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Originally published February 22, 2014 at 6:45 PM | Page modified February 22, 2014 at 11:19 PM

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Venus Williams wins her 45th WTA singles title

American Venus Williams won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final, her first tournament title in singles since 2012.

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Williams wins in Dubai

American Venus Williams won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title with an impressive 6-3, 6-0 victory over Alize Cornet of France in the final Saturday.

Williams has earned 45 WTA singles titles in her career.

The 44th-ranked Williams, playing courtesy of a wild card, also won the title in 2009 and 2010. She has won her last 15 matches in Dubai.

Williams, who will move up to No. 29 in Monday’s updated world rankings, last captured a title at the 2012 Luxembourg tournament. She had a layoff from August 2011 to March 2012 while coping with Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Williams won all five of her matches in straight sets.

“If I was down break point, when push came to shove, I was pushing and shoving, I guess,” she said.

Nadal reaches Rio final

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will face Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in Sunday’s final of the Rio Open in Brazil.

Nadal got a scare before defeating fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (12-10). Dolgopolov pulled an upset, beating second-seeded David Ferrer of Spain 6-4, 6-4 on Rio’s outdoor clay.

Nadal’s career record on clay is 297-21, the best in the Open era.

Top-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic and fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan will face off in the women’s final.

Tsonga to face Gulbis

Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France defeated 117th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 7-6 (7-4), 7-5, setting up an Open 13 final Sunday in Marseille, France, against third-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.

Gulbis beat top-seeded Richard Gasquet of France 6-3, 6-2.


U.S. fans snap up tickets

More tickets to the 2014 World Cup have been allocated by FIFA to fans from the United States than to any other nation, other than host Brazil.

A total of 125,465 tickets were distributed to the United States, according to FIFA officials. In all, 2.3 million tickets have been assigned to the 32 nations in the World Cup.

After Brazil, which was allocated 906,433 tickets as the host country, and the United States, the next four ticket allocations, according to FIFA, are Colombia (60,231), Germany (55,666), Argentina (53,809) and England (51,222).

Chelsea stays in front

Captain John Terry scored in stoppage time to give first-place Chelsea a 1-0 victory over Everton in the English Premier League.

Chelsea has 60 points from 27 matches. Arsenal, a 4-1 winner over Sunderland, has 59 points from 27 matches.

Manchester City, which beat Stoke 1-0, has 57 points from 26 matches.

Track and field

Lagat wins title in 3,000

Bernard Lagat, a former Washington State standout, won the 3,000 meters at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Lagat, 39, won in 7:46.01 to earn his fourth national title at the distance in the last five years.

Mixed martial arts

Rousey improves to 9-0

Ronda Rousey kept her UFC women’s bantamweight title, using a left knee to the liver to take down Sara McMann at 1:06 of the first round at UFC 170 in Las Vegas.

Referee Herb Dean quickly stopped the bout.

Rousey is 9-0 and McMann is 7-1.


Wildcat Red beat General a Rod by a head in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Wildcat Red, trained by Jose Garoffalo and ridden by Luis Saez, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute, 41.85 seconds. The colt paid $11 to win in the $415,000 race.

• Miami officials say they will investigate a possible secondary NCAA rule violation by the football program.

The matter involves at least one assistant coach watching a voluntary workout from a distance Friday.

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