ROME (AP):Andy Murray celebrated his 29th birthday by beating Novak Djokovic on clay for the first time to win the Italian Open title yesterday in a match that Djokovic argued should have been stopped due to rain.Gaining a measure of revenge for his loss to Djokovic in the Madrid Open final a week ago, the third-ranked Murray defeated the top-ranked Serb 6-3, 6-3.”The finals of a Masters series on clay is something that’s a new experience for me,” Murray said. “It’s nice to still be sort of achieving new things and reaching new goals at this stage of my career.”During the trophy ceremony, Murray was presented with a birthday cake. He dedicated the title to his three-month-old daughter, Sophia Olivia.”I feel like that’s what I’m playing for now, so that in a few years, hopefully, she can be proud of what I have achieved,” Murray said.NINE-MONTH TITLE DROUGHTEarlier, Serena Williams ended a nine-month title drought with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Madison Keys in an all-American women’s final.Williams’ previous title came in Cincinnati in August a month before her attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam ended with a semi-final loss to Roberta Vinci at the U.S. Open.”It feels great,” Williams said, pointing out that she’s only played four tournaments since Cincinnati. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. That’s kind of how I look at it, but it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”It’s Murray’s first title in Rome and it comes exactly a week before the French Open begins.”The last couple of years, clay has probably been my most successful surface, which I never expected,” Murray said.The only other British man to win the Italian Open was Pat Hughes in 1931.”It’s mostly great players who have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said.Djokovic had won all four of their previous matches on clay, but had to fight fatigue following draining wins over Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori.Djokovic also played with a bandage on his left ankle after bruising himself with his racket a day earlier.”It was a week with a lot of emotions, a lot of hours on the court,” Djokovic said. “It wasn’t easy to be fresh today and have the strength to play with Andy. He was just too good today, and he deserved it.”For much of the men’s final, steady rain fell and fans covered themselves with ponchos and held up umbrellas to keep themselves dry.Djokovic argued several times with chair umpire Damian Steiner over the court conditions, saying it was too slippery.”I don’t want to play anymore,” Djokovic told the umpire late in the second set.”I didn’t ask to postpone the match,” Djokovic explained later. “I asked to have a little break, where we would give a little more time, maybe five more minutes, to people to arrange the court.”For Williams, it was her fourth title in Rome, which puts her in position to defend her title at Roland Garros.”I’m feeling pretty fit, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Williams, who won’t have to answer any questions about a potential calendar-year Grand Slam in Paris this year. “I’m going to definitely go in there and feel more calm and (not) feel stress to have to win.”Williams addressed the crowd in Italian during the post-match ceremony then took a selfie as she posed with the trophy.It was the first time two American women would have met in a final on clay since Serena beat older sister, Venus, in the 2002 French Open.When they met at the net after the match, Serena told the 24th-ranked Keys that she could be No. 1 one day.”Too bad what she says doesn’t just happen,” the 21-year-old Keys said. “But it’s always great to hear that from her. … Hearing that is definitely something that makes me just work harder.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “I’ve also said I’ll always review the facts and compare them to the law before I announce my decision,” she said outside court Friday. Lashuan Harris’ lawyer, Teresa Caffese, refused to address questions about Harris’ mental state, saying only that her client was under suicide watch. She’s being held without bail. “It’s very, very difficult,” Caffese said. “This can’t be captured in words right now.” Authorities said Lashuan Harris, a former nurse’s assistant who was living in a homeless shelter, was seen putting her three boys in the bay Wednesday. The body of Harris’ middle son, Taronta Greeley, 2, was recovered late Wednesday about two miles from Pier 7. The other two – Treyshun Harris, 6, and Joshoa Greeley, 16 months – remained missing, but were presumed dead after so many hours in the water. The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search Thursday afternoon, but the San Francisco police and fire departments continue to scour the bay for the two bodies. Lashuan Harris’ next court hearing was scheduled for next Friday. She told investigators that she had stopped taking the antipsychotic drug Haldol once she got her schizophrenia symptoms under control over the summer, but the voices returned Tuesday night and were with her when she dropped her children into the water, according to police information obtained by The Associated Press. Family members said Lashuan Harris had made threats before. An aunt told the San Francisco Chronicle that the threats had prompted the woman’s mother to contact authorities, but others said they didn’t think Harris would actually kill her children. “She told my mama she was going to feed them to the sharks,” said Britney Fitzpatrick, Harris’ 16-year-old half sister. “No one thought it was that serious.” Demarcus Harris, Lashuan Harris’ cousin, said the last time he saw her was Tuesday at his sister’s house in Oakland, and the boys were with her. When his cousin left, she said goodbye and “I’m going to miss y’all.” He said neither he nor his sister suspected what she would do the next day. “We all thought she was just going home,” he said. Lashuan Harris was hospitalized in January at the John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro and her mother was briefly granted custody of the boys, according to her older sister, Telicia Harris, 26. Alameda County social service workers concluded after the first hospital stay that Lashuan Harris was fit to care for her sons, Telicia Harris said. Lashuan Harris’ aunt, Joyce Harris, told the Chronicle for Friday’s editions that Lashuan’s mother had contacted social services officials about three months ago to seek partial custody of the children. She made the request because Harris had stopped taking medication and had made threats regarding the boys, the paper reported. “They said she was sane, that they couldn’t do anything,” Joyce Harris told the newspaper. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – The woman seen dropping her young sons into San Francisco Bay pleaded not guilty Friday to three counts of murder. Lashuan Harris, described as mentally ill by family members, kept her head down and held her public defender’s hand through most of the brief court hearing. She quietly answered “yes” when the San Francisco Superior Court judge asked whether she was willing to waive her right to a speedy preliminary hearing. Harris, 23, faces three counts of murder with special circumstances, making her eligible for the death penalty. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said she hasn’t yet ruled out seeking a death sentence.