Serena deep-sixes Sharapova in Sony
Serena Williams earned a record sixth singles title at Key Biscayne, Fla., Saturday by beating familiar foil Maria Sharapova, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, at the Sony Open. Sharapova, who completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open last year, is 0-5 in Key Biscayne finals. Sharapova played nearly flawless tennis for an hour, before her serve and groundstrokes began to lose steam. Williams swept the last 10 games. At 31, the No. 1-ranked Williams became the oldest female champion at Key Biscayne. She won the tournament for the first time since 2008 and surpassed Steffi Graf, a five-time champion. ‘‘Serena played a great match,’’ Sharapova said. ‘‘I’m sure we’ll be playing a few more times this year.’’ Sharapova has lost 11 consecutive matches against Williams and hasn’t beaten her since 2004. Sunday’s men’s final pits Andy Murray against frequent practice partner David Ferrer.
COLLEGES Former Alabama AD Moore dies at 73
Former Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, who played and coached under Bear Bryant, hired Nick Saban, and presided over a heyday in athletics at his alma mater, died Saturday at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. The 73-year-old Moore had been in the hospital since March 13 with pulmonary problems. The folksy, silver-haired Moore was part of 10 football national championship teams as a player, coach, or administrator in a career intertwined with three of the Crimson Tide’s most revered coaches — his old bosses Bryant and Gene Stallings and Saban, who has won three of the last four national titles. Moore stepped down from his AD post March 20 and was replaced by Bill Battle . . . Former NBA coach Flip Saunders has turned down an offer from Minnesota to be head coach, according to a report on ESPN.
Kolb, Bills are closing in on a contract
The Buffalo Bills are close to completing a deal to sign free agent quarterback Kevin Kolb, a person familiar with the talks told the Associated Press. The six-year veteran spent the past two seasons in Arizona, where injuries hampered his opportunity to prove himself as a starter. The Cardinals were left with little choice but to release Kolb on March 15 in a move that came before they were set to pay the player a $2 million roster bonus . . . Cornerback Brent Grimes, who missed most of last season with an Achilles’ tendon injury, signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins. Grimes started 28 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2010-11 but was hurt in their opener last year. He declined to predict whether he'll be able to take part in offseason practices beginning in May.
Hawks lose Pachulia for rest of season
Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia will undergo surgery on his sore right Achilles’ tendon and miss the rest of the season. The Hawks said the 29-year-old Pachulia is scheduled for surgery Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C. The expected recovery time is six months, meaning the Hawks will be without another valuable member of their bench heading into the playoffs. The team already lost guard Lou Williams to a season-ending knee injury . . . Isaiah Koech of Kenya won the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans, finishing the 10-kilometer race in 27 minutes 32 seconds. The 19-year-old was 12 seconds ahead of runner-up and fellow Kenyan Lani Rutto. Kenyan athletes took home the top 15 spots in the race. Kenyan Alice Kimutai won the women’s race in 31:51, finishing 25th overall . . . The Sabres traded defenseman Jordan Leopold to the Blues for a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. Leopold, a 10-year NHL veteran who has spent the past three seasons in Buffalo, is in the final year of his contract . . . Tampa Bay forward Nate Thompson was suspended for two games without pay by the NHL for an illegal check to the head against New Jersey’s Matt D'Agostini. No penalty was assessed on the play Friday night in the Lightning’s 5-4 shootout victory . . . Manchester United’s record-breaking surge to a 20th English soccer title gathered more steam with a 1-0 win at Sunderland. Titus Bramble’s own goal earned United an English-record 25th win in 30 league games and kept the team 15 points ahead of reigning champion Manchester City, which thrashed Newcastle, 4-0 . . . Spanish leader Barcelona conceded a late equalizer to slip to a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo. Lionel Messi had a goal and an assist for Barcelona . . . Serie A leader Juventus beat bitter rival Inter Milan, 2-1, in an entertaining match at San Siro. Alessandro Matri’s goal in the 60th minute was the winner.