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Even though it comes around comet-like just once every four years, or perhaps precisely because of that, the World Cup's grip on the planet's imagination remains impressive. French fans' delirious chants of "We're going to Brazil!" after their team dug deep to defeat Ukraine in the playoffs and Cristiano Ronaldo's joy at his hat trick that qualified Portugal showed how much this most global of sports tournaments means to nations and people alike.
The road less traveled brought Peter Uihlein back to a familiar place. He was home in South Florida, finally, after a remarkable golf season that took some unexpected turns while covering six tours in 18 countries, three U.S. states and Puerto Rico.
The irrepressible Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dazzling hat trick as Portugal qualified for the 2014 World Cup finals at the expense of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden on Tuesday, while France advanced by conjuring a remarkable turnaround against Ukraine.
It just recorded the highest trade surplus in its history, but Germany may find it difficult to celebrate the milestone as Berlin faces growing criticism that the country's prosperity is coming at the expense of its European neighbors and the health of the global economy.
Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle not only caught and rode what surf watchers are calling the biggest wave ever – he also saved the life of one of his fellow athletes.
Greece and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal finished second in their groups, winding up in next months' eight-team European playoffs that will determine four more berths.
Nine countries have already joined host nation Brazil in next year's World Cup and more will secure their places when qualifying resumes across the globe from Friday.
Stephens beat a hobbling Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January. But in the rematch Sunday, the 16-time Grand Slam champion served big and controlled points against the 20-year-old.
Defending champion Andy Murray could face top-seeded Novak Djokovic only in the U.S. Open semifinals, while Nadal and Federer — who have never played each other at Flushing Meadows — might meet in the quarterfinals.