- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Serena Williams has defeated sister Venus in three sets to move within two victories of completing the first Grand Slam since 1988.

The younger Williams won 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in the U.S. Open quarterfinals Tuesday night in front of a celebrity-filled crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. It was her 11th three-set victory at a major this year.

Serena improved to 9-5 against her sister in Grand Slam matches.

Serena was nearly perfect in the first set but tightened up in the second. She pulled it back together in the third, breaking Venus’ serve right away. Showing the importance of the moment, Serena started celebrating winners with big fist pumps and loud yells of “Come on!” unlike most matches against her sister.

The 35-year-old Venus kept up her sharp play of the last two rounds, but Serena - as she so often is against everyone - was simply better.

She next faces 26th-seeded Roberta Vinci, who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal and has never defeated Williams.


Phil Mickelson kept alive a streak and earned a footnote in Presidents Cup history Tuesday when he was selected to play on his 21st consecutive U.S. team.

Mickelson was No. 30 in the standings, the lowest of any player to be a captain’s pick.

U.S. captain Jay Haas also took his son, Bill Haas, though that was expected. Bill Haas won his sixth PGA Tour title this year, finished one shot out of a playoff at The Players Championship and was 11th in the standings. His father said he intended to take No. 11 regardless of who it was.

International captain Nick Price selected Steven Bowditch of Australia, who missed qualifying by less than one-hundredth of an average world ranking point, and Sang-moon Bae of South Korea, which attracted the most attention.

The Presidents Cup is Oct. 8-11 in South Korea, the first time it has been held in Asia.


Kansas State will pay a $5,000 fine and its marching band will perform without its director later this season as part of self-imposed sanctions following a routine that turned into a widespread social-media meme over the weekend.

The school also said Tuesday it would require approval of all future halftime shows after the Big 12 warned of potential sportsmanship and ethical conduct violations.

The controversy erupted after Saturday’s space-themed halftime show during the team’s home opener against South Dakota. One formation featured the Kansas State band forming the University of Kansas mascot and a phallic-looking Starship Enterprise crashing into it.

Kansas State president Kirk Schulz quickly tweeted an apology for the performance, and band director Frank Tracz issued a statement Sunday in which he said “there was absolutely no intent to display anything other than the Enterprise and the Jayhawk in battle.”

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama honored Duke on Tuesday for winning its fifth NCAA basketball championship and lauded the team for its work on and off the court.

During a White House ceremony, Obama said Duke basketball is a model for other colleges. He noted that five players made the all-conference academic squad. The players also have visited local elementary schools to encourage children to read and volunteered as mentors.

Obama also jokingly told the team he noticed similarities they shared with him: Doing well in the classroom, winning twice in the last four years and knowing what it’s like for people to oppose you no matter what you do. The four-year reference was a slight exaggeration. Duke also visited the White House after winning in 2010.

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said the team was a fun group to coach. He also awarded the president a scholarship to attend a fantasy basketball camp. He said the camp is for players 35-and-older, prompting the president to reply “I’ll dominate.”

ATLANTA (AP) - The Southeastern Conference football championship game is staying in Atlanta for at least a dozen more years.

The league announced a new 10-year agreement on Tuesday to play the game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a $1.4 billion retractable-roof facility under construction next door to the Georgia Dome. The new stadium is to open in 2017.

The agreement gives the SEC the option of adding two successive five-year extensions, which would keep the game in Atlanta through 2036.

The SEC championship game will be played the next two years at the Georgia Dome, its home since 1994. The 23-year-old dome will be demolished after the new stadium opens.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is serving mainly as the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, as well as the city’s new MLS expansion soccer team, Atlanta United.


PHOENIX (AP) - Disgruntled Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris has been fined $10,000 for making “a public statement detrimental to the NBA.”

The fine, announced by the league, did not specify the statement but said it concerned Morris’ desire to be traded.

Morris said in a tweet last week that “my future will not be in Phoenix.”

It was the same sentiment he expressed a month ago in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Morris said in that interview that he was upset with the way the Suns handled the trade of his twin brother Marcus to the Detroit Pistons.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Erie County District Attorney has postponed grand jury proceedings into a sexual assault allegation against Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane, a person familiar with the investigation confirmed to The Associated Press.

Evidence was scheduled to be presented to jurors on Tuesday but the hearings were postponed for about two weeks, the person said.

The person did not provide a reason for the postponement, and spoke only on condition of anonymity because District Attorney Frank Sedita and Hamburg police have not revealed any details of the case since announcing they had launched an investigation last month. Sedita did not respond to a request seeking comment.

Kane is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her 20s at the player’s offseason home overlooking Lake Erie outside of Buffalo, a second person familiar with the investigation told AP, also on the condition of anonymity because police have not revealed the nature of their investigation.

Kane has not been charged. The Buffalo News first reported the postponement earlier in the day.

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