S. Williams wins another Family Circle title

April 7, 2013

It took a feisty exchange with Jelena Jankovic for Serena Williams to calm down. Then, settled and able to return to business, she was a winner once more in Charleston, S.C.

Williams defeated Jankovic, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, Sunday for her second consecutive Family Circle Cup title. Momentum swung for good at the start of the second set, when Williams said Jankovic was serving too quickly, before she was ready.

Jankovic disagreed, but the bickering disrupted her concentration and her play. Williams won six straight games and 12 of the final 14.

“I don’t know what the turning point was,” Williams said. “I mean I think after that I just got really relaxed and I was like, ‘Honestly, Serena, you’ve got to kind of chill out and not get crazy.’ ” . . .

In Boise, Novak Djokovic wasn’t optimistic about his right ankle injury after lifting Serbia to an insurmountable 3-1 lead over the United States with a 7-5, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1, 6-0 win over Sam Querrey in a Davis Cup quarterfinal.

The world No. 1 continued playing and about an hour after the match he said the injury “doesn’t look good.”

Serbia will face Canada next after Milos Raonic defeated Italy’s Andreas Seppi, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

SOCCER

Paolo Di Canio, whose past fascist allegiances have become a flash point in English soccer, lost his first game as Sunderland’s manager — a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, which regained third place in the Premier League.

Chelsea was playing its fourth game in nine days but had enough energy to rally. Branislav Ivanovic netted the winner after both sides scored an own goal.

Tottenham is two points ahead of fifth-place Arsenal, having played an extra game. Everton is a further four points back in sixth. Liverpool is three points behind Everton after drawing 0-0 with West Ham, which is six points clear of relegation.

A superior goal difference is also keeping Sunderland out of the relegation zone ahead of Wigan, which drew 1-1 at Queens Park Rangers.

Manchester United can all but wrap up the title Monday. A victory against its Manchester rival would put the leaders 18 points ahead of Manchester City. . . .

Manchester United has sold the naming rights to its training ground as part of a sponsorship deal with insurance firm Aon estimated to be worth $230 million.

NFL

Joe Flacco will lace up a pair of high-tops and pull on some high-waisted football pants sometime this summer, the better to portray Johnny Unitas in a movie.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback has signed to portray the Baltimore Colts’ legendary quarterback in the football scenes in “Unitas We Stand.” based on the book “Johnny U: The Life and Times of Johnny Unitas.”

“I’m excited and honored by the opportunity to play Johnny Unitas,” Flacco said in a statement on the film’s Web site. At 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, Flacco is about five inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than Unitas.

“A lot of the way Joe plays and his demeanor reminds me a lot of my dad,” Joe Unitas, the son of the Hall of Famer and a screenwriter and producer on the project, told the Baltimore Sun. “He’s not a rah-rah guy. He throws a touchdown and maybe there’s a little fist pump.” . . .

The New England Patriots said they don’t have any comment on reports tight end Rob Gronkowski has an infection in his broken arm that could keep him out into the season. The Boston Herald reported that Gronkowski has an infection in the area where a metal plate was installed to repair his left forearm. Doctors will have to wait for the infection to go away to replace the plate, and Gronkowski would need 10 weeks to recover, the paper said. . . .

Darrelle Revis needs to participate in the New York Jets’ voluntary workouts beginning next week, according to a clause in his contract, to collect $3 million in bonuses he’s scheduled to earn.

Misc.

The Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor has been reset for Jan. 1 after its cancellation this season because of the NHL lockout. . . . The Los Angeles Kings have confirmed they are interested in hosting an outdoor game next season. Kings spokesman Mike Altieri said the defending Stanley Cup champions are working to get plans in place for an game. . . .

Ryan Hunter-Reay ended Penske Racing’s hold at Barber Motorsports Park by edging Scott Dixon to win the IndyCar Series race in Birmingham, Ala. . . .

The FBI is investigating whether a former Rutgers basketball employee tried to extort the university before he made videos that showed ex-coach Mike Rice shoving and kicking players and berating them with gay slurs. Meanwhile, Robert Morris University is expected to report soon on what it learned in its inquiry on Rice’s three years there.

A person familiar with the FBI’s probe said investigators are interested in Eric Murdock, who left his job as the program’s player development director last year and later provided the video to university officials and ESPN. . . .

Jockey John Velazquez was removed from the track on a stretcher one day after winning the $1 million Wood Memorial aboard Verrazano. Velazquez was dumped in the seventh race at Aqueduct and taken for evaluation of his right shoulder. . . .

Marty Blake, the NBA’s longtime director of scouting, has died. He was 86. Blake worked in the NBA for more than 50 years and is considered the “Godfather of scouting.”

— From news services

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