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Headlines from around the world in sports

  • Serena Williams, right, and Maria Sharapova, of Russia, pose with their trophies after the final match at the Sony Open tennis tournament, in Key Biscayne, Fla., Saturday, March 30, 2013. Williams won 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

    Serena Williams, right, and Maria Sharapova, of Russia, pose with their trophies after the final match at the Sony Open tennis tournament, in Key Biscayne, Fla., Saturday, March 30, 2013. Williams won 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

  • FILE - In this March 2, 2013, file photo, New Mexico head coach Steve Alford signals to his players during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M. UCLA announced on Saturday, March 30, that Alford has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach, luring him from New Mexico days after he signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz, File)

    FILE - In this March 2, 2013, file photo, New Mexico head coach Steve Alford signals to his players during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M. UCLA announced on Saturday, March 30, that Alford has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach, luring him from New Mexico days after he signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz, File)

  • In this March 1, 2013, photo, New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana throws while working out before the Mets' spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Mets say Santana has injured his left shoulder again and likely will need surgery and miss the 2013 season. The two-time Cy Young Award winner missed the 2011 season following shoulder surgery in September 2010, then returned last year and pitched the first no-hitter in the team's history. He hasn't pitched in an exhibition game this year because of arm weakness. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    In this March 1, 2013, photo, New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana throws while working out before the Mets' spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Mets say Santana has injured his left shoulder again and likely will need surgery and miss the 2013 season. The two-time Cy Young Award winner missed the 2011 season following shoulder surgery in September 2010, then returned last year and pitched the first no-hitter in the team's history. He hasn't pitched in an exhibition game this year because of arm weakness. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Serena Williams, right, and Maria Sharapova, of Russia, pose with their trophies after the final match at the Sony Open tennis tournament, in Key Biscayne, Fla., Saturday, March 30, 2013. Williams won 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

    Serena Williams, right, and Maria Sharapova, of Russia, pose with their trophies after the final match at the Sony Open tennis tournament, in Key Biscayne, Fla., Saturday, March 30, 2013. Williams won 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

  • FILE - In this March 2, 2013, file photo, New Mexico head coach Steve Alford signals to his players during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M. UCLA announced on Saturday, March 30, that Alford has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach, luring him from New Mexico days after he signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz, File)

    FILE - In this March 2, 2013, file photo, New Mexico head coach Steve Alford signals to his players during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M. UCLA announced on Saturday, March 30, that Alford has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach, luring him from New Mexico days after he signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz, File)

  • Serena Williams, right, and Maria Sharapova, of Russia, pose with their trophies after the final match at the Sony Open tennis tournament, in Key Biscayne, Fla., Saturday, March 30, 2013. Williams won 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
  • FILE - In this March 2, 2013, file photo, New Mexico head coach Steve Alford signals to his players during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M. UCLA announced on Saturday, March 30, that Alford has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach, luring him from New Mexico days after he signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz, File)
  • In this March 1, 2013, photo, New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana throws while working out before the Mets' spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Mets say Santana has injured his left shoulder again and likely will need surgery and miss the 2013 season. The two-time Cy Young Award winner missed the 2011 season following shoulder surgery in September 2010, then returned last year and pitched the first no-hitter in the team's history. He hasn't pitched in an exhibition game this year because of arm weakness. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Serena Williams, right, and Maria Sharapova, of Russia, pose with their trophies after the final match at the Sony Open tennis tournament, in Key Biscayne, Fla., Saturday, March 30, 2013. Williams won 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
  • FILE - In this March 2, 2013, file photo, New Mexico head coach Steve Alford signals to his players during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against Wyoming in Albuquerque, N.M. UCLA announced on Saturday, March 30, that Alford has been hired as the new men’s basketball coach, luring him from New Mexico days after he signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz, File)

TENNIS

Serena rallies to beat Sharapova in Sony Open final

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Serena Williams broke the Key Biscayne women’s record for most titles, and Maria Sharapova set a new standard for futility in finals.

Williams swept the final 10 games and earned her sixth championship in the event yesterday by rallying past Sharapova, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, at the Sony Open.

Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open last year, but she’s now 0-5 in Key Biscayne finals. After playing nearly flawless tennis for an hour, she began to miss with her serve, and Williams dominated rallies down the stretch.

Williams has won 11 consecutive matches against Sharapova, whose last victory in the rivalry came in 2004.

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.

Today, 2009 champion Andy Murray will play first-time Key Biscayne finalist David Ferrer for the men’s title.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Alford leaves New Mexico
to take over as UCLA coach

LOS ANGELES – UCLA hired Steve Alford as basketball coach yesterday, luring him from New Mexico days after he signed a new 10-year deal with the Lobos.

Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said Alford is “the perfect fit for UCLA” because he connects with a new generation of players and brings an up-tempo and team-oriented style of play to Westwood.

Alford agreed to a seven-year deal worth $18.2 million, with a yearly salary of $2.6 million, according to Guerrero. He will receive a $200,000 signing bonus.

Alford’s deal with New Mexico was worth more than $20 million over 10 years. Guerrero said Alford is responsible for a buyout of his contract in Albuquerque, but that UCLA would work out the details.

Alford, 48, succeeds Ben Howland, who was fired last weekend after 10 years and a 233-107 record that included three consecutive Final Fours.

BASEBALL

1B Goldschmidt, D-backs agree on four-year contract

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks completed a five-year, $32.5 million contract agreement with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

The announcement yesterday came a day after multiple reports said the two sides were close to a deal.

The 25-year-old first baseman hit .286 with 43 doubles, 20 home runs and 82 RBIs last year, his first full season.

BASEBALL

Mets’ Santana to have
shoulder surgery Tuesday

SARASOTA, Fla. – Johan Santana is set for another shoulder surgery that he hopes will save his career.

The New York Mets said yesterday that their former ace will have surgery Tuesday to repair the re-torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder. The operation will be performed by Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is likely to miss the entire season for the second time in three years.

Santana had surgery Sept. 14, 2010, and did not make it back to the major leagues until last April 5. The 34-year-old left-hander didn’t pitch in any exhibition games this spring because of arm weakness, and he threw his last bullpen session in early March without the team’s permission.

NFL

Source: Kolb talking with Bills

BUFFALO, N.Y. – A person familiar with talks said the Buffalo Bills are close to completing negotiations to sign free-agent quarterback Kevin Kolb.

ESPN.com first reported that a deal between the two sides was close yesterday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of discussions.

Kolb has six seasons of NFL experience and spent the past two injury-filled years with the Arizona Cardinals. He managed to start only 14 games in Arizona, and was released March 15.

The Bills are in need of help at quarterback after releasing starter Ryan Fitzpatrick this month.

NHL

Sabres trade Leopold to Blues for 2 draft picks

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres traded defenseman Jordan Leopold to the St. Louis Blues for two draft picks.

The Sabres received a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in this year’s draft.

GOLF

Cink, Haas share lead as field tightens in Houston Open

HUMBLE, Texas – Stewart Cink and Bill Haas wound up with a share of the lead yesterday in the Houston Open, and they have plenty of company.

Cink is winless in 81 starts on the PGA Tour since beating Tom Watson in the British Open at Turnberry in 2009. He had a 4-under 68 and was tied with Haas, who had a 67. Steve Wheatcroft, who had to qualify for the tournament on Monday, had a chance to join them in the lead until a shank from the bunker on the 18th that flew 45 degrees to the right and over the green, leading to a bogey.

Wheatcroft, Ben Crane, D.A. Points and Jason Kokrak were one shot behind. Twenty players were within four shots of the lead going into the final round.

GOLF

McIlroy decides over
lunch to play in Texas Open

HUMBLE, Texas – Rory McIlroy made a last-minute decision to play in the Texas Open on the advice of his caddie, J.P. Fitzgerald.

After McIlroy’s second round at the Houston Open, Fitzgerald suggested that McIlroy should consider playing in San Antonio next weekend to get in a few more competitive rounds before the Masters the following week. McIlroy mulled it over at lunch and told Fitzgerald in a text message that he thought it was a good idea.

His commitment to the Texas Open forced McIlroy to cancel a two-day humanitarian trip to Haiti, due to begin tomorrow.

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