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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Venus returns

PARIS - Former world No.1 Venus Williams has returned to the top 20 in the latest WTA rankings published on Monday that sees her sister Serena stay on top ahead of Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. Venus, 32, climbed to 20th spot, despite not winning more points, as Germany's Julia Goerges dropped to 24th. In other movements, former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic, of Serbia, rose three places to 21st after winning the Bogota Open on Sunday -- her first victory since 2010 and the 13th of her career. In the top 10, Czech player Petra Kvitova jumped to seventh after her victory in Dubai.

Nishikori moves

PARIS - Japan's Kei Nishikori jumped six places to 16th in the world in the latest ATP rankings published yesterday while the top 10 is unchanged with Novak Djokovic on top. Marinko Matosevic is Australia's top-ranked player improving 14 places to No.39 while compatriot Bernard Tomic moved one place up to 45. A devastated Matosevic on Saturday was forced to retire injured in his semi-final against Nishikori at the US Indoor Tennis Championships in Tennessee. Nishikori rose from 22nd thanks to his 6-2 6-3 victory against Feliciano Lopez in the final of the US Indoors.

Fan killed

SAO PAULO, Brazil - A Corinthians teenage fan has confessed to causing the flare death of a 14-year-old during the Sao Paulo side's Libertadores Cup game in Bolivia last week. In an interview aired on Brazil's Globo TV late Sunday, the 17-year-old took responsibility for the death of 14-year-old Kevin Espada during Wednesday's 1-1 draw between Corinthians and San Jose in the Bolivian city of Oruro. In the wake of the incident, Bolivian police detained 12 other Corinthians fans.

Napoli held

MILAN - Udinese held challengers Napoli to a scoreless draw on Monday to leave leaders Juventus with a six-point cushion at the top of Serie A. Napoli had hoped to capitalise on the extra day's rest after their Europa League exit at the hands of Czech side Viktoria Plzen last Thursday to close the gap to four points. However Walter Mazzarri's title challengers were left lamenting several missed chances on their way to dropping two points and boosting both Juve and third-placed AC Milan, who are now only seven points adrift.

Herbert resigns

WELLINGTON - Ricki Herbert is poised to announce his resignation as Wellington Phoenix coach according to a media report. RadioLIVE says Herbert will stand down on Tuesday, ending a six-year tenure. The 51-year-old won't lead the club, currently bottom of the league, in their A-League home match against Newcastle Jets on Wednesday. The report said assistant coach Chris Greenacre will take charge of the side for the remainder of the season.

Fisher signs

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - Derek Fisher, who won five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, has signed a contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the club announced on Monday. The 38-year-old Fisher played nine games for the Dallas Mavericks earlier this season before being released in December. He also had a previous stint with the Thunder playing 40 games last year after signing as a free agent in March.

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