Rafael Nadal defeated Nicolas Almagro, 6-4, 6-3 to win the Barcelona Open… (Toni Albir / EPA )
Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona Open for the eighth time Sunday, defeating Nicolas Almagro, 6-4, 6-3, in Spain for his fourth title of the year.
This latest victory, with next month's French Open approaching, is a promising sign that Nadal is getting back to full strength from a knee injury that sidelined him since last summer
"I am very happy," he said. "It has been an important week for me to win here again and a great source of joy after everything I have been through."
Nadal has made six straight finals since returning from his knee injury. This title, the 54th of his career, comes one week after his eight-year reign at Monte Carlo ended with a loss to top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
Maria Sharapova beat Li Na, 6-4, 6-3, to successfully defend her WTA Porsche Grand Prix title at Stuttgart, Germany, in a final between the last two French Open champions.
The top-seeded Russian swept to her second title of the year after winning at Indian Wells. She became the first player to retain the Stuttgart title since Lindsey Davenport in 2005.
UCLA freshman Kyle McPhillips defeated Stanford freshman Krista Hardebeck, 6-1, 6-0, in the women's singles final of the Ojai Pac-12 Conference tournament, the most lopsided victory ever in the women's final.
In the women's open final, Noelle Hickey beat Ashley Harkleroad, 0-6, 6-3, 6-1. Mackenzie McDonald won the men's open title by defeating Lester Cook, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-1.
Horschel gets first PGA Tour victory
Billy Horschel shot an eight-under-par 64 in the final round of the Zurich Classic at Avondale, La., maintaining his composure through two weather delays for his first- PGA Tour victory.
Inbee Park shot a bogey-free four-under 67 to win the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout at Irving by a stroke over Carlota Ciganda, whose chance for a first LPGA victory was wiped out in a two-hole stretch.
After finishing second twice, Jeff Sluman finally won the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf with a new teammate.
Sluman, a two-time runner-up with Craig Stadler at the Champions Tour's team event, partnered with Brad Faxon for a one-stroke victory at Savannah, Ga.
UC Irvine received an at-large bid and will join Brigham Young, Loyola of Chicago and Penn State in the NCAA men's volleyball semifinals, which will be held at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday. The final will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Pauley and televised on ESPNU.
The defending national champion and second-seeded Anteaters (23-7), making their fifth NCAA final four appearance, will play third-seeded Loyola (22-9), making its first appearance, at 6 p.m. Thursday. Top-seeded Brigham Young (25-4), also making its fifth appearance, will face fourth-seeded Penn State (23-7), in its 28th appearance in the final four at 8 p.m., in the second semifinal.
Miami guard Shane Larkin said he will forgo his final two years of college eligibility and make himself available for the NBA draft.
Larkin averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 assists last season for the Hurricanes, who won 29 games.
The Big Ten says it is going to an East and West alignment for divisions and a nine-game schedule format for conference play in football.
Big Ten presidents and chancellors approved the moves Sunday.
The new division alignments will begin in 2014 when Rutgers and Maryland join the conference, meaning "Legends" and "Leaders" will be a thing of the past. Teams will go from playing eight conference games to nine in 2016.
Cruz Pedregon became the first two-time funny car winner this year in the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Baytown, Texas.
The two-time funny car series champion beat Tim Wilkerson and moved into the series points lead ahead of Matt Hagan, who lost in the first round.
Bob Vandergriff Jr. won in top fuel, holding off Shawn Langdon in the final round. Jason Line won pro stock and Hector Arana Jr. was victorious in pro stock motorcycle.