Weekend Sports In Brief

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) Serena Williams ended a difficult-for-her Grand Slam season in the best way possible, winning her third consecutive U.S. Open championship and 18th major title overall.

And like each of her matches at Flushing Meadows the past two weeks, the final wasn’t close at all – a 6-3, 6-3 victory over good friend Caroline Wozniacki that lasted only 75 minutes Sunday.

Williams equaled Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18 Grand Slam singles titles, the fourth-most in history. Williams also matched Evert’s total of six championships at the U.S. Open and became the first woman to win three in a row since Evert’s four-title run from 1975-78.

Not only did Williams, ranked and seeded No. 1, win all 14 sets she played in the tournament, she never even dropped more than three games in any of them.

NEW YORK (AP) – Roger Federer could not pull off another big escape at the U.S. Open, losing 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals Saturday against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

It was the second significant surprise of the day, coming after Novak Djokovic was beaten 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 by Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who became the first man from Asia to reach a Grand Slam singles final.

Instead of the No. 1-seeded Djokovic against the No. 2-seeded Federer – who have combined to win 24 major championships – in Monday’s final, it will be No. 10 Nishikori against No. 14 Cilic, neither of whom has ever appeared in a Grand Slam title match.

GOLF

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) – The bad swing a week ago is a distant memory. The blown lead Sunday – that wasn’t enough to derail Billy Horschel, either.

Horschel let a three-shot lead drop to nothing early in the final round of the BMW Championship before rebounding for a two-stroke victory over Bubba Watson.

Horschel shot a 1-under 69 and finished at 14-under 266 to put himself in prime position for the FedEx Cup title and its $10 million bonus at the Tour Championship next week.

Horschel heads into the final week of the playoff chase in second place in the points standings thanks to the victory and his tie for second a week ago.

The top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings advanced to the finale in Atlanta.

QUEBEC CITY (AP) – Wes Short Jr. made an 8-foot eagle putt on the final hole to win the Quebec Championship for his first Champions Tour’s title.

The 51-year-old Short played the final 10 holes in 8 under for an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke victory over Scott Dunlap in the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in the area since 1956.

Dunlap, the Boeing Classic winner two weeks ago, also eagled the par-5 18th for a 64.

Short finished at 15-under 201 at La Tempete and earned $240,000 to jump from 36th to 20th on the money list with $379,719. He won in Las Vegas in 2005 for his lone PGA Tour title.

AUTO RACING

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Brad Keselowski routed the field Saturday night for his fourth win of the season, a victory that gives him the top seed in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Keselowski led all but 17 of the 400 laps at Richmond International Raceway, where the last race of the regular season never shaped up to be the thriller NASCAR hoped. A new win-and-in format this year could have created a dramatic final push for a driver to make the Chase, but nobody had anything for Keselowski. Now he’ll try to give Team Penske a season sweep – Will Power gave the organization the IndyCar championship a week ago.

Jeff Gordon, the points leader for much of the regular season, finished second. Clint Bowyer, who needed to win to guarantee his Chase berth, was a disappointing third.

Tony Stewart, in his second race back since he sat out three after his sprint car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a New York dirt track, finished 15th. He needed to win to earn a spot in the Chase.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – Standing on the field with a microphone, the end of his baseball career likely three weeks away, Derek Jeter remained as cool and collected as his play at shortstop over the past two decades.

The New York Yankees honored their retiring captain Sunday with a 45-minute pregame ceremony that included surprise appearances by NBA great Michael Jordan and baseball ironman Cal Ripken Jr.

Reserved as always and with no hints of tears, Jeter thanked people a dozen times as he spoke to a capacity crowd of 48,110 at Yankee Stadium for about 3 minutes before a 2-0 loss to Kansas City further damaged New York’s slim playoff chances.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – After impressive performances in two of the young season’s most attractive nonconference showdowns, Oregon jumps to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll behind No. 1 Florida State – and ahead of No. 3 Alabama – and Virginia Tech vaults into the rankings at No. 17.

The Ducks pulled away late from Michigan State on Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene to beat the Spartans 46-27. Oregon receives 16 first-place votes from the media panel.

Florida State has 38 first-place votes.

Alabama slipped one spot. No. 4 Oklahoma receives two first-place votes. No. 5 Auburn, No. 6 Georgia and No. 7 Texas A&M give the Southeastern Conference four of the top seven.

Michigan State slipped six spots to 13th.

PRO BASKETBALL

ATLANTA (AP) – Less than one month after the Clippers’ sale ended Donald Sterling’s ugly downfall, another NBA team is on the market following a racially charged disclosure from its owner.

Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson said Sunday he is selling his controlling interest in the team, thanks in part to an inflammatory email he wrote two years ago. Levenson said he wrote the email in an attempt ”to bridge Atlanta’s racial sports divide.” Instead, he offered his divisive comments, including his theory that Hawks black fans kept white fans away.

Levenson said he regrets the email sent to the team’s co-owners and general manager Danny Ferry in 2012 as ”inappropriate and offensive.” In a statement released by the team, Levenson said he sent the email due to his concerns about low attendance and a need to attract suburban whites.

He says he later realized the email made it seem white fans were more important. He voluntarily reported the email to the NBA.