Nadal, a native Spaniard. "These have been two fantastic weeks, weeks I have been striving for for a long time." Nishikori had won the tournament for the past two years after early exits by Nadal. No other male player has won any tournament nine times; Nadal owns nine titles each at Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Roland Garros, all on clay.

Porsche Grand Prix: Angelique Kerber defended her title with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-0 win over qualifier Laura Siegemund in an all-German final in Stuttgart.

Soccer

Leicester City closer to unlikely crown

Even with top scorer Jamie Vardy suspended, Premier League leader Leicester City routed visiting Swansea City 4-0 to move another step closer to the first English league championship in its 132 seasons. Leicester, a preseason 5,000-1 bet to win the title, is eight points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, which hosts West Bromwich Albion today. Tottenham seeks its first title since 1961.

FA Cup: Connor Wickham scored the winner in the 61st minute as Crystal Palace defeated Watford 2-1 at London's Wembley Stadium to reach the final for the first time since 1990. Palace's foe on May 21, also at Wembley, is Manchester United, which beat the South London club in that 1990 final.

MLS: Chris Wondolowski scored on a 58th-minute penalty kick to lead host San Jose past Sporting Kansas City 1-0.

Running

Kenyans sweep at London Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge defended his London Marathon title, running only eight seconds slower than the world record and setting a course mark. The 31-year-old Kenyan finished the 26.2-mile route in front of Buckingham Palace in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 5 seconds. Fellow Kenyan Jemima Sumgong, also 31, claimed her first title after overcoming a fall at a water station with less than 4 miles left that left her holding her head in pain.

ET CETERA

Olympics: The U.S. wrestling team will compete in 12 of the 18 weight classes at the Rio Olympics after sealing three more spots. J'den Cox won gold at 189 pounds in men's freestyle in Mongolia and two women, Helen Maroulis (117 pounds) and Haley Augello (106), also qualified.

Motorcycles: Valentino Rossi won the Spanish Grand Prix from the pole in Jerez for his 87th career MotoGP victory.

Cycling: Dutch rider Wout Poels held off veteran Michael Albasini in Belgium to take the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.

Joey Knight, Times staff writer; Times wires

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Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

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Australian Open

Australian Open

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Reports: Brady hurts hand

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