MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal avoided the top player exodus that claimed two-time defending women’s champion Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN’-kuh) in the preceding match on center court with a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov in the Australian Open. That puts him in the semi-finals. No. 5-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska (ahg-nee-ESH’-kuh rahd-VAHN’-skuh) stopped Azarenka’s 18-match run with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 win earlier in the day. Radwanska next plays No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova while, Li Na, a two-time finalist in Australia, will play 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the other women’s semifinal.
NEW YORK (AP) — Several angry major league players wanted Alex Rodriguez kicked out of their union after he sued it last week, but staff lawyers told them expulsion was not allowed. The players spoke Jan. 13 during a Major League Baseball Players Association conference call after Rodriguez sued the union and Major League Baseball to overturn an arbitrator’s decision suspending him for the 2014 season and postseason. Details were first reported Tuesday by Yahoo Sports and later confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the call.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns apparently have renewed interest in Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine (PET’-ihn) after Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase told the Browns he wouldn’t interview for their head coaching job. A person familiar with the Browns’ plans tells The Associated Press the Browns conducted a second interview with Pettine last night after meeting with him last week. The Bills just finished second in the NFL with a franchise-record 57 sacks in their first season with Pettine running the defense.
UNDATED (AP) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL’) is concerned that extra-point kicks after touchdowns are getting too automatic, so he’s thinking about possible changes to add some excitement to the game. Goodell suggests perhaps making a touchdown worth seven points, with teams having the option to run a play for another point. But failing on that play would cost them a point.
DALLAS (AP) — A jury is deciding whether to convict former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent for a car accident that killed a teammate and close friend. The jury deliberated for about 3½ hours after lawyers delivered their closing arguments to a packed courtroom. Brent is on trial for intoxication manslaughter in the December 2012 death of Jerry Brown.