• SERENA WILLIAMS WINS WTA TITLE, ENDS YEAR NO. 3: ISTANBUL (AP) — Her year filled with titles and trophies over, Serena Williams can at last admit it: This was a title she had her eye on.
Not that any more evidence of her all-consuming, powerful game was needed, but Williams gave it anyway. She dismissed Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 Sunday to win the WTA Championships for the third time and finish the year with another title, but not the top ranking.
Williams ended the year with a 59-4 record and seven titles. Since her first-round loss at the French Open, she is 31-1, winning Wimbledon, the Olympic gold medal and the U.S. Open.
• DEL POTRO BEATS FEDERER TO WIN SWISS INDOORS TITLE: BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Juan Martin del Potro took Roger Federer’s Swiss Indoors title on Sunday, beating the hometown favorite 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3) in the final.
Del Potro showed an impressive all-around game to help avenge a heartbreaking loss to Federer in the Olympic semifinals at Wimbledon in August.
Federer, who won the event in five of the past six years, was seeking his 77th career title to tie John McEnroe at fourth on the Open Era list.
• ROGER FEDERER PULLS OUT OF PARIS MASTERS: BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Roger Federer pulled out of the Paris Masters on Sunday to rest for the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The indoor Paris tournament starts Monday. The top-ranked Swiss announced his withdrawal after losing a 2-hour, 44-minute final against Juan Martin del Potro at the Swiss Indoors.
In 2011, Federer won the Paris tournament for the first time at age 30 and took the London title the following week.
• SILVANO ALVES, ROBSON PALERMO DEFEND PBR TITLES: LAS VEGAS (AP) — Silvano Alves and Robson Palermo became the first Professional Bull Riders to successfully defend their world and event titles Sunday at the PBR World Finals.
Alves earned his second consecutive $1 million bonus for winning the season points championship and Palermo claimed his second straight $250,000 bonus as the winner of the six-round event at Thomas & Mack Center.
Alves, from Pilar Do Sul, Brazil, finished with a 659.25-point margin over Guillerme Marchi, from Leme, Brazil, for his second PBR season title. Marchi made a strong bid for the crown with an 83 on Blueberry Crush in the fifth round and a second-place 88.75 on Bootdaddy.com in the championship round.
Alves scored 87.5 on High Octane Hurricane in the fifth round and was bucked off Whitewater Trouble in 4.98 seconds in the championship round, both on Sunday. But Alves was still able to win his second title, as he tallied 12,201.25 season points compared to 11,542 for Marchi.
• DAVID FROST WINS AT&T CHAMPIONSHIP IN PLAYOFF: SAN ANTONIO (AP) — David Frost won the AT&T Championship on Sunday, beating Bernhard Langer with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff after overcoming a six-stroke deficit in the final round.
Frost and Langer each shot 6-under 66 to finish at 8-under 208 on TPC San Antonio’s Canyons Course.
“I wasn’t planning on this,” Frost said. “Only when I hit it close on 13 (to set up birdie) did I think that it was just Bernhard and I (with a chance to win).”
Second-round leader Mark Calcavecchia had a 74 to finish two strokes back. He bogeyed four of the first 11 holes.
• $3M FEES FOR WOODS, MCILROY AT CHINA EXHIBITION: SHANGHAI, China (AP) — Tiger Woods is expected to get a $2 million appearance fee and Rory McIlroy $1 million for their one-day exhibition match Monday in Zhengzhou, China.
The top-ranked McIlroy and Woods, a 14-time major winner, will play their first head-to-head match in an event without other competitors at Lake Jinsha International Golf Club.
The 18-hole medal-match has been dubbed the “Duel at Lake Jinsha.”
• SUZANN PETTERSEN WINS TAIWAN CHAMPIONSHIP: YANG MEI, Taiwan (AP) — Suzann Pettersen won the Taiwan Championship on Sunday for her second straight LPGA Tour victory, rallying to beat Inbee Park by three strokes.
Pettersen closed with a 3-under 69 in wind and drizzle on the at Sunrise course. The Norwegian finished with a 19-under 269 and earned $300,000 for her 10th LPGA Tour title.
• RANDY BERNARD STEPS DOWN AS INDYCAR CEO: Randy Bernard stepped down as CEO of IndyCar on Sunday, bringing an end to a three-year reign that was disrupted this season by several attempts by team owners to have him ousted as head of the series.
The decision was announced following an executive session conducted by teleconference Sunday by the 11-member Indianapolis Motor Speedway board of directors.
Jeff Belskus, the president of IMS and president and CEO of Hulman & Co., will step in as interim CEO of the IndyCar Series. Bernard, who has two years remaining on the contract he signed when he joined IndyCar in 2010, will stay on in an advisory position.
• ASTROS GET APOLOGY AFTER LOGO LEAK: HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros have received an apology from Major League Baseball Properties and MLB Advanced Media after products featuring their new logo were leaked this weekend.
The team is switching its uniforms and logo for the 2013 season, when it moves to the American League. The Astros have plans to unveil the new look at an event on Friday. But the new logo was seen on some products online this weekend. Also this weekend, a local sporting goods store displayed T-shirts with the new logo. They were quickly pulled.
The leaked products feature a white H over an orange star.
The joint statement from MLB properties and MLB Advanced Media on Sunday says in part: “We apologize to the Houston Astros and their great fans for the premature, online availability of officially-licensed product featuring the new Astros logo. It is an error that should have been caught and an error we regret.”
• FIS SET TO DISCUSS VONN’S WISH TO RACE AGAINST MEN: SOELDEN, Austria (AP) — The International Ski Federation will discuss Lindsey Vonn’s wish to compete in a men’s World Cup downhill race during a Nov. 3-4 meeting in Switzerland.
FIS communications manager Riikka Rakic told The Associated Press on Sunday that the federation has been asked by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to address the issue.
• LIGETY WINS WORLD CUP OPENING GS BY 2.75 SECONDS: SOELDEN, Austria (AP) — Ted Ligety took the season-opening men’s World Cup giant slalom on Sunday by the biggest winning margin since 1979.
In difficult conditions due to fog and snowfall, the American GS world champion won the race by 2.75 seconds ahead of Manfred Moelgg of Italy.
“It’s pretty phenomenal,” Ligety said. “I didn’t think this was possible. This is an unbelievable gap, a once-in-a-career margin.”
According to the International Ski Federation, the time difference between winner and runner-up in a World Cup GS has only been bigger six times before — all in the 1970s. Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark holds the record with a gap of 4.06 seconds.