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Sports in Brief: Nadal win sets modern record

Rafael Nadal became the first player in tennis's Open Era to win two tournaments seven times after beating David Ferrer, 7-6 (1), 7-5, in Sunday's Barcelona Open final in Spain.

Rafael Nadal

became the first player in tennis's Open Era to win two tournaments seven times after beating

David Ferrer

, 7-6 (1), 7-5, in Sunday's Barcelona Open final in Spain.

The second-ranked Nadal's 21st straight victory on clay followed up his eighth straight win in Monte Carlo.

Nadal took his 48th career win.

Second-ranked Maria Sharapova cruised past world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, 6-1, 6-4, to win the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany. It was her first title of the year.

The Russian won her 25th career title, an honor roll that also includes three Grand Slam championships.

SOCCER: West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson was unexpectedly approached by the Football Association about filling the England coaching vacancy, opening talks about the job barely a month before the European championships begin. In doing so, the FA overlooked Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who had been considered the favorite for the job since Fabio Capello quit in February. England's Euro 2012 opener is against France on June 11.

In the English Premier League, Fernando Torres got his first hat trick in more than 21/2 years to lead Chelsea to a 6-1 home win over Queens Park Rangers.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 57th goal of the season, Karim Benzema added a pair, and Real Madrid closed on its first Spanish league title in four years with a 3-0 victory over visiting Sevilla. But Barcelona prevented its rivals from clinching with 7-0 rout of Rayo Vallecano in Madrid, as Lionel Messi scored two goals. With four games left, Messi has 65 goals, two short of the European record set by Bayern Munich's Gerd Mueller in 1972-73.

CYCLING: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins won the six-day Tour de Romandie in Switzerland, after taking the race-ending individual time-trial stage.

The British rider overcame early mechanical trouble to finish in 28 minutes, 56 seconds for the 10.25-mile circuit around the ski resort of Crans-Montana.

Andrew Talansky of the United States was one second behind.

OLYMPICS: Sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar will be eligible to compete for Britain at the London Games after the country's lifetime Olympic ban for doping offenders was found to be unlawful by sports' top court.

A Court of Arbitration for Sport panel decided the British Olympic Association's bylaw violates the World Anti-Doping Agency code. Britain was the only country to enforce lifetime bans for dopers.

Almost 1.5 million tickets for the soccer tournament at the London Olympics will go on sale Monday. The sale of 1.4 million tickets originally was scheduled for mid-April but delayed by technical problems.

SAILING: A 37-foot racing yacht was reduced to debris that looked "like it had gone through a blender," a searcher said after the boat apparently collided with a larger vessel, killing three sailors and leaving a fourth missing.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the Mexican navy, and civilian vessels scoured the waters off the shore of both countries for the missing sailor from the Aegean, which was taking part in a 124-mile race from Newport Beach, Calif., to Ensenada, Mexico.

It was California's second deadly accident this month in an ocean race.

Officials had no explanation for what may have happened to the Aegean other than that it must have collided with a larger, ocean-going freighter or tanker that did not see the smaller vessel.

The deaths are the first fatalities in the race's 65 years.

- Staff and wire reports