Vettel sweeps Asian swing with F1 victory in India
GREATER NOIDA, India – Sebastian Vettel’s seemingly unstoppable march to a third consecutive Formula One title took another stride with victory in the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, though the Red Bull driver’s nearest rival, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, maintained pressure with a second-place finish.
Vettel won a fourth consecutive race in a season for the first time in his career – completing a clean sweep of the Asian swing – and now leads the points race by 13 with three races to go.
Hard(en) small-market reality strikes Thunder by trade
OKLAHOMA CITY – The first dose of small-market reality has hit the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Before the Thunder even played their first real game after a trip to the NBA finals, the franchise parted ways with Sixth Man of the Year James Harden in a trade with the Houston Rockets, fracturing the team’s core and substantially changing the second unit.
General manager Sam Presti said Sunday the Thunder couldn’t meet Harden’s salary demands and decided to trade him when they could get the most for him. Oklahoma City got Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and three draft picks in the trade and also sent Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Rockets.
Watney wins in record style; Hanson, Pettersen earn Ws
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Nick Watney missed a chance for a 59 on Sunday in his CIMB Classic victory, closing with a bogey for a course-record 10-under 61 at The Mines. The American finished at 22-under 262 and earned $1,098,000 in the unofficial PGA Tour event.
SHANGHAI – Sweden’s Peter Hanson won the BMW Masters on Sunday for his second European Tour victory of the year, shooting a 5-under 67 to hold off Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy by a stroke. Hanson finished at 21-under 267 on The Masters Course at Lake Malaren and earned $1,166,600 in the European Tour’s richest regular event.
YANG MEI, Taiwan – Suzann Pettersen won the Taiwan Championship on Sunday for her second consecutive LPGA Tour victory, rallying to beat Inbee Park by three strokes. Pettersen closed with a 3-under 69 at Sunrise to finish at 19 under and earned $300,000 for her 10th LPGA Tour title.
Williams wins the WTA, but she’ll have to settle for third
ISTANBUL – Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to win the WTA Championships for the third time and finish the year with another title, although not the top ranking.
Williams ended the season with a 59-4 record. Since her first-round loss at the French Open, the American is 31-1, winning Wimbledon, the Olympic gold medal and the U.S. Open. But she will have to settle for the No. 3 ranking behind No. 2 Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, who ends the year as the top-ranked player in the world despite losing to Sharapova in the semifinals.
BASEL, Switzerland – Juan Martin del Potro took Roger Federer’s Swiss Indoors title Sunday, beating the hometown favorite 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3) in the final.
VALENCIA, Spain – David Ferrer won the Valencia Open for the third time, beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 on Sunday. It was the fifth-ranked Spaniard’s sixth title of the season and 17th in his career.
Ligety opens World Cup play with GS victory in Austria
SOELDEN, Austria – Ted Ligety won the first men’s World Cup giant slalom of the season Sunday by 2.75 seconds over Manfred Moelgg of Italy.
In difficult conditions because of fog and snowfall, Ligety finished the race on the Rettenbach glacier in an overall time of 2 minutes, 36.02 seconds.
It was Ligety’s 12th career win, all of which have been in GS. The American won the race here last season as well.