August 1, 2011 in Sports

In brief: Williams wins first title since injury layoff

 
Associated Press photo

Serena Williams won for first time since returning to competition.
(Full-size photo)

Tennis: In Stanford, Calif., Serena Williams captured her first tournament title since returning to tennis, beating Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 to win the Bank of the West Classic on Sunday.

The 13-time major champion overcame two breaks in the first set to rally for a dominating finish. She went ahead 5-0 in the second and never relented.

The victory was even sweeter because the ninth-ranked Bartoli beat the former world No. 1 in straight sets in the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. The finals appearance also was the first for Williams since winning at the All England Club in 2010 and her best showing since missing nearly a year because of blood clots in her lungs and two foot operations.

• Gulbis edges Fish at Farmers Classic: In Los Angeles, Ernests Gulbis of Latvia won the Farmers Classic, rallying past top-seeded Mardy Fish 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 for his second career ATP tour title.

Gulbis went ahead 5-1 in the third set, but nearly blew it. Fish broke Gulbis’ serve and rallied to 5-4 before Gulbis won three straight points in the final game, culminating in a forehand winner down the line.

• Petrova beats Peer to win Citi Open: Second-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia beat top-seeded Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-2 to win the inaugural Citi Open in College Park, Md.

It’s the 10th career WTA title for Petrova and her first since 2008 at Quebec City.

• Dolgopolov beats Cilic in Croatia Open final: In Umag, Crotia, Aleksandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine won the Croatia Open for his first ATP title, defeating home favorite Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

It was the second final for the second-seeded Dolgopolov, who lost a clay-court final to Nicolas Almagro of Spain this year in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil.

Brown gets third Top Fuel win of season

Auto Racing: In Sonoma, Calif., Antron Brown raced to his third Top Fuel victory of the season at Infineon Raceway and clinched a berth in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs.

Brown outran seven-time world champ Tony Schumacher for the victory, the 28th of his career.

Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners.

• Button wins Hungarian Grand Prix: In Budapest, Hungary, Jenson Button celebrated his 200th Formula One start with a victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stretched his commanding lead in the championship with a second-place finish in a wet race.

Button was steadiest in the constant drizzle at the Hungaroring circuit to secure his 11th career victory, with the McLaren driver finishing 3.5 seconds in front of Vettel.

Sun tops oldest world record in swimming

Swimming: In Shanghai, the swimming world championships ended with a jolt when emerging Chinese star Sun Yang broke the oldest world record in the sport – Australian great Grant Hackett’s 10-year-old mark in the 1,500 meters.

Sun was more than two seconds off Hackett’s pace with four laps to go in the marathon in the pool, but ignored fatigue and accelerated on the final two laps to finish in 14 minutes, 34.14 seconds, improving on Hackett’s mark of 14:34.56 set at the 2001 worlds.

• U.S. wins men’s medley relay at swim worlds: Michael Phelps moved the United States from fourth to second in the butterfly leg and the Americans went on to edge Australia for gold in the 4x100-meter medley relay, the final event of the world swimming championships.

Nicholas Thoman, Mark Gangloff, Phelps and anchor Nathan Adrian finished in 3 minutes, 32.06 seconds. Australia took the silver in 3:32.26.

Whalen lifts Lynx over Silver Stars

Miscellany: Lindsay Whalen hit a fadeaway jumper from the right corner over Jayne Appel with 1.5 seconds left to give the visiting Minnesota Lynx a 70-69 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars in a battle of the WNBA’s best teams.

• Baffert wins fifth Haskell: In Ocean Port, N.J., Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won the $1 million Haskell Invitational for a fifth time when Coil unleashed a last-to-first rally and edged Preakness winner Shackleford after a duel down the stretch at Monmouth Park.

Coil was last out of the starting gate in the field of eight, but under a patient ride by Martin Garcia, the 3-year-old colt moved past his rivals along the backstretch and around the final turn before running down Shackleford to win by a neck for his fourth victory in his past five starts.

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