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Patriots' Tom Brady selected NFL MVP

New England star wins his second honor when he's the first player to be selected by unanimous vote.

February 06, 2011|Staff and wire reports

Just as he has in some of his games, Tom Brady got a perfect rating for the season.

On Sunday, the New England Patriots quarterback became the first unanimous choice as the NFL's most valuable player since the Associated Press began using a nationwide panel of media members who cover the league.

It was Brady's second MVP award. His first came in 2007 — the year the Patriots went 16-0 — when Brady received 49 votes (one went to Brett Favre.)

"It is always flattering to be chosen for such a prestigious award," Brady told reporters. "But I also look at it as a team award, as nothing in football gets accomplished without the mental toughness and determination of every player and coach associated with that team.

"I am very humbled to be a part of an organization where winning comes first, and our goals are based around the success of the team."

— Sam Farmer


Wilson leads at Phoenix Open

Mark Wilson held a two-stroke lead in the final round of the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., when play was suspended because of darkness. Wilson broke a tie with Tommy Gainey with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-three 12th. Gainey three-putted for a bogey on the hole.

Wilson and Gainey were facing 20-foot birdie putts on the par-5 13th when they decided it was too dark to finish the hole. Wilson was 18 under par. Gainey was tied for second with Vijay Singh and Jason Dufner. Singh shot a 66; Dufner had four holes left.

The start Sunday was delayed 30 minutes because of frost. About nine hours of playing time has been lost to frost and frozen turf, forcing the Monday finish.

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark won the Qatar Masters at Doha, shooting a bogey-free three-under 69 to beat Alvaro Quiros of Spain by four shots. Bjorn finished at 14-under 279 and had three birdies in the final round, including one on No. 18 to wrap up his 11th European Tour title.

World No. 2 Martin Kaymer shot one-under 71 and finished at two under, tied for 28th place. He needed to finish at least second to overtake Lee Westwood for the top ranking.


Belgium beats U.S. in Fed Cup

Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters rallied to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-7 (10), 6-2, 6-1, and lead host Belgium to a 4-1 win over the United States and a place in the semifinals of the Fed Cup World Group.

After Clijsters gave Belgium an insurmountable advantage at Antwerp, Yanina Wickmayer defeated Melanie Oudin, 6-2, 6-0, for a 4-0 lead. The U.S. secured its only point when Liezel Huber and Vania King beat Kirsten Flipkens and An-Sophie Mestach, 6-3, 7-5, in doubles.

Belgium will host the Czech Republic in Charleroi on April 16-17 for a place in the final. Russia and Italy will meet in the other semifinal.

Spain's Tommy Robredo won his 10th ATP title, defeating Colombian Santiago Giraldo, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (5), in the final of the Movistar Open clay-court tournament at Santiago, Chile. … Home favorite Kevin Anderson rallied to win his first ATP title, beating Somdev Devvarman of India, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the SA Tennis Open final at Johannesburg, South Africa. … Ivan Dodig of Croatia won his first ATP title, beating Michael Berrer of Germany, 6-3, 6-4, before home fans at the Zagreb Indoors.


Forsberg signs with Avalanche

Former NHL most valuable player Peter Forsberg signed a $1-million contract prorated for the rest of the season with the Colorado Avalanche. He joined the team on its charter flight to Phoenix after practicing at the team facility and meeting with General Manager Greg Sherman to sign the deal.

Forsberg, 37, said he does not think he can play Monday against the Coyotes and is not sure when he can get into an NHL game again.

"There are a few issues that have to be straightened out first," he said. "I'd like to play, but I'm not sure how it's going to go. I'm here, I came here to try and it's going pretty good. I'd like to start playing and see if I'm good enough."

Forsberg was one of the NHL's best players in his prime, helping the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001. He won the Hart Trophy as the league MVP in 2003, when he led the NHL with 106 points in 75 games.

The Ducks assigned goaltender Timo Pielmeier to Elmira (N.Y.) of the ECHL.

Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany won a women's World Cup giant slalom race at Zwiesel, Germany, and World Cup leader Maria Riesch extended her lead on defending champion Lindsey Vonn.

Rebensburg had a comfortable lead after the first run and held on to earn her second career World Cup victory, clocking a combined time of 1 minute 36.96 seconds on the Arberg course. Federica Brignone of Italy earned her best career result in taking second in 1:37.49 and Kathrin Zettel of Austria was third in 1:37.85.

Riesch placed 11th, 1.56 seconds behind Rebensburg, her German teammate. Vonn finished 18th and trails Riesch by 156 points in the overall standings.

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