Wednesday's Sports in Brief


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Serena Williams is one win away from another Grand Slam milestone after beating Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 6-4 in an Australian Open semifinal that was almost a non-contest between the players who'll be Nos. 1 and 3 in the next women's rankings.

If Williams wins Saturday's final against seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber, she'll equal Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slam singles title, a record in the Open era, and the second-most in history behind Margaret Court's 24.

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Williams continued her perfect streak in Australian Open semifinals, and she has won all six finals she's contested at Melbourne Park.

Kerber ended Sydney-born British player Johanna Konta's surprising run with a 7-5, 6-2 semifinal win to reach her first Grand Slam final. Konta was the first British woman since 1983 to reach a major semifinal.

Williams has won 39 of her last 40 Grand Slam matches across six major tournaments.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens will lead the U.S. Fed Cup team against Poland next month - but Williams' sister Serena is not on the roster.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced captain Mary Joe Fernandez's picks.

CoCo Vandeweghe and doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands are also on the team that will play Poland on Feb. 6-7 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The Poland-U.S. winner will advance to the World Group playoffs for a chance to move back into the competition's top tier in 2017.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin will miss the NHL All-Star Game because of a lingering lower-body injury.

Washington coach Barry Trotz said Ovechkin has been dealing with the injury since mid-November. After a 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Trotz called pulling Ovechkin a ''long-term'' organizational decision with the Stanley Cup in mind.

By rule, Ovechkin must miss the Caps' first game after the All-Star break, Tuesday against Florida.

Ovechkin had been voted Metropolitan Division captain by fans for the NHL's new 3-on-3 tournament. His replacement was not immediately announced.


NEW YORK (AP) - Just three games in and Tyronn Lue is already an All-Star coach.

The new Cleveland coach will lead the Eastern Conference at next month's NBA All-Star Game, clinching the spot following the Cavaliers' 115-93 victory over Phoenix.

The coaches for the Feb. 14 game in Toronto are determined by the teams with the best record in each conference two weeks before the game.

Lue is 2-1 since replacing David Blatt, who was fired despite the Cavaliers leading the East with a 30-11 record. Their 32-12 mark guarantees they will have the best winning percentage in the conference through Sunday.

San Antonio's Gregg Popovich will lead the West. Golden State has a better record, but Steve Kerr is ineligible after coaching last year.


WAHIAWA, Hawaii (AP) - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was selected with the first pick in the Pro Bowl Draft.

Wilson was chosen by Michael Irvin, who is serving as a Pro Bowl legend captain opposite fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Rice for Sunday's all-star game.

Rice took New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning with his first pick, the second overall in the draft.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones went with the third choice to Team Irvin, and Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack was drafted by Team Rice with the fourth pick.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday at Aloha Stadium.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Packers coach Mike McCarthy pulled out of his Pro Bowl coaching assignment, saying doctors have advised him not to travel as he battles a stomach illness.

The Packers said associate head coach Winston Moss will handle head-coaching responsibilities at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu this week, including Sunday's game.

Green Bay's staff will coach one team and the staff of the Kansas City Chiefs will be on the other sideline.

NEW YORK (AP) - Eighth-year referee Clete Blakeman will work his first Super Bowl on Feb. 7 when the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos at Santa Clara, California.

The NFL announced that Blakeman will handle his sixth postseason game. He refereed Green Bay-Arizona in the divisional round, when he needed to redo the coin toss for overtime when the coin didn't flip.


CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Bulls expect forward Nikola Mirotic to be sidelined until after the All-Star break following surgery to remove his appendix. The 6-foot-10 Mirotic figures to miss at least eight games.


DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Louis Oosthuizen made another fast start to his first tournament of the year, shooting a 7-under 65 in the first round of the Qatar Masters to share the lead with Pablo Larrazabal.

The 2010 British Open champion has won his first event of the calendar year in four of the last five years, and is in a good position already in Qatar after rolling in seven birdies in a bogey-free round.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Paul Azinger has been selected as the lead golf analyst for Fox Sports as it enters the second year of televising the U.S. Open and other USGA championships.

Fox confirmed that Azinger is replacing Greg Norman.


Olympic and world giant slalom champion Ted Ligety flew past a gate in a training session when he suddenly spun around and landed hard on his side.

Ligety used Facebook and Instagram to reveal he tore the ACL in his right knee during his training mishap in Oberjoch, Germany. The 31-year-old from Utah also posted video of the wipeout.

The U.S. Ski Team said in a release only that Ligety suffered a knee injury and will head home to be evaluated by medical director Kyle Wilkens.

Ligety raced last season with four screws after breaking his left wrist in a training accident.


CARSON, Calif. (AP) - Ashley Cole is off to California to join Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane among the stars in the LA Galaxy.

The longtime England defender was acquired by the Galaxy, becoming the latest European veteran to join the five-time Major League Soccer champions.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena expects the 35-year-old Cole to begin training next week. Cole also must formalize a work permit before suiting up for the Galaxy, who expect him to be a major component of their rebuilt back line.


BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) - Javier Fernandez of Spain took a huge step toward a fourth straight European title by winning the men's short program, the opening day of the European figure skating championships.

Skating to ''Malaguena'' performed by Paco de Lucia and Placido Domingo, Fernandez's opening quad-triple combination was not perfect, but the following quad salchow was.

For his impressive performance, Fernandez earned 102.54 points - the highest short program score ever at a European championships. It gave him a convincing lead of more than 14 points and improved his personal best of 96.42 by more than six points.