Sports briefs: Djokovic beats Ferrer for title in Abu Dhabi
TENNIS • Novak Djokovic maintained his unbeaten record in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, by beating David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 Saturday to win his third straight World Tennis Championship title.
Djokovic, who finished the year with a 24-match winning streak on the ATP tour since losing the U.S. Open final to Rafael Nadal, needed just 82 minutes to dispatch the third-ranked Ferrer in the final of the invitational exhibition tournament.
Djokovic converted his third match point to take home the $250,000 winner's check.
Ferrer led 4-2 in the first set but then started making a number of unforced errors as Djokovic took control of the match.
Earlier, the top-ranked Nadal won a third-place playoff match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (5), 6-3.
• In Hua Hin, Thailand, Victoria Azarenka beat top-ranked Serena Williams in straight sets in an exhibition match between the world's top two women's players.
The second-ranked Azarenka defeated Williams 7-5, 6-3 in front of about 3,000 fans at the Hua Hin World Tennis Invitation in a match both players used as a warm-up ahead of the Australian Open.
Manchester City rises to top of standings
soccer • Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in Manchester, England, to temporarily move to the top of the Premier League, while Manchester United won by the same score at Norwich to stay in the title picture. Both Manchester teams turned to reserves for a second game in three days and were rescued by second-half goals.
Edin Dzeko's 66th-minute goal maintained City's record of scoring in every home game in more than three years a run of 60 matches. The victory lifted the team two points above Arsenal, which plays Newcastle on Sunday.
Danny Welbeck scored for United in the 57th minute, giving the champions a fourth straight league victory.
Hull thrashed struggling Fulham 6-0; West Ham and West Bromwich Albion drew 3-3; and Aston Villa tied Swansea 1-1.
From wire reports