Tennis • Venus Williams advanced to the Bank of the West quarterfinals Thursday night in Stanford, Calif., beating fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-6 (1).
After the 10th-ranked Azarenka, who celebrated her 25th birthday, saved three match points to tie it 6-6, Williams won the first five points in the tiebreaker.
Azarenka’s second serve was the biggest difference between the two hard-hitting players. She won just 32 percent of her second serves, handing Williams a significant advantage.
Williams, who reached her third quarterfinal of the season, will face eighth-seeded Andrea Petkovic on Friday.
Williams, in her 12th career appearance at Stanford, reached her 10th quarterfinal. She has won the twice and finished second five times.
Fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic also advanced, beating qualifier Carol Zhao 6-1, 6-1.
• Two-time major champion Li Na pulled out of the U.S. Open on Thursday because of a knee injury she said has bothered her for several months.
The only tennis player from China to win a Grand Slam singles title also withdrew from hard-court tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati over the next two weeks.
Weightlifter convicted of head-butting
Commonwealth games • An Australian medal-winning weightlifter was convicted Thursday of head-butting another competitor in the athletes’ village and Australia’s track and field coach was sent home for criticizing his top star — just as the country’s 20-year domination of the competition appeared to be coming to an end.
The Australian spotlight shifted from the venues to Glasgow Sheriff Court, where weightlifter Francois Etoundi pleaded guilty to assaulting Welsh counterpart Gareth Evans early Wednesday in the village dining room, breaking his nose.
Grizzlies re-sign forward Aubin
Hockey • The Utah Grizzlies re-signed forward Mathieu Aubin for next season. Aubin, who was the third-leading scorer on the ECHL team last year, missed the end of the regular season and the playoffs last year with a neck injury, but he is "working extremely hard to prepare for the upcoming season," said Grizzlies athletic trainer Mike Plandowski.
From wire, staff reports
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