• MARTIN WINS LIEGE-BASTOGNE-LIEGE CLASSIC: BRUSSELS (AP) — Daniel Martin of Ireland won the hilly Liege-Bastogne-Liege race Sunday, pulling away from Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez in the uphill stretch to the finish to take cycling’s oldest classic.
Martin made sure he wouldn’t be beaten by Rodriguez’s sprint and made his move at the right moment with such a strong kick he had time to look back and celebrate by waving arms before crossing the line.
Alejandro Valverde, another Spaniard, beat the other members of a breakaway group to take third place.
It was a team victory for Garmin-Sharp after Canadian Ryder Hesjedal had set a stifling pace to keep the breakaway group of six out of the clutches of the chasing group.
At 26, this was the biggest victory of Martin’s career, capping a sterling spring season in which he also won the Tour of Catalonia and finished fourth in last Wednesday’s Walloon Arrow.
• SERENA, VENUS LEAD UNITED STATES TO FED CUP WIN: DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Venus Williams needed eight match points in the final game to beat Johanna Larsson 6-3, 7-5 and give the U.S. an insurmountable 3-1 lead against Sweden in the Fed Cup World Group Playoff.
It marked the first time that the 21st ranked Venus Williams, a former No. 1, has clinched a Fed Cup tie for the U.S. in 10 ties played.
Earlier Sunday, world No. 1 Serena Williams boosted the U.S. to a 2-1 lead when she posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over 54th-ranked Sofia Arvidsson.
U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez made a last minute substitution putting in Venus Williams for the 16th-ranked Stephens in the fourth match.
• DJOKOVIC BEATS NADAL TO WIN MONTE CARLO MASTERS: MONACO (AP) — Novak Djokovic ended Rafael Nadal’s winning streak at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday, beating the eight-time defending champion 6-2, 7-6 (1) in the final.
Nadal won his 46 previous matches at Monte Carlo, including a victory over Djokovic in last year’s final. The Spaniard’s last defeat in this event was against Guillermo Coria 10 years ago.
• MCDOWELL WINS IN PLAYOFF AT RBC HERITAGE: HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — For all the big moments in Graeme McDowell’s career, his resume was short on PGA Tour victories.
McDowell relished what he called his first authentic tour win, defeating fellow U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson in a playoff at the RBC Heritage on Sunday.
McDowell’s been at the center of some of golf’s biggest moments, from his rousing triumph at Pebble Beach in 2010 to capturing the winning point for Europe in that year’s Ryder Cup matches. He has six European PGA victories, too, but he hadn’t triumphed in the weekly grind of the world’s top tour.
He rallied from four strokes down when the day began to take a one-shot lead into the 72nd hole. Then after he made his only bogey of the round to fall into tie with Simpson, two-putted from about 15 feet to make a par on the extra hole that Simpson couldn’t match.
• LANGER KEEPS ROLLING WITH WIN IN GREATER GWINNETT: DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Bernhard Langer, a three-time Champions Tour player of the year, said he’s never had a better start to a season.
Langer relied on his short game to bail him out of trouble early and he added to his impressive start to the season by shooting a 67 to win the inaugural Greater Gwinnett Championship by three strokes Sunday.
He had six birdies for his fifth top-three finish in six events. He also won the Ace Group Classic in Naples, Fla., and was the tour’s points leader even before his successful three days at TPC Sugarloaf.
• SUZANN PETTERSEN WINS LPGA EVENT IN HAWAII: KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — Suzann Pettersen won the LPGA Lotte Championship on Saturday, beating Lizette Salas with a par on the first hole of a playoff after Salas chunked her approach shot into the water.
Pettersen, the leader after the second and third rounds at Ko Olina, bogeyed the final hole of regulation to set up the playoff on the par-4 18th. The 32-year-old Norwegian closed with a 5-under 67, and Salas had a tournament-record 62 to finish at 19-under 269.
Salas had a double bogey on the playoff hole. She played a nine-hole stretch in 9 under, birdieing Nos. 8-9, holing out from 169 yards with a 6-iron for eagle on the par-4 10th and adding birdies on Nos. 12-16.
• OLYMPIC CHAMP BROWNLEE WINS IN SAN DIEGO: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee of Britain won the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego on Saturday at Mission Beach, and Matt Chrabot finished 14th overall to earn his second career USA Triathlon Elite National Championships title.
Brownlee completed the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run in 1 hour, 47:16 seconds. South Africa’s Richard Murray was second in 1:47:38, and Portugal’s Joao Silva followed in 1:47:52.
• ORACLE, LUNA ROSSA TAKE SAILING TITLES IN NAPLES: NAPLES, Italy (AP) — Oracle Team USA won the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series overall championship Sunday. Italy’s Luna Rossa took the Naples series for the second consecutive year.
Tom Slingsby’s Oracle boat came from behind to edge Luna Rossa Swordfish in the match racing final before Francesco Bruni staged a comeback for the Italians. Swordfish passed Oracle on the final downwind leg of the final fleet race for a 33-second victory.
The Naples leg of the World Series was the last before the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers begins July 4 off San Francisco.
The America’s Cup starts off San Francisco on Sept. 7.
• HENDERSON RETAINS CROWN WITH SPLIT DECISION: SAN JOSE (AP) — Benson Henderson kept his UFC lightweight crown, outpointing Gilbert Melendez with a split decision Saturday night in a fight that lived up to its promise.
Both fighters raised their fists in triumph and pointed to the crowd as the final bell sounded.
When the decision was announced, the crowd roared its disapproval. The fight was that close.
Henderson has won all seven of his UFC bouts and is 19-2 overall, while Melendez, the top challenger, showed he deserves another chance at the title despite making his UFC debut. He’s 21-3 overall.
• KEBEDE WINS LONDON MARATHON AMID TIGHT SECURITY: LONDON (AP) — They crossed the line in front of Buckingham Palace with black ribbons on their chests and the Boston Marathon victims on their minds.
Six days after bombs exploded near the Boston finish line, the London Marathon sent out a powerful message of solidarity with the U.S. city and its victims Sunday and put the spotlight back on the sport and away from terrorist fears.
The men’s race began with a poignant 30-second period of silence to remember Boston’s dead and injured and ended with a thrilling finish.
Under clear blue skies, Tsegaye Kebede chased down Emmanuel Mutai in the closing stages and overtook the tiring Kenyan to secure a second London title on The Mall in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 4 seconds, while compatriot Ayele Abshero was third.