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Sunday, May 12, 2013 - Page updated at 10:00 p.m.

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova to meet with No. 1 ranking on the line | Tennis


Williams, Sharapova play for No. 1 ranking

American Serena Williams and Russian Maria Sharapova will play for the world No. 1 ranking and the Madrid Open title Sunday in Spain after winning semifinal matches in straight sets Saturday.

The top-ranked Williams, who has a chance to win her 50th singles title, beat Sara Errani of Italy 7-5, 6-2.

No. 2 Sharapova got her 500th victory at all levels by defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-3.

Sharapova has won all 10 sets she has played at this clay-court tournament, but the former No. 1 player has a 2-12 career record against Williams.

"I feel this whole tournament I have only played clay-court opponents," Williams said. "All have been smaller than me. Tomorrow will be a different game, more power."

Nadal extends streak

of reaching finals to 7

In the Madrid Open men's bracket, Rafael Nadal reached his seventh consecutive final since returning from a knee injury, brushing aside wild-card entry Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4 in a matchup of players from Spain.

Nadal can win his fifth title since coming back from a seven-month layoff.

"I couldn't have asked for a better run of results," Nadal said.

Nadal will face Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in Sunday's final. Wawrinka beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.


Raiders CEO resigns

Amy Trask, chief executive officer of the Oakland Raiders, resigned her position — ending the tenure of one of the highest-ranking women in American pro sports.

Trask spent 25 seasons with the Raiders, starting during their time in Los Angeles and continuing after the move to Oakland in 1995. She became CEO in 1997 and was one of late owner Al Davis' most trusted advisers before his death in October 2011.

"Earlier today, I informed Mark Davis of my decision to leave the Raiders," she said in an email statement. "Having honored a commitment that I made to effectuate a smooth transition and transfer of control, I no longer wish to remain with the organization."

Mark Davis took over the Raiders after his father's death.

Ryan to call defenses

Rex Ryan is going back to his roots.

The New York Jets coach said he will control the play-calling on defense, as he did during his first two seasons with the team. Ryan, a defensive coordinator in Baltimore before being hired as coach in New York, left most of those duties to Mike Pettine the last two years.

"I just think for me, and really the football team, in our situation, we're better served if I'm on the defensive side and making sure we've got the rules set and the way I see them set," Ryan said.

Dennis Thurman replaced Pettine as the team's defensive coordinator when Pettine took the same role with Buffalo this offseason. Ryan insisted his increased role on defense is not a reflection on Thurman, a longtime assistant.

Butler dies at 85

Hall of Famer Jack Butler, who was a Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback, died after a lengthy battle with a staph infection. He was 85.

Butler led the league with 10 interceptions in 1957 and was voted to the All-NFL first team three times before a knee injury in 1959 ended his career.


• Movistar rider Alex Dowsett of Britain won the eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, an individual time trial from Gabicce Mare to Saltara, and Italian Vincenzo Nibali of the Astana team took the overall lead after finishing fourth. The race ends May 26 in Brescia, Italy.

Mylute, fifth in the May 4 Kentucky Derby won by Orb, is expected to run in the May 18 Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore. Rosie Napravnik, who started her career at Pimlico in 2005, retains the mount on Mylute.

• The U.S. team beat France 4-2 in the preliminary round of the men's hockey world championships in Finland.

Kristy Curry has been hired as women's basketball coach at Alabama.

She had a 130-98 record in seven seasons at Texas Tech.

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