Former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova finished with an ace for her first tournament title in 18 months, beating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 Saturday at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.
“I was not expecting this, but I was doing my best,” Kuznetsova said. “I wanted this trophy badly.”
Seeded 12th, she won the all-Russian final thanks to a superior serve and forehand, repeatedly driving Sharapova into one corner and then smacking a winner into the other.
The No. 4-seeded Sharapova finished as runner-up at Key Biscayne for the second year in a row.
Men’s college basketball
ASU hires Sendek
North Carolina State coach Herb Sendek has accepted an offer to become the coach at Arizona State, an official with knowledge of the deal confirmed.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because there has been no formal announcement.
CBS Sports also reported that Sendek had accepted the offer.
Sendek is 258-158 in 13 seasons as a head coach, the last 10 with North Carolina State, where he is 191-132. He spent his first three seasons with Miami of Ohio.
Sendek led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA tournament appearances, reaching the third round in 2005.
•Steve Alford is moving forward.
After nearly two months of speculation that he might leave, the Iowa coach talked publicly for the first time about his name being mentioned as a possible candidate for jobs at Indiana and Missouri, his future with the Hawkeyes and the possibility of a contract extension.
“The bottom line is, I never interviewed anywhere,” said Alford, who is in Indianapolis for the Final Four, “and it should be a pretty good indicator of how happy I am and what I think we can (accomplish).”
Alford guided Iowa to a 25-9 record, including 17-0 at home, and a Big Ten Conference tournament title while fending off questions about Indiana’s coaching vacancy.
“Indiana went about it a little different in how they did their search,” Alford said. “I never got a phone call.”
Alford is a former Indiana All-American.
Mesi tops Bellamy
Joe Mesi unanimously outpointed Ronald Bellamy in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, in the heavyweight’s first fight following a two-year forced layoff because of a serious head injury.
All three judges scored the fight 80-72 for Mesi.
•Canadian speedskater Francois-Louis Tremblay won the gold medal in the 500-meter race after missing out on the finals in the 1,500 the day before at the 2006 World Short Track Championships in Minneapolis. China’s Li Haonan won silver with a time of 41.639 seconds, while South Korea’s Lee Ho-suk (41,737) took bronze.