American Serena Williams moved within a victory of becoming the oldest top-ranked women's player, sweeping aside Urszula Radwanska of Poland...
Serena Williams on verge
of becoming oldest No. 1
American Serena Williams moved within a victory of becoming the oldest top-ranked women’s player, sweeping aside Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the Qatar Open quarterfinals in Doha. If the 31-year-old Williams reaches the semifinals by beating seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Williams will return to No. 1 for the first time in 2 ½ years. Chris Evert was No. 1 in 1985 while just shy of her 31st birthday.
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“It’s awesome,” Williams said. “Since I didn’t do the youngest, I figure I’ll do the oldest.”
If Williams doesn’t make the last four, Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus can keep the top spot by reaching the final. Third-ranked Maria Sharapova of Russia can pass both players if she wins the tournament and Williams and Azarenka lose their next matches.
Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam winner, was joined in the last eight by Azarenka, former No. 1s Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Sharapova, plus 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
Querrey beats Hewitt
Third-seeded Sam Querrey of the United States beat Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 7-6 (8-6), 1-6, 7-6 (7-4) to reach the SAP Open quarterfinals in San Jose, Calif.
Nadal into quarterfinals
Rafael Nadal beat Joao Souza of Brazil 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Brazil Open in São Paulo, the Spaniard’s second event since returning from a left-knee injury.
Defending champ Roger Federer of Switzerland beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals of the ABN AMRO in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Eagles to sign QB Dixon
The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a two-year contract with quarterback Dennis Dixon, who spent the past season with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on their practice squad. Dixon, 28, had a top career at Oregon when Chip Kelly was Ducks offensive coordinator. Kelly is now Eagles coach.
D.C. United acquires Riley
D.C. United acquired defender James Riley from Chivas USA for a 2015 second-round pick in the supplemental draft. Riley, 30, has played for four teams, including Sounders FC, over eight MLS seasons.
Canucks’ Malhotra done
Vancouver Canucks center Manny Malhotra will miss the rest of the season after failing to adapt sufficiently following a career-threatening eye injury.
Karlsson’s season over
Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson had season-ending surgery to repair his left Achilles after the tendon was cut by a skate blade during a game against Pittsburgh. General manager Bryan Murray said 70 percent of the tendon was cut.
Spurrier: Clowney will play
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney doesn’t want to quit on his team and is looking forward to playing for the Gamecocks.
Clowney’s status became a trending topic this week, with a columnist suggesting the sophomore might sit out the season to protect his health and likely high draft position in 2014. Spurrier said Clowney wants to improve himself this fall.
Rachel Alexandra stable
Rachel Alexandra remains in serious but stable condition in Lexington, Ky., after surgery related to complications from the birth of her filly. Doctors said it’s too early to determine the prognosis for the 2009 Horse of the Year.
• Tessa Worley mastered a difficult giant-slalom course twice, earning France its second gold medal and fourth overall at the world skiing championships in Schladming, Austria. Defending champion Tina Maze of Slovenia was second and Anna Fenninger of Austria was third. American teen Mikaela Shiffrin was sixth for her career best GS result.
• The Buffalo Bills are continuing their purge of veteran defensive players by releasing oft-injured cornerback Terrence McGee. The New Orleans Saints re-signed safety Rafael Bush, tight end Michael Higgins and guard Eric Olsen. The Washington Redskins signed nose tackle Ron Brace.
• New Jersey Devils left wing Dainius Zubrus had surgery on his left wrist and will be sidelined four to six weeks.
• Louisiana State football coach Les Miles will introduce Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator.
• Notre Dame safety Jamoris Slaughter’s appeal for a sixth year of eligibility after he tore his left Achilles tendon in the third game of the season was denied by the NCAA.
• Olympic swimming champions Missy Franklin (200 free) and Dana Vollmer (100 fly) won their races on the opening night of the Arena Grand Prix of Orlando, Fla.
Seattle Times news services