Sharapova cruised to a 6-4, 6-0 victory over seventh-seeded Li Na of China in the other semifinal.
• Milos Raonic ousted top-seeded Andy Murray 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4) in Tokyo to move into the final of the Japan Open. Raonic will meet Kei Nishikori on Sunday after he routed unseeded Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2 in just over an hour. The 17th-ranked Nishikori defeated Baghdatis for the first time after losing three previous matches.
Vettel claims pole in Japan
AUTO RACING • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix, qualifying ahead of teammate Mark Webber in Suzuka. Vettel, a two-time winner in Japan, secured his fourth consecutive pole at Suzuka and will be in a good position in Sunday's race to further erode the championship lead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
Vettel won the previous race in Singapore and is just 29 points behind Alonso in the standings with six races left.
Chelsea extends league lead
soccer • Chelsea extended its Premier League lead with a 4-1 victory over Norwich while defending champion Manchester City climbed to second place by beating Sunderland 3-0.
Chelsea rallied after Grant Holt scored for Norwich in the 11th minute. Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard scored before halftime and Branislav Ivanovic added a late goal.
Chelsea leads the league by four points and is off to its best start since the 2005-06 season. City rose to second after goals from Aleksandar Kolarov, Sergio Aguero and James Milner.
Langton wins bobsled push title
bobsledding • Steve Langton won the U.S. men's bobsled push championship, topping a field of 39 athletes in Lake Placid, N.Y., for his fourth national title.
The reigning world push champion who helped the U.S. win two- and four-man world titles on the ice last season had a two-run time of 8.83 seconds, edging Dallas Robinson (8.85) and Curt Tomasevicz (8.98).
The push championships are part of the process for coaches and pilots to select teams for the season. U.S. bobsled, skeleton and luge athletes are to open on-ice training in Lake Placid on Oct. 15, though that could be moved up if conditions permit.
From wire reports