Texas coaches keep Clemens as speaker

Roger Clemens remains welcome to speak at a convention of Texas high school baseball coaches who earlier reconsidered their invitation after allegations of steroid use in the Mitchell Report.

The Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association said Monday that despite the report's allegations, the group found no reason to not let Clemens speak at its annual meeting next month.

"He still wants to come," said Jim Long , the group's president. "He said he intends on speaking."

Clemens had been scheduled for the past eight months to talk about pitching and what he did on a daily basis that kept him in shape during his long career.


Serena gives U.S. win at Hopman Cup

In Perth, Australia, Serena Williams began preparations for her Australian Open title defense with a 6-0, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Lucie Safarova at the Hopman Cup mixed teams tournament.

Williams' win was all the United States needed to beat the Czech Republic. Tomas Berdych , suffering from a stomach virus, had to retire from the mixed doubles match with Williams and Mardy Fish leading 6-0. Fish then won the men's singles match by walkover when Berdych was too ill to play.

- In Auckland, New Zealand, Lindsay Davenport got off to a good start in her first tune-up for the Australian Open, beating fellow American Laura Granville 6-2, 6-3 in 66 minutes in the first round of the ASB Women's Classic. Davenport is preparing for her first Grand Slam in more than a year.

- In Chennai, India, Xavier Malisse of Belgium began the defense of his Chennai Open title with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

- In Adelaide, Australia, Australian wild card Joe Sirianni took advantage of a heel injury to fifth-seeded Radek Stepanek to advance to the second round of the Australian men's hardcourt championships.

- In Gold Coast, Australia, Tathiana Garbin upset second-seeded Nadia Petrova 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in a first-round match at the Australian women's hardcourt championships at Royal Pines.


U.S. juniors sew up spot in semifinals

In Pardubice, Czech Republic, the United States and Sweden advanced to the semifinals of the world junior hockey championship.

Colin Wilson had a natural hat trick for the U.S., which also got goals from Tyler Ruegsegger and James vanRiemsdyk in a 5-3 victory over Finland. Jeremy Smith made 10 saves and Joe Palmer added eight for the U.S.

The Americans automatically gained the semifinals by taking first place in Group B, going 4-0 to earn 12 points. The only other time the U.S. won its first four games was 2004, when it captured its only gold medal in the event.

Horse Racing

Accord will keep Aqueduct running

A temporary deal between the New York Racing Association and state authorities reached Monday will prevent any interruption of thoroughbred racing.

New York lawmakers, however, failed to reach a long-term agreement on who will control racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. Aqueduct is the only one of the three now running.

The racing association's arrangement to operate the three tracks was to expire at midnight. The oversight board has the authority to keep racing going until a new franchise is negotiated.


American roster named for camp

Landon Donovan heads 26 players picked Monday for a U.S. national team training camp before a Jan. 19 exhibition game against Sweden at Carson, Calif.

Three players on the roster are from Scandinavian clubs on winter break: defender Dan Califf , captain of Denmark's Aalborg; defender Ramiro Corrales of Norway's Brann; and forward Jeremiah White of Denmark's Aarhus.


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