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Sports briefs

TENNISVenus reaches Key Biscayne final

Venus Williams' longest winning streak since 2004 has advanced her to the final of the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne, Fla. Williams won her 15th consecutive match yesterday by beating Marion Bartoli in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-4.

Building on the momentum of his upset win Tuesday over top-ranked Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych advanced to the men's semifinals by beating Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Robin Soderling won his quarterfinal over Mikhail Youzny, 6-1, 6-4.


Thorpe surrenders in tax case

Jim Thorpe, who won two senior tour events on Long Island, surrendered to authorities at the Federal Prison Camp at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., yesterday to begin serving a one-year term for failure to file income tax returns and completely pay his taxes from 2002-2004. Thorpe, 61, won the Long Island Classic in 2003 the following 2004 Commerce Bank Classic.

Pettersen leads at Nabisco

Suzann Pettersen shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage, Calif., to take a one-stroke lead over former champion Lorena Ochoa in the first women's major of the season . . . Kevin Stadler and Cameron Percy shot 5-under 67s to share the first-round lead in the Houston Open.


Phils' Blanton on 15-day DL

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a mild left oblique strain. Blanton could be out three to six weeks.


MLS can add high-priced stars

Hoping to spark interest by adding high-priced stars, Major League Soccer will allow each team to sign at least two "designated players" whose salaries can significantly exceed the salary budget. Barcelona's Thierry Henry and Real Madrid's Raul Gonzalez are among the players MLS is thought to be interested in adding during the summer, possibly for the New York Red Bulls.

POLICEBrowns' Rogers arrested

Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers was arrested at Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport for carrying a loaded .45 caliber gun in his carry-on luggage. Rogers was stopped at a security checkpoint when screeners spotted the gun, police said in a statement. He was arrested without incident and was booked for carrying a concealed weapon, a third-degree felony. - AP

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