Venus Williams defeats Serena at Dubai
Venus Williams beat younger sister Serena, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (3), Friday to reach the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
Sixth-seeded Venus dominated the first set as Serena struggled with her serves.
“I loved the way the first set went,” said Venus, who will face Virginie Razzano of France in today’s final.
Serena appeared to be bothered by a lingering knee injury that forced her to pull out of last week’s semifinals in Paris.
Razzano beat 16th-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, 6-1, 6-2.
Meanwhile, the WTA has fined tournament organizers a record $300,000 after Israeli player Shahar Peer was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates. Andy Roddick says he won’t defend his men’s title in Dubai next week because he doesn’t agree with the decision to deny Peer a visa.
Former player Zina Garrison sued the U.S. Tennis Assn., alleging racial discrimination by the sport’s national governing body while she coached its teams. Garrison, a 45-year-old black woman who captained the U.S. women’s Fed Cup team from 2004 to 2008, is seeking an undisclosed amount.
In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Garrison says she was treated unfairly because she was paid a lower salary than Davis Cup Coach Patrick McEnroe, wasn’t given a multiyear deal equivalent to McEnroe’s and was subjected to higher performance standards than he was.
Garrison replaced Billie Jean King in 2004 and was not brought back after going 5-5 over five seasons.
Rodriguez’s cousin, trainer targeted
Major League Baseball investigators want to know whether Alex Rodriguez is still palling around with his cousin and a trainer from the Dominican Republic.
The goals of the intended interview with Rodriguez were disclosed by a person familiar with the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity because MLB wasn’t confirming the meeting.
The New York Yankees star has said his cousin injected him from 2001-03 with a banned substance obtained in the Dominican called “boli.” The cousin was identified by ESPN.com as Yuri Sucart of Miami.
In addition, the New York Daily News said Angel Presinal, a Dominican trainer, traveled with A-Rod and the cousin during the 2007 season. Presinal has been banned from entering baseball clubhouses.
Conservative Vonn finishes second
After leading the downhill portion of a super-combi race by a large margin over Maria Riesch, World Cup points leader Lindsey Vonn skied conservatively in the slalom leg and Riesch jumped ahead for a victory at Tarvisio, Italy, with Vonn in second.
Vonn leads the overall standings with 1,194 points, Riesch is next with 1,035 and Paerson is third with 900.
Todd Lodwick and Lindsey Van won gold medals in an uncommonly successful day for the United States at the Nordic skiing world championships at Liberec, Czech Republic.
Lodwick, a veteran of six previous worlds and four Olympics, won the opening Nordic combined event.
Hours earlier on the same hill, Van won the women’s ski jumping.
Before Van’s victory, the United States had not won a gold at a Nordic skiing worlds since 2003, when Johnny Spillane took a Nordic combined sprint.
Canadiens linked to alleged drug figure
The Montreal Canadiens made it clear that they are troubled about allegations that three of their players have been socializing with a man recently arrested on drug charges.
The French-language daily La Presse reported that Andrei Kostitsyn and Sergei Kostitsyn had social ties with Pasquale Mangiola, who was arrested Feb. 12.
“We’re very concerned,” Montreal General Manager Bob Gainey said.
In addition to the Belarusian brothers, La Presse identified Czech defenseman Roman Hamrlik as another player who had hung around with Mangiola, facing charges including conspiracy and possessing and trafficking cocaine.
Cal State Northridge guard Josh Jenkins was released from the hospital Friday after undergoing surgery for internal injuries suffered in a single-car accident Feb. 14. Jenkins, a senior who was leading the Big West Conference in assists at 6.1 per game, is expected to miss the remainder of the season. . . . Vicente Fernandez and Don Pooley shot four-under 68s to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s ACE Group Classic at Naples, Fla. . . . The Indiana Fever signed seven-time WNBA All-Star Yolanda Griffith. The 38-year-old Griffith played for Seattle last season after spending her first nine years in the WNBA with Sacramento. . . . Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink said he will leave the Premier League club at the end of the season and return to his role with the Russian national soccer team.
Miller, 64; Jazz owner
Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller has died from complications of type 2 diabetes at age 64. Story, Section B.