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Serena upset by American teen Stephens

Sloane Stephens used her backhand to upset Serena Williams. (Associated Press)
Sloane Stephens used her backhand to upset Serena Williams. (Associated Press)

Tennis: Serena Williams’ dominating run at the majors is over. American teenager Sloane Stephens is headed to the semifinals of the Australian Open.

Williams injured her back in the second set, hampering her serve, and the 19-year-old Stephens kept her composure in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory on Wednesday at Melbourne, Australia.

It was the first loss since Aug. 17 for the 15-time Grand Slam winner, ending a run of 20 consecutive wins.

She hadn’t lost a match at a Grand Slam tournament since the French Open, where the first-round exit sparked a resurgence in the second half of 2012 that included titles at Wimbledon, the London Olympics, the U.S. Open and the WTA Championship.

After winning her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, Stephens next plays defending champion Victoria Azarenka.

Top-ranked Azarenka overcame some early jitters to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1 in the earlier quarterfinal match on Rod Laver Arena.

After dropping serve in a long fourth game which went to deuce 10 times, Azarenka recovered to dominate the rest of the match.

Oklahoma City wins battle of NBA’s best

NBA: Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Russell Westbrook added 26 and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the host Los Angeles Clippers 109-97 on Tuesday night in a matchup of teams with the two best records in the NBA.

Serge Ibaka added 17 points before fouling out late while helping the Thunder improve to a league-leading 33-9.

The Clippers, who were without All-Star Chris Paul, fell to 32-11.

Blake Griffin had 31 points and 11 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford added 14 points off the bench.

Villanova upsets No. 5 Louisville

College men’s basketball: Achraf Yacoubou hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer late in the second half to help Villanova upset No. 5 Louisville 73-64 at Philadelphia.

The Wildcats (12-7, 3-3 Big East) led by as many as 10 points in the first half and rallied late in the second to send the Cardinals (16-3, 4-2) to their second straight loss.

No. 3 Jayhawks down No. 11 Kansas State: Travis Releford scored 12 points and No. 3 Kansas (17-1, 5-0 Big 12) held off No. 11 Kansas State (15-3, 4-1) down the stretch for a 59-55 victory at Manhattan, Kan., giving the Jayhawks sole possession of first place in the Big 12.

Demon Deacons upset Wolfpack: Freshman Devin Thomas had a season-high 25 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks to help Wake Forest (10-8, 3-3 ACC) upset No. 18 North Carolina State (15-4, 4-2) 86-84 at Winston-Salem, N.C.

Spartans edge Badgers: Keith Appling scored 19 points and Branden Dawson added 18 to lead No. 13 Michigan State (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten) to a 49-47 victory over Wisconsin (13-6, 4-2) at Madison, Wis.

Brodeur, Devils shut out Flyers

NHL: Martin Brodeur made 24 saves for his 120th NHL shutout, Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a short-handed penalty shot, and the New Jersey Devils won their home opener in front of a sellout crowd with a 3-0 victory over the winless Philadelphia Flyers at Newark, N.J.

Ryder scores twice for Dallas: Michael Ryder scored in the first and third periods, and Kari Lehtonen came within 3.4 seconds of a shutout in the Dallas Stars’ 2-1 win over the host Detroit Red Wings.

Reds will host 2015 All-Star game

Baseball: The Cincinnati Reds will host the 2015 All-Star game at Great American Ball Park, the city’s first since 1988, a person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press.

• Clearing the bases: Mike Napoli has signed a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox after a multiyear deal fell through because of health concerns. … Reliever Jason Motte and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. … The Phillies have signed Delmon Young to a one-year deal for $750,000, adding to their outfield depth. … Mark DeRosa has agreed to a $775,000, one-year contract with Toronto, giving the Blue Jays more infield and outfield depth.

Bradford reaches English final

Soccer: Bradford became the first fourth-tier club to reach an English final in 51 years when it eliminated Aston Villa in the League Cup semifinals.

Bradford, whose roster was assembled for about $12,000, lost the second leg 2-1 Tuesday night but advanced 4-3 on aggregate against the Premier League club.

Bradford will play Chelsea or Swansea in the final of Feb. 24 at Wembley.

Ivory Coast wins: Yaya Toure scored in the eighth minute, Gervinho got the go-ahead goal in the 88th and Ivory Coast beat Togo 2-1 in its African Cup of Nations opener at Rustenburg, South Africa.

In the second game, Tunisia beat Algeria 1-0 when Youssef Msakni scored in the first minute of stoppage time in the second half on a curling shot into an upper corner.


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