Venus Williams advances to finals

Associated Press

Venus Williams was happy about her dominating performance.

The second-seeded Williams was at the top of her game as she advanced to the finals of the Bank of the West Classic at Palo Alto, beating third-seeded Elena Dementieva, 6-0, 6-1, on Saturday in a match that lasted just over an hour.

"Things are going well for me, but I seem to want more," Williams said. "I just like winning. I don't care where it is, indoors or outdoors."

Williams joined her sister, Serena, less than an hour after beating Dementieva, and the pair advanced to the doubles final with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova.

Williams, who won for the 10th time in 11 matches, will be seeking her third title at Palo Alto in her first appearance since 2005.

Williams has not won an outdoor U.S. hardcourt tournament since 2002, something she will try to remedy against France's Marion Bartoli, who beat Australia's Samantha Stosur, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 in the late semifinal match.

Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko cruised into the final of the Croatia Open at Umag by beating Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 6-1, 6-1. The Russian will face former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, who beat seventh-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy, 6-1, 6-7 (1), 7-5, in the other semifinal. . . . Unseeded Thomaz Bellucci and Andreas Beck advanced to the final of the Swiss Open at Gstaad, where both will seek a first career ATP Tour title. The 21-year-old Bellucci defeated No. 3-seeded Igor Andreev, 6-4, 7-5, in one semifinal to continue his run of upsets. Germany's Beck beat Marcos Daniel of Brazil, 7-6 (3), 6-3, in a match with only one break of serve.



Ravens' Mason decides not to retire

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason emerged from retirement, less than three weeks after abruptly announcing the end of his 12-year career.

Mason called team owner Steve Bisciotti on Saturday morning, expressing his desire to return. The 35-year-old Mason showed up at training camp after the morning practice session and met with General Manager Ozzie Newsome.

The Ravens then announced that Mason would be in uniform today.

When defensive tackle LeTroy Guion rolled up on Tarvaris Jackson's left knee in practice Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback competition nearly ended before it really started.

Much to Jackson's relief, the injury was not nearly as serious as it first looked, and he expects to be back on the field competing for the starting job in no time.

Jackson sprained the MCL in his left knee but avoided any serious injury, a person with knowledge of his condition told the Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because the team did not make an official announcement.

The Houston Texans agreed to a deal with first-round pick Brian Cushing, a linebacker from USC.



Bradley retains his WBO 140-pound title

Timothy Bradley defended his World Boxing Organization 140-pound title by battering Nate Campbell, opening a bloody cut that forced the fight to be stopped after three rounds.

Bradley (25-0, 12 KOs) rode the energy of his hometown crowd in Rancho Mirage in a dynamic three-round performance, though television replays appeared to show an accidental head-butt opening the cut over Campbell's left eye early in the third. Campbell is 33-6-1.

Devon Alexander (19-0, 12 KOs) won the World Boxing Council 140-pound title when Junior Witter (37-3) quit before the ninth round of their bout for the vacant belt, citing a hand injury.

A second autopsy performed at the request of former boxer Arturo Gatti's family has not ruled out homicide in his death.

Michael Baden, the former chief pathologist for the New York State Police and host of the HBO cable TV show "Autopsy," said that an autopsy performed by Quebec coroners found that an investigation by Brazilian authorities was incomplete.



Mine That Bird finishes third

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird's classic finishing kick wasn't strong enough in the West Virginia Derby.

Mine That Bird finished third behind longshot winner Soul Warrior and Big Drama in the $750,000 race at Chester, the 3-year-old gelding's first start since a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes two months ago.

The Derby winner wasn't even the favorite for the 1 1/8 -mile West Virginia Derby, with Big Drama the betting choice at 4-5. But it was 23-1 shot Soul Warrior -- with substitute jockey Dale Beckner -- who powered past Big Drama in the final strides for a neck victory at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort.

Mine That Bird, the even-money second choice, made a bid in the stretch but was unable to catch the leaders and was 1 1/2 lengths behind Big Drama.

Soul Warrior paid $48 for a $2 win ticket -- the fourth-highest payoff ever in the West Virginia Derby.

Tony Parker will miss the next game for the French national team after the San Antonio Spurs confirmed a mild right ankle sprain in their star point guard.

Serbia won a dramatic shootout in the world water polo championships at Rome, claiming the gold medal, 14-13, over Spain.

Earlier, Croatia defeated the United States, 8-6, to win bronze.

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