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Goods worth $400K stolen from Venus Williams’ Florida home

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) Burglars hit tennis star Venus Williams’ Florida home, stealing $400,000 worth of goods while she was at the U.S. Open, police said Thursday.

The burglary happened between Sept. 1 and 5 at Williams’ 10,000-square-foot (1,000-square-meter) home, which is in a well-to-do gated community, Palm Beach Gardens police said in a statement. Police blacked out from their report what was stolen. No arrests have been made.

Palm Beach County property records show Williams and her sister Serena bought the home new in 2000. It is now valued at $2.3 million.

Venus Williams’ agent, Carlos Fleming, did not respond to an email seeking comment. The burglary was first reported by WPEC-TV.

This is the second time in five months Palm Beach Gardens police did not publicly release information about an incident involving Williams until it was reported by a news outlet.

In June, Williams was involved in a traffic accident near her home that killed a passenger in the other car. Police have said the accident investigation remains open, and she is being sued by the dead man’s estate. Palm Beach Gardens police did not issue a news release or the accident report until the website TMZ published a story three weeks after the crash.

Maj. Eduardo Guillen said it is not the department’s practice to issue news releases about major crimes and fatal traffic accidents involving its residents, something other departments in Florida and nationally do routinely.

“The department is not in the business of randomly releasing information on cases. Ms. Williams is a private citizen within our community and she will be extended the same privacy all our citizens expect,” Guillen said in an email to The Associated Press.

The suburb of about 54,000 residents is mostly middle class, but has wealthy enclaves.

Williams, 37, has had one of her best recent years on the court, finishing second at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open and reaching the semi-finals at the U.S. Open.

Williams has seven career Grand Slam titles and career on-court earnings of nearly $40 million. She has her own clothing line and endorsement deals with Ralph Lauren, Kraft foods, Tide detergent and Wilson sporting goods. She also owns a small percentage of the Miami Dolphins.

Two-time champ Azarenka gets Australian Open wild card

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.

She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.

Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”