Women's final on top
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Top-seed Victoria Azarenka will be trying to make it two straight Australian Open women's titles. Azarenka takes the court against Li Na in the championship match early Saturday morning U.S. time. Azarenka holds a 5-4 edge in her head-to-head match-up with the sixth-seeded Li and has won their last four matches.
Li hasn't dropped a set in her six tournament wins, including a 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of Maria Sharapova in the semifinals.
Azarenka has only lost one set. She defeated Sloan Stephens 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals, but needed six match points and a 10-minute injury time out in the final set after failing to convert the first five.
Also on Saturday, American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan will play in their fifth consecutive Australian Open doubles final and attempt to win their record 13th Grand Slam doubles championship.
Venus Williams to miss playing time
PARIS (AP) — Venus Williams has pulled out of next week's Open GDF Suez tournament and the upcoming Fed Cup against Italy because of a back injury. Williams lost in straight sets to Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Australian Open.
A-Rod could miss whole season
NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says it's possible third baseman Alex Rodriguez could miss the entire season while recovering from hip surgery.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez had surgery on his left hip last week. The team said the rehabilitation time was expected to be six months, which would sideline the star slugger until the All-Star break.
But, Cashman says there is no guarantee that Rodriguez will be able to play this year.
PGA-FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN
Tiger on top
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tiger Woods fired a 7-under 65 to grab the clubhouse lead in the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open. He stands at 11-under par. That gives him a three-shot lead over seven others including Steve Marino, Casey Wittenberg and Canada's Brad Fritsch.
Rubio sorry for outburst
WASHINGTON (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio says he has apologized to acting coach Terry Porter for an outburst over the team's loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Rubio was upset that he sat out the final minutes of the Timberwolves' 91-83 loss Wednesday night. He was especially agitated after he went to check into the game around the 4-minute mark but was called back to the bench when Porter decided to keep J.J. Barea in the game.
Rubio is on a strict limit of 28 minutes per game since returning last month from reconstructive left knee surgery. He had 4 minutes left on his allotment against the Nets, but Barea hit a 3-pointer while Rubio was waiting at the scorer's table.
Rubio said once he cooled down he understood Porter's decision.
Grizz to face Nets
UNDATED (AP) — Two of the better teams in the NBA are meeting tonight in Memphis as the Grizzlies entertain the Nets. Visiting Brooklyn comes in with a record of 26-16, good for second place in the Atlantic Division, while the Grizzlies are 27-14, lodged in second place in the Southwest Division.
Golden State and Chicago are enjoying good seasons. The Warriors are 26-15 and are 4 ½ games back of the Clippers in the Pacific Division. The Bulls top the Central by percentage points over Indiana with a record of 25-16.
San Antonio has the longest winning streak in the NBA these days with six straight victories. Tonight the Spurs are on the road in Dallas to meet the Mavericks.
On the other side of the coin Boston has the longest losing streak right now. The Celtics have dropped their last five in a row and tonight are facing the Hawks in Atlanta.
The rest of the card has Minnesota playing in Washington, the Cavaliers home to Milwaukee, Detroit playing in Miami, the soon to be New Orleans Pelicans at home to Houston, Oklahoma City at Sacramento and Utah in L.A. for a game with the Lakers.
By the way, if you are not familiar with the Pelican's, that's the newly chosen nickname of the Hornets. It's believed the league will approve the change in time for next season.
Deja vu for the Sabres and Hurricanes
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL schedule tonight consists of seven games. In Boston, the Bruins are facing off with the Islanders. This is the first of three meetings this season.
In Buffalo, the Sabres have a date with Carolina. This is the second of a back-to-back, home-and-home set for the teams; the Hurricanes won 6-3 at home on Thursday. Last season, the clubs were evenly matched over four games, each winning twice.
Washington is still looking for its first win of the season, and tonight the Capitals are at New Jersey. The Caps are the only winless team in the Eastern Conference.
Ottawa's Senators are on the road for a game at Tampa Bay. The 3-0-0 Sens swept the season series last year from the Lightning, outscoring them 19-6.
Wrapping things up, Detroit is home to Minnesota, Winnipeg is playing host to Pittsburgh and Vancouver is at Anaheim in the Ducks home opener.
Veteran winger signs with Philly
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Flyers have signed 40-year old right wing Mike Knuble (kuh-NOO'-bul) to a one-year contract. He returns to the Flyers after spending the past three seasons with the Washington Capitals. Knuble played for the Flyers for four seasons, between 2005 and 2009, after signing as a free agent. He appeared in 310 games for Philadelphia, recording 114 goals and 221 points.
FOR SALE: MIRACLE ON ICE
Buy a piece of sports history
NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Eruzione (eh-roo-zee-OH'-nee) is putting his jersey, stick and other Olympic paraphernalia up for sale. The 58-year old who scored the winning goal against the Russians in the Lake Placid Olympics, says he is selling the objects to raise money for his children and grandson. The auction will take place in New York on Feb. 23, the day after the historic win over the Russians. The U.S. went on to win the gold with a win over Finland.
The white jersey alone is expected to fetch more than $1 million, but sports memorabilia experts think it could go considerably higher.
WOMEN'S HOCKEY-MINNESOTA-NCAA RECORDS
Records on ice
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The top-ranked Minnesota women's hockey team has beat Wisconsin 2-0, extending its NCAA-record winning streak to 33 and grabbing sole possession of the NCAA mark for consecutive games without a loss or tie.
Minnesota's streak began on Feb. 18, 2012, with a 5-2 win over North Dakota in the final regular season game of the year. The Gophers had shared the unbeaten streak of 32 games with Wisconsin, which did it twice: 28-0-4 from Nov. 25 to Oct. 14, 2007, and 30-0-2 from Dec. 4, 2010, to Oct. 14, 2011.