US advances to Davis Cup quarters
Sam Querrey beat Thiago Alves, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), on Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla., to give the United States a dramatic 3-2 victory over Brazil and a spot in the Davis Cup quarterfinals. The United States will host Serbia in the next round in Boise, Idaho, from April 5-7. Querrey stepped up after teammate John Isner lost, 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3, to Thomaz Bellucci earlier, forcing the deciding fifth match. It was the first time since 2000 that a US team needed to win the fifth match to advance. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada upset shorthanded Spain to reach the quarterfinals for the first time. Milos Raonic defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, in the opening reverse singles match to give Canada an insurmountable 3-1 lead. Canada will next play Italy in April . . . Unseeded Mona Barthel of Germany won her second career title, upsetting top-seeded Sara Errani of Italy, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), in the Open GDF Suez final in Paris . . . Maria Kirilenko of Russia won the Pattaya Open in Thailand by coming from a set down to beat Sabine Lisicki. Kirilenko dominated a third-set tiebreaker to defeat Lisicki, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1), for her first title since 2008 . . . Rafael Nadal has decided to make his comeback at the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar, Chile, after sitting out for more than seven months with an injured left knee. The tournament is sold out starting Tuesday when Nadal opens in doubles with partner Juan Monaco. Nadal gets a bye into the second round of singles and starts Wednesday against little-known Argentine Guido Pella or a qualifier . . . Sloane Stephens is pulling out of the US Fed Cup team’s upcoming first-round matches against Italy because of a strained abdominal muscle. Melanie Oudin will replace her on the US roster for the Feb. 9-10 matches on indoor red clay at Rimini, Italy.
Balotelli shines in AC Milan debut
Mario Balotelli marked his return to Serie A by scoring both goals — including the winner in added time — in AC Milan’s 2-1 win over visiting Udinese. Balotelli gave Milan the lead in the 25th minute by redirecting a cross from Stephen El Shaarawy. Then after Giampiero Pinzi had brought Udinese level in the 55th, Balotelli put Milan back in front with a penalty four minutes into injury time. ‘‘Balotelli is a first-rate star,’’ said Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, who orchestrated the Italy striker’s transfer from Manchester City . . . Lionel Messi extended his record streak by scoring in his 12th consecutive Spanish league game to give leader Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Valencia. Midfielder Ever Banega struck first for Valencia in the 33d minute, but Messi tied it from the penalty spot six minutes later . . . Liverpool did traditional rival Manchester United a huge favor in the Premier League, holding visiting Manchester City to a 2-2 draw to leave the champions 9 points behind their neighbors in the title race. Sergio Aguero’s 79th-minute equalizer earned City a scarcely deserved point that will be of little comfort to manager Roberto Mancini, whose team has now dropped 4 points in six days and is struggling to keep pace with United.
Texas regents meet over coaches
University of Texas regents discussed but took no action regarding recently disclosed cases of coaches’ inappropriate relationships with students. The regents held a special meeting by phone that was not open to the public and included only members of the regents, their legal staff, and system chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. The chancellor declined immediate comment when the two-hour-plus call ended. The regents scheduled the rare Sunday meeting on Friday after they learned that football offensive coordinator Major Applewhite had been disciplined by the school in 2009 for his conduct with a student during the Longhorns’ trip to the Fiesta Bowl. Athletic director DeLoss Dodds said the university’s legal office looked in the matter at the time and said Applewhite had been given appropriate punishment. His pay was frozen from Feb. 5, 2009 through Jan. 1, 2010. The revelation about Applewhite came almost a month after women’s track coach Bev Kearney resigned while under investigation for a 2002 relationship with an athlete in her program. In both cases, the university said the relationships between coaches and students were consensual.
Game on Dude wins at Santa Anita
Game On Dude overpowered three rivals to defend his title in the $200,000 San Antonio Stakes by 6½ lengths at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Game On Dude ran 1⅛ miles in 1 minute 47.53 seconds . . . Lavonne ‘‘Pepper’’ Paire-Davis, a star of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the movie ‘‘A League of Their Own,’’ has died. She was 88. Her son, William Davis, told the Associated Press that Paire-Davis died of natural causes in Los Angeles on Saturday. Paire-Davis was a model for the character played by Geena Davis and served as a consultant on the 1992 film . . . The New York Mets were closing in on a deal with righthander Brandon Lyon, a major league source told ESPNNewYork.com . . . The Columbus Blue Jackets placed defenseman Nikita Nikitin on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 29 and recalled defenseman Nick Holden from Springfield of the AHL.