LONDON - Serena Williams was named the WTA's Player of the Year on Thursday after winning major titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and claiming gold at the London Olympics.

Williams was 48-2 over the final seven months of the season.

It is the fourth time Williams has won the award, which is voted on by international tennis media. She also was named Player of the Year in 2002, 2008 and 2009.

UA swimming

Wildcats dominant in Texas

The Arizona men's and women's swim teams swept through the relays and broke three meet records to complete a dominant opening day of the USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships on Thursday in Austin, Texas.

The Cats opened the day with a meet-record performance by the 4x200 free relay team of Margo Geer, Megan Lafferty, Kait Flederbach and Alana Pazevic. Their time of 1:28.63 broke the mark set by USC in prelims.

The UA men's 4x200 free relay team also won and was .05 of a second off the meet record time, set by USC is 2010. The team of Giles Smith, Mitchell Friedemann, Nimrod Shapira Bar-Or and Nicholas Popov was timed in 1:17.95 to handily defeat second-place USC (1:19.37).

The Wildcats closed the night with two more relay victories. Lauren Smart, Ellyn Baumgardner, Lafferty and Geer cranked out a winning time of 3:31.16 in the 4x400 medley relay, well under the meet record of 3:32.20 set by USC in 2010.

The UA men smashed the meet record in the 4x400 medley relay with a time of 3:05.69, which bested the 3:07.03 set by Tucson Ford in 2008. Arizona got four strong legs from Friedemann, Kevin Cordes, Smith and Shapira Bar-Or.


Wondolowski named MLS MVP

CARSON, Calif. - Chris Wondolowski won Major League Soccer's MVP award Thursday by an appropriately huge margin for the San Jose Earthquakes forward who dominated the league's goal-scoring race.

The Bay Area native scored 27 goals, tying the MLS season record set by Tampa Bay's Roy Lassiter in 1996.

• The Washington Nationals acquired Denard Span from the Twins for minor-league pitcher Alex Meyer on Thursday.

• Dale Earnhardt Jr. tied Bill Elliott's record of 10 consecutive wins as NASCAR's most popular driver Thursday at a luncheon in Las Vegas.

• The UA rugby team will open its 2012-13 season at Rincon Vista Field on Saturday against ASU. Arizona's varsity, JV and rookie teams will compete in a non-conference tripleheader against the Sun Devils. The rookie match is at 11 a.m., followed by JV at 12:30 p.m. and varsity at 2 p.m. There will be no admission charge.

Includes material from a news release