Serena, Venus, Nadal win in Sony tourney

Top-ranked Serena Williams twice lost five games in a row, but she finished with a flourish and defied an upset trend at the Sony Ericsson Open, beating 17th-seeded Zheng Jie 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 Monday in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Also reaching the quarterfinals was No. 5 seed Venus Williams, who staged her own narrow escape to beat Agnieszka Radwanska, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. The Williams sisters could renew their sibling rivalry in the semifinals Thursday.

On the men’s side, top-ranked Rafael Nadal reached the fourth round by beating qualifier Frederico Gil 7-5, 6-3, and fourth-seeded Andy Murray beat Nicolas Massu, 6-4, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva lost to 18-year-old Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-4, and two-time Grand Slam winner Amelie Mauresmo was eliminated by unseeded Samantha Stosur, 6-4, 6-4.


Harvick battles way to NASCAR truck win

Kevin Harvick passed Kyle Busch with just over nine laps to go and held on through a final restart to win the rain-delayed NASCAR truck race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.

Busch had led for a total of 139 laps in the Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series event. The series points leader ended up 17th, after a late miscue in which he drove his truck over the line that mandates a visit to pit road.

Also: Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was the leadoff defense witness in the Helio Castroneves tax evasion trial in Miami, testifying that a lawyer who is also charged in the case has a sterling reputation in the racing world.

Johnson, a three-time Sprint Cup winner, said Michigan lawyer Alan Miller has many clients in NASCAR and the Indy Racing League, a circuit where the Brazilian-born Castroneves is a top driver. Castroneves and Johnson have received financial guidance from Miller.


UNLV men’s golf tied for ninth in Texas event

The UNLV men’s golf team, ranked 14th, was in a three-way tie for ninth after two rounds of the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in Austin, Texas.

Oklahoma State led the 18-team field at 1-over 569, 15 shots ahead of second-place Southern California. UNLV struggled to a 39-over 607 total, paced by Brett Kanda, who at 7-over 149 was tied for 21st.

The event concludes today.

Also: The owners of 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown have themselves a top contender for the Triple Crown races this year after purchasing a 50 percent interest in I Want Revenge.

IEAH Stables completed the deal with breeder/owner David Lanzman five days before I Want Revenge runs in the $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack — a final prep race before the Kentucky Derby.

American businessman Stan Kroenke became the majority shareholder on Arsenal’s board by increasing his stake in the English Premier League soccer club to 20.5 percent.

The 61-year-old Kroenke owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer.

Pistol Pete’s ill-advised bull ride has earned the New Mexico State mascot some time away from the court.

Pistol Pete has been suspended by the Western Athletic Conference for one game for scuffling with Utah State’s Big Blue at the WAC Tournament in Reno earlier this month.

New Orleans Hornets forward James Posey will miss at least the next three games with a sprained left elbow.

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