Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia will play second-ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland on Monday for the ATP finals tennis title.
advance to title match
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia and second-ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland advanced to Monday’s championship match at the ATP finals in London, each looking beatable early before turning things around Sunday.
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Federer, a six-time champion at the season-ending event, advanced by beating U.S. Open champion Andy Murray of Britain 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
At a news conference after his match, Djokovic handed out chocolates to thank journalists for their “cooperation throughout the whole year.”
Lakers defeat Kings
Dwight Howard had 23 points and 18 rebounds, Kobe Bryant scored 20 and the in-transition Los Angeles Lakers continued warming up for a possible return by coach Phil Jackson with a 103-90 victory over visiting Sacramento.
The Lakers, who fired coach Mike Brown after a 1-4 start, are 2-0 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff — a former Sonics coach.
Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak remain in negotiations with Jackson, 67, whom they are trying to coax out of retirement for what would be his third coaching stint with the organization.
Cousins is suspended
The NBA suspended Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins for two games without pay for confronting San Antonio TV announcer Sean Elliott — a former Spurs player — in a hostile manner.
The exchange came after the Spurs’ 97-86 victory in Sacramento on Friday. Cousins will lose $94,653 of his $3.9 million salary. He didn’t play Sunday and also will miss Tuesday’s home game against Portland.
Cousins was trash-talking with Spurs standout Tim Duncan late in the game, leading Elliott to say on the broadcast: “Don’t start talking and flapping your gums against one of the greatest players ever. He’s going to make you pay.”
Memphis beats Heat
Reserve Wayne Ellington had career bests with seven three-pointers and 25 points, leading host Memphis over the defending champion Miami Heat 104-86.
The Grizzlies (5-1) have won five in a row and are off to the best start in franchise history.
Eliska Kubinova, who set a record for apprentice riders at Emerald Downs in Auburn with 76 victories this year, made a successful debut at Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif.
Kubinova, a Czech Republic native, guided Valeria, a 5-year-old mare, to victory in a $20,000 maiden-claiming sprint.
Valeria paid $11.20 to win.
Brown makes history
Antron Brown became the first black champion in any NHRA pro series when he won the Top Fuel title at the season-ending event in Pomona, Calif.
Brown, 36, said, “I feel so blessed to be in this moment right now and this is a big, huge moment.”
As quickly as labor negotiations got going again, they came to a halt and there is no telling when the league and the players union will return to the bargaining table.
After a one-day break, the sides got back to business in New York. Less than 90 minutes after talks solely about player-contract issues started, they were over.
Sunday was the 57th day of the lockout.
• Junior quarterback Will Grier of Davidson Day High in North Carolina passed for a national-record 837 yards Friday in a 104-80 victory over Harrells Christian.
“My goal is always to win,” Grier said. “I’m not a stat guy.”
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