Seton Hall women's basketball coach Anne Donovan is returning to the WNBA to coach the Connecticut Sun. Donovan, who won a WNBA championship...

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Donovan to coach Sun

Seton Hall women’s basketball coach Anne Donovan is returning to the WNBA to coach the Connecticut Sun.

Donovan, who won a WNBA championship with the Seattle Storm in 2004, said she plans to step down from her job at Seton Hall at the end of the season to take the job in Connecticut.

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Donovan, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, also has coached Indiana, Charlotte and New York in the WNBA, compiling a 167-150 record in 10 seasons. She earned two Olympic gold medals as a player and coached the United States to a gold medal in the 2008 Olympic games.

Horse racing

Stevens making comeback

Two months shy of his 50th birthday, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is launching a comeback this weekend at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., after a seven-year retirement.

“My passion is still there,” Stevens said. “Or I should say my passion has come back.”

Stevens’ first race will be Sunday at Santa Anita, with his lone mount in a $50,000 claiming race on a horse named Jebrica.

“I’m going to be selective in what I ride and if that means not riding at all or upsetting people, then so be it,” he said. “I didn’t come back to ride five days a week and ride nine races a day. I came back to ride some quality horses with hopefully some good futures.”


NHL, union stay apart

Any momentum gained from a long night of negotiations between the NHL and the players’ association seemed to have been lost Thursday when the sides remained mostly apart in New York. A meeting that commissioner Gary Bettman said would begin at 10 a.m. EST didn’t start until several hours later, and then ended quickly.

An NHL spokesman said federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh was still working with the sides, but they would not get back to the bargaining table before Friday morning.

The union did prepare for a two-day vote by its membership to authorize the executive board to disclaim interest and dissolve the union if negotiations bog down.

U.S. juniors beat Canada

Jake McCabe and John Gaudreau scored two goals each to lead the United States to the final of the world junior championships with a 5-1 win over Canada in Ufa, Russia.

McCabe put his team ahead with identical goals, scoring through goalmouth scrambles in the first period.

United States goalie John Gibson made 33 saves for the victory.

In the final, the Americans will face defending champion Sweden. The Swedes beat Russia 3-2 in a penalty shootout, with Sebastian Collberg scoring the winner.


Serena wins tough test

Serena Williams had a tough win over the woman she’s predicting will one day top the rankings, setting up a semifinal match at the Brisbane International in Australia against current No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

The reigning Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic champion showed plenty of emotion on key points in a heavy-hitting duel with American Fed Cup teammate Sloane Stephens before winning 6-4, 6-3.

Olympic and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray from Britain was pushed before winning his opening match 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 against Australian qualifier John Millman.


Vonn returns to Europe

Lindsey Vonn is feeling better, is back in Europe and has started training for a return to the World Cup circuit after a midseason break to recover from an intestinal illness. Meanwhile, it’s less likely Bode Miller will race this season.

Rainer Salzgeber, the racing director of Vonn’s equipment supplier Head, told The Associated Press the four-time overall winner plans to race in the downhill and super-giant slalom races Jan. 12-13 in St. Anton, Austria.

Miller still hasn’t started training, working his way back after left knee surgery at the end of last season. Salzgeber said Miller was still expected back in Europe at the end of the month, but likely won’t race this season.


• AC Milan players walked off the field because of racist chants, abandoning an exhibition match in the first half with lower-division club Pro Patria in Busto Arsizio, Italy.

Jeff Vanderbeek has taken over sole control of the New Jersey Devils and refinanced the team’s debt.

Gael Monfils’ comeback from injury took a hit when he lost to German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-1, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open in Doha. The Frenchman ended his season early in 2012 because of knee problems.

• Top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic stopped local hope Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-1 to reached the Chennai Open quarterfinals in India. Two-time champion Marin Cilic of Croatia rallied past Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic advanced to the semifinals of the Shenzhen Open in China by beating second-seeded Marion Bartoli of France 6-3, 6-2.

• Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat American Jamie Hampton 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-3) to advance to the ASB Tennis Classic final in Auckland, New Zealand.

• X Games star Travis Pastrana will drive the full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this year in Roush Fenway’s No. 60 Ford Mustang.

Burry Stander, a two-time Olympian from South Africa and one of the world’s best mountain bikers, was killed while training when his bike collided with a taxi near his home in Shelley Beach. He was 25.

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