KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Serena Williams sat in her chair wearing a weary grin as tournament workers prepared the court for the post-match ceremony.
"A word of warning," someone told Williams. "The trophies are really hot because they've been sitting in the sun."
It took a 2½ hours for Williams to match Steffi Graf's record with her fifth Sony Ericsson Open title. She blew a big lead and battled jitters and 85-degree heat before finally finishing off Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.
The elusive victory tested Williams' temper. She broke her racket and screamed at herself before putting away an overhead slam on her eighth championship point.
"I thought I had like 15 match points. I'm glad to know it wasn't," Williams said. "I got tight. I guess you can classify that as nervous."
She arrived trimmer at Key Biscayne, thanks to a recent rigorous training regimen. Some of Saturday's best rallies -- one lasting 26 shots -- came in the final few games.
Williams won for the second year in a row. Her reward: $590,000 and one hot trophy.
Colonel John rallied late to beat Bob Black Jack by a half-length Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby in Arcadia.
Across the country, Tale of Ekati caught a tiring War Pass in the final six strides and won the Wood Memorial at New York's Aqueduct Racetrack in another major Derby prep race. And Recapturetheglory overcame 15-to-1 odds to win the $500,000 Illinois Derby in Cicero.
Corey Nakatani rode Colonel John to victory. Striding smoothly and strongly when Nakatani asked him to turn it on, Colonel John blew past pacesetter Coast Guard and then pulled ahead of Bob Black Jack near the wire. Colonel John, clocked in 1:48.16 for 1‹ miles, paid $7.20, $4 and $3.20.
Cornerback/kick returner Chris Carr officially joined Tennessee when the Raiders declined to match an offer sheet. The Titans signed Carr, a restricted free agent, a week ago. ... Matt D'Orazio -- subbing or the injured Tony Graziani -- threw six touchdown passes and ran for a score to help Philadelphia (6-0) beat winless Utah 64-56 in the Arena Football League. ... Clint Dolezel threw five TD passes to Marcus Nash and ran for another score as host Dallas beat Cleveland 58-51. ... Danny Wimprine threw five touchdown passes and ran for a score as host New Orleans (5-1) topped defending ArenaBowl champ San Jose 72-43. Mark Grieb was 38-of-55 for 330 yards and six touchdowns for the SaberCats (3-3). ... Mate Coggins scored on a kickoff return with 20 seconds left to help host Columbus beat Tampa Bay. ... Aaron Garcia threw seven TD passes -- four to Chris Anthony -- as host New York beat Grand Rapids 63-34.
Track and Field
Olympic and world champ Jeremy Wariner pulled his regular anchor leg for the Waco All-Stars as they easily won the invitational 1,600 relay in 3 minutes, 0.65 seconds at the Texas Relays in Austin.
Abby Wambach had three goals to lead the U.S. over Jamaica 6-0 Friday night in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in its opening Group A game in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. The U.S. outshot Jamaica 11-3. ... Scott Sealy poked a left-footed shot into the left corner of the net in the 87th minute, giving host Kansas City a 3-2 MLS victory over Colorado. ... Dave van den Bergh scored the fastest goal in Red Bulls history 46 seconds after the opening kickoff, sparking host New York over Columbus 2-0. ... Luciano Emilio gave host D.C. United the lead 62 seconds into a 4-1 win over Toronto.
Two-time Olympian Klete Keller won his signature event, the 400 free, in 3:45.28 Saturday at the Stanford Invitational. That breaks Michael Phelps' 3-year-old pool mark. ... Peter Vanderkaay finished in 3:44.41, the second fastest time in the world, in winning the same event earlier in the Columbus Grand Prix at Ohio State. Phelps, winner of six gold medals at the 2004 Olympics, slept through a 400 free prelim earlier in the day but came back to win the 400 IM in 4:13.73. Phelps said he dozed off while he was stretching on a lower dive platform.