ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Serena Williams is returning to competition with an exhibition match Saturday in Abu Dhabi against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. SENT: 200 words, photo.
SOC--ITALY SPOTLIGHT-HOLIDAY GAMES
For a competition that has always held holidays as sacrosanct, Serie A is about to make a big break from tradition. Following the successful example of the English Premier League, the Italian league will play Serie A and Italian Cup matches during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. By Andrew Dampf. UPCOMING: 740 words moving shortly, photos.
SYDNEY — Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards was extremely pleased after the weather briefing for the Sydney to Hobart race that he's won eight times. SENT: 430 words, photo.
LONDON — Southampton forward Charlie Austin will miss three games after accepting a Football Association charge for violent conduct. SENT: 260 words, photos.
MUMBAI, India — India beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the third and final Twenty20 in Mumbai on Sunday to seal a 3-0 win in the series. SENT: 400 words, photos.
CRI--NEW ZEALAND-WEST INDIES-BEATON
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — West Indies right-arm fast bowler Ronsford Beaton will undergo testing for a possible illegal bowling action after being reported by match officials in New Zealand. SENT: 160 words.
VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minnesota — Two Minnesota sisters to compete in Olympic hockey, one for team USA the other for South Korea. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 980 words, photos, video.
YE--ATHLETES HELPING OUT
J.J. Watt was only one of many athletes who heeded the call for help when disasters struck in 2017. By Rob Maaddi. SENT: 790 words, photos.
NEW ORLEANS — Rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore corralled an unusual, momentum-turning interception off his back, New Orleans made two defensive stands from inside its 2-yard line, and the Saints clinched their first playoff berth since 2013 with a 23-13 victory over the rival Atlanta Falcons. SENT: 1,800 words, photos.
SAI--VOLVO OCEAN RACE
MELBOURNE, Australia — The Spanish-based MAPFRE team has become the first crew to win back-to-back stages in this year's Volvo Ocean Race by taking the third leg from Cape Town to Melbourne. SENT: 170 words.
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