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Serena Williams squeaked into this week's WTA Championships in Los Angeles, but she's out of contention for the year-end No. 1 ranking, leaving Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo to contend for the top spot.

"It doesn't matter that I have no real shot at No. 1 because I feel like I have less pressure and it really doesn't matter. It's OK," she said Tuesday. "It's like Tiger (Woods). It's weird when Tiger loses. It's kind of weird when I lose. It's definitely bigger news for me to lose. I make people's careers."

Williams won the tournament in 2001 and lost to Jennifer Capriati in the 2002 final, then missed last year while recovering from knee surgery.

Her attention isn't entirely on tennis this week.

A judge in Compton, Calif., declared a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a 24-year-old man charged with killing the half-sister of Serena and Venus after jurors said they could not reach a verdict.

A mistrial also was declared Friday in the case of Robert E. Maxfield's co-defendant, Aaron M. Hammer, after a separate jury deadlocked in favor of acquittal. Hammer was accused of shooting at Yetunde Price with a .22-caliber handgun in 2003, but prosecutors said the shot that killed her came from Maxfield.

"It's really hard," Williams said. "Obviously, we want a good ending to it, but we'll see."

Williams opens play in Staples Center tonight against French Open champion Anastasia Myskina, one of five Russians in the eight-player field. U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova plays fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva, and Davenport takes on Elena Dementieva.

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