Williams tops Sharapova to reach final
A day after securing the No. 1 ranking, Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova for the 10th straight time, 6-3, 6-2, Saturday to reach the Qatar Open final in Doha. Williams will face Victoria Azarenka, whom she will replace at the top in Monday’s rankings. Azarenka beat Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3, 6-3, in the other semifinal, earning her 13th straight victory in 2013 . . . Rafael Nadal outlasted Martin Alund, 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, at the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo, making it to his second straight final after a long layoff to treat his ailing left knee. Nadal next plays David Nalbandian, who defeated Simone Bolelli, 6-3, 7-5, to make it to his first final since being disqualified for injuring a line judge at Queen’s Club last year . . . Tommy Haas reached his first final in six months, beating JohnIsner, 6-3, 6-4, in the SAP Open semifinals in San Jose, Calif. Haas will face top-seeded Milos Raonic, who downed Sam Querrey, 6-4, 6-2 . . . Juan Martin del Potro and Julien Benneteau won their semifinals in straight sets and will play for the title of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Del Potro beat Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4, 6-4; Benneteau beat Gilles Simon, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).
Pistorius family comes to his defense
Oscar Pistorius is ‘‘numb with shock, as well as grief’’ after the shooting death of his model girlfriend at his home in South Africa, the Olympic runner’s uncle said in Pretoria, and his family ‘‘strongly refutes’’ that he murdered her. Arnold Pistorius spoke with the Associated Press and two other South African journalists about his nephew’s arrest in the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot four times on Valentine’s Day. The statement, the first on camera and directly made in person by Pistorius’s family, also came out strongly against prosecutors seeking to upgrade the charge against Pistorius to premeditated murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison. Pistorius is being held at a police station pending a bail hearing Tuesday . . . Bernard Lagat regained the American record in the indoor 2 miles with a victory at the Millrose Games in New York. Lagat, 38, finished in 8 minutes, 9.49 seconds, lowering Galen Rupp’s mark by .23 seconds. Lagat now owns the American indoor records at 1,500 meters, 1 mile, 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters, and 2 miles. US Olympian Lopez Lomong held off defending champ Matthew Centrowitz to win the Wanamaker Mile in 3:51.21. The women’s Wanamaker was won by Canadian Olympian Sheila Reid in 4:27.02, while 16-year-old Mary Cain of nearby Bronxville, N.Y., lowered her high school record to 4:28.25. Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth College and Masconomet Regional came in fifth (4:30.03) . . . Olympic sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was upstaged in her first appearance at an indoor meet, finishing second behind Murielle Ahoure in the 60 meters at the Birmingham (England) Grand Prix.
Barcelona’s Messi continues streak
Lionel Messi scored his 300th and 301st career goals for Barcelona and extended his record scoring streak to 14 Spanish league games in a 2-1 victory at Granada, four days before his team’s Champion League last-16 match at AC Milan . . . Former University of Maine hockey player Kyle Solomon is joining a class-action lawsuit that claims the NCAA has failed to adequately address and prevent concussions. Solomon, 25, is the first hockey player to join the suit . . . Rutgers standout sophomore guard Eli Carter broke his right leg in his team’s 75-69 loss to DePaul in Piscataway, N.J., and will miss the rest of the season . . . Raphael Martinetti, president of the international wrestling federation, quit in the wake of the IOC’s decision to remove the sport from the 2020 Olympics. Nenad Lalovic will replace Martinetti on an interim basis . . . Four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin made it four wins in three nights with victories in the 200 backstroke and 100 freestyle at the Arena Grand Prix in Orlando. Ryan Lochte captured the 200 individual medley and Tyler Clary took the 200 backstroke.