In brief – Serena Williams wins BOTW Classic

Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Angelique Kerber. (Associated Press)
Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Angelique Kerber. (Associated Press)

Tennis: Serena Williams stared at the court, took a deep breath and seemed to clear her head after falling behind in the first set. She dominated the rest of the way.

Playing her first tournament since her departure from Wimbledon because of equilibrium problems, the top-ranked Williams won her WTA-leading fourth title of the year, beating third-seeded Angelique Kerber 7-6 (1), 6-3 on Sunday in Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California.

Kerber, 0-4 in finals this season, won five straight games to go up 5-1 and was serving for the first set at 5-2. Williams saved two set points and went to win five games in a row.

“I blinked my eye and I was down 1-5,” Williams said. “Angelique was playing well and I thought ‘What’s going on?’ I tried to relax, not think about anything and just do the right thing.”

The eighth-ranked Kerber forced a tiebreaker, but Williams took the first five points.

“It’s a good thing that it happened,” Williams said. “When I’m not playing great I know I can make some kind of comeback.”

Williams didn’t play well in any of the first sets this week but always found a way to win.

“I’ve been training hard all year and hopefully that pays off, especially after Wimbledon,” Williams said. “I stayed positive here. This shows I’m moving in the right direction.”

Questions were raised after she retired from a doubles match with sister Venus at Wimbledon in June. A viral infection affected her equilibrium.

She answered those questions with an exclamation point Sunday.

• Raonic bests Pospisil: Milos Raonic easily won the first all-Canadian tournament final in ATP history, erasing the only break point he faced and beating Vasek Pospisil 6-1, 6-4 at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. for his sixth career title.

On the women’s side, two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia ended her four-year WTA title drought, beating Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Skyway posts win in Best Pal Stakes

Horse Racing: Skyway held off fast-closing Henry’s Holiday by a length in the $300,000 Best Pal Stakes for 2-year-olds at Del Mar, California.

Ridden by Stewart Elliott, Skyway ran six furlongs on Polytrack in 1:16.67.

Bad Read Sanchez was another length back in third.

Real Madrid adds keeper Navas

Soccer: Real Madrid says it has signed Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas from Levante following his stellar World Cup.

Navas helped Costa Rica make a surprising run to the quarterfinals in Brazil.

• Houston wins late: Will Bruin scored in the 91st minute from Omar Cummings’ cross to give host Houston a 1-0 victory over D.C. United, ending the Dynamo’s winless streak at eight and the Washington club’s winning streak at four.

• Dallas tops Chivas: Tesho Akindele scored in the 49th minute off an assist from Fabian Castillo as FC Dallas defeated Chivas USA 1-0 in Carson, California.

Cooper rejoins Dream 10 days after surgery

WNBA: Coach Michael Cooper rejoined the Atlanta Dream in a limited role against the New York Liberty, 10 days after he underwent surgery for tongue cancer.

The team says Cooper wanted to show his support for Atlanta’s “Dream Pink” game, which will include recognition of breast cancer survivors. New York beat host Atlanta 83-76.

Strong discipline instilled at Texas

College Football: New Texas coach Charlie Strong suspended offensive lineman Desmond Harrison, wide receiver Daje Johnson and safety Josh Turner one game each for rules violations.

Strong also said wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander, who were suspended after being arrested on rape charges, will not be allowed back regardless of how their cases turn out.

• Denbrock sidelined: Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock will miss “the first few weeks of preseason camp” after having surgery last week.

England tops at Commonwealths

Miscellany: England took home the most gold medals as the Commonwealth Games closed in Glasgow, Scotland.

English cyclist Lizzie Armistead won the road race to start the day, while Chris and Gabrielle Adcock won the mixed doubles badminton title.

Australia beat India for field hockey gold, but missed out on top spot in the medal standings for the first time since 1986.

Geraint Thomas of Wales captured the men’s bicycle race.

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