Venus oldest woman to reach Aussie semis

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Venus Williams has become the oldest woman to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the Open era, returning to the last four at Melbourne Park for the first time in 14 years.

The 36-year-old Williams beat No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Tuesday, winning the last six points in the tiebreaker to seal her 50th career win at Melbourne Park.

She is into semifinals for the second time in three majors - after a six-year absence from the last four - and for the 21st time overall.

Brady-Ryan matchup highlights Super Bowl

A season that began with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension will end with him in the Super Bowl, where his New England Patriots will take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

While much of the attention between now and the NFL championship game on Feb. 5 in Houston will be focused on Brady vs. Ryan, the truly key matchup could be Atlanta's score-at-will offense, which produced the most points during the regular season, against the unheralded defense of New England, which allowed the fewest. (MORE)

Clippers' Griffin likely to play Tuesday

ATLANTA (AP) Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been ruled out for their game against the Atlanta Hawks as part of his recovery from right knee surgery.

Coach Doc Rivers says Griffin "most likely" will return Tuesday night when Los Angeles visits Philadelphia. Griffin, who is with the team in Atlanta, had an arthroscopic procedure on Dec. 20 to remove loose bodies from the knee. (MORE)

Smith has 32, NC State stuns No. 17 Duke

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. scored a season-high 32 points to help North Carolina State rally from 12 down late in the first half and stun No. 17 Duke 84-82 on Monday night.

Abdul-Malik Abu added 19 points for the Wolfpack (14-7, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who earned the program's first win at Duke's famously hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995. N.C. State ran off a 20-5 run to erase a 68-59 deficit in the final 6 1/2 minutes, then got one final stop when Jayson Tatum lost control of the ball before getting a shot off on Duke's final possession. (MORE)

Redskins name Cavanaugh OC, Manusky DC

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) The Washington Redskins turned to internal candidates to fill two critical vacancies, promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator.

Cavanaugh was the team's quarterbacks coach and Manusky its outside linebackers coach last season. The Redskins announced the promotions Monday along with the hires of Kevin O'Connell as quarterbacks coach and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach. (MORE)

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