Friday's Sports in Brief

Serena Williams is The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for the fourth time.

Williams nearly became the first tennis player in more than a quarter-century to complete the Grand Slam, winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, before losing in the U.S. Open semifinals.

In a vote by U.S. editors and news directors, Williams collected 50 first-place votes and 352 points. Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick in the final lifted the U.S. women's soccer team to the World Cup title, was next with 14 first-place votes and 243 points. UFC star Ronda Rousey finished third, one spot ahead of the woman she lost to last month, Holly Holm.

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Williams' selection was announced Friday. She also won the 2002, 2009 and 2013 AP awards.

The AP Male Athlete of the Year will be announced Saturday.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) The Malaysian government said it has accepted the withdrawal of two Israeli windsurfers from the ISAF world youth sailing championships.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told the Malay Mail Online website that Malaysia, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, ''is guided by the existing policy of the Malaysian government.''

In Jerusalem, the Israel Sailing Association said windsurfers Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan and coach Meir Yaniv would not attend the event that begins Sunday at Langkawi because they had not received visas.

Amir Gill, chairman of the Israel association, also told local media that Malaysia had placed ''unacceptable'' demands by forbidding athletes from carrying their country's flag or wearing any symbol on their attire and surfboards that showed their country of origin.