Archive for the 'tennis' Category

Lakers Win NBA Championship, LeBron’s 4th Finals MVP, Alex Smith Back, Prescott Out, Seahawks 5-0, Falcons 0-5, Swiatek & Nadal Win French Open

BASKETBALL

The Los Angeles Lakers handily beat the Miami Heat in Game 6 to win the NBA Finals. The NBA champions are now tied (with the Boston Celtics) for the third-most major North American sports titles (17). LeBron James won his fourth championship and fourth Finals MVP, becoming the first player in NBA history to win MVP with three different teams.

Kudos to the NBA for managing to pull off a 172 game season over three months in the Walt Disney World bubble with no coronavirus outbreaks.

FOOTBALL

After suffering a major injury two seasons ago, quarterback Alex Smith returned to the Washington Football Team after starter Kyle Allen got knocked out of the game. Two years ago, Smith broke his fibula and tibia in his right leg, and after 17 surgeries contracted an infection that doctors feared would require them to amputate his leg.

Unfortunately, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott needed surgery Sunday night on his ankle and is unlikely to return this season.

For the first time in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks are starting the season 5-0.

On the other hand, the Atlanta Falcons are now 0-5 on the season and have fired head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff.

TENNIS

Nineteen-year-old Iga Swiatek (ranked #54 in the world) beat Sofia Kenin to win the French Open.

In the men’s final, Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic to claim his 20th Grand Slam title. The only other player with 20 Grand Slams is Roger Federer.

 

 

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Authentic Wins Derby, Djokovic Hits Lineswoman And Gets Disqualified, Eagles Sign 41-Yr Old McCown

HORSE RACING

With no fans in the stands, Authentic (at 8-1 odds) edged out the favorite, Tiz the Law, to win the Kentucky Derby.  The win gives Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez his third Derby victory and gives trainer Bob Baffert his sixth Derby win (tied for the most wins in the history of the Run for the Roses).

TENNIS

Number one seed Novak Djokovic was widely expected to win the U.S. Open, but an unfortunate event this weekend disqualified him from the tournament. In his fourth-round match against Number 20th seed Pablo Carreño Busta, Djokovic unintentionally hit a lineswoman in the throat with a ball. He immediately rushed to the back of the court to check on her, but the rules of conduct in tennis are explicit, and he had to default the match.

In an Instagram post, he said, “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong… As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior”

FOOTBALL

The Philadelphia Eagles signed 41-year old quarterback Josh McCown to their practice squad, but they have no intention of having him join the team. The NFL increased the number of players they are allowed to have on their practice squads from 12-16 to give teams some insurance in case COVID-19 outbreaks affect their rosters. McCown, who will serve as the Eagles’ emergency quarterback and make $12,000 a week while living in Texas, is the oldest practice squad player in NFL history.

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Big 10 Considering Thanksgiving Return, Jags Release Fournette, U.S. Open Starts, Jamal & Kawhi Big Nights

FOOTBALL

Just over two weeks ago, the Big 10 announced it was postponing the football season to the spring of 2021. After considerable backlash about the lack of leadership and transparency in making these decisions, the Big 10 is now mulling the idea of starting sometime around Thanksgiving.

In NFL news, the Jacksonville Jaguars released running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette was in the final year of his rookie contract and would have earned a guaranteed $4.17 million in base salary. Fournette did not have a great relationship with the team, but according to reports all was going well in training camp, so the news of his release took many by surprise.

TENNIS

The U.S. Open begins today, but many of the top-ranked players have opted out. In the men’s draw, #1 ranked Novak Djokovic is the heavy favorite particularly since rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal aren’t competing. In the women’s draw, 6 of the top 10 players aren’t playing.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA playoffs, the Denver Nuggets, thanks to a 50-point game from Jamal Murray, beat the Utah Jazz forcing a Game 7.

With a big night from Kawhi Leonard, the Los Angeles Clippers eliminated the Dallas Mavericks winning the series 4-2. The Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers will also be moving on to the semifinals. For more NBA playoff news, click here.

 

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Pac-12 Players List Of Demands, Hawk-Eye Live, Cespedes Sit Out Season

FOOTBALL

A group of Pac-12 football players are threatening to sit out the upcoming season unless the Conference addresses their concerns. The list of demands include:

  1. Increase in health and safety protocols and protections including medical insurance for six years post-eligibility
  2. Commitment to social justice issues including a special task force
  3. Redistribution of revenue, specifically 50% of each sport’s revenues evenly distributed among athletes

TENNIS

We will see major technological innovations throughout the sporting world over the next few months and years. One such innovation, called Hawk-Eye Live, will replace line judges at tennis tournaments with an automated system. The U.S. Open (August 31st-September 13th) will use this system.

BASEBALL

The New York Mets announced Yoenis Cespedes will opt-out of the season due to concerns over COVID-19. Many players are deciding to opt-out of their season, but Cespedes did it in an unusual (and seemingly disrespectful way).  Over the weekend, Cespedes did not show up for the game against the Atlanta Braves. The team sent security to his hotel room and found the room completely cleared out. Cespedes did not tell anyone he was leaving, sparking speculation he’s upset with the team for his lack of adequate playing time.

 

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Patriots Transport N95 Masks From China, Wimbledon Canceled

FOOTBALL

The New England Patriots transported 1.2 million N95 masks from Shenzhen, China to the United States. The expedition took weeks to arrange, as there was red-tape, global negotiations, and logistics in managing the transfer.  The Wall Street Journal reported that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was concerned about the state’s mask supply. He struck a deal to purchase the masks from China but had to figure out how to transport them back to the US. Baker told his friend, Jonathan Kraft, who is the Chairman of the board at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Patriots’ president. Kraft offered up the teams’ airplane. According to the Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, “I’ve never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles that we had to overcome. In today’s world, those of us who are fortunate to make a difference have a significant responsibility to do so with all the assets we have available to us.”

TENNIS

Wimbledon, the oldest Grand Slam tournament, was canceled on Wednesday for the first time since 1945. This is the first time the tournament was canceled for reasons other than war.

 

 

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Rams Leak New Logo, NBA’s Memo On Coronavirus, LeBron’s Big Weekend, WTA Tour Canceled

FOOTBALL

The Rams relocated to Los Angeles in 2016 and are expected to unveil their new logo prior to the NFL draft in April. Over twitter, the team appeared to “leak” their new design, and the reaction hasn’t been positive. One of the criticisms is the team’s ram horn looks like a lightning bolt (which is unfortunate as the Rams share a city and stadium with the Chargers whose logo is a lightning bolt).

BASKETBALL

The NBA sent a memo to teams preparing them for what to expect if the coronavirus continues to spread. The league advised the teams to prepare for the possibility of playing without fans in the arena. They also sent a memo advising teams to have contingency plans in place by March 10th to include an on-call infectious disease specialist.

LA Lakers’ LeBron James had a solid weekend with 38 points in a win over Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks and 28 points in a win over the team’s cross-town rivals the LA Clippers.

TENNIS

In other coronavirus news, an ATP and WTA Tour was shut down, making it the first major sports event in the U.S. to be canceled.

 

 

 

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Djokovic Ousts Federer, American Kenin In First Grand Slam Final, Richard Sherman Slams Owners For 17-Game Proposal

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic ousted rival Roger Federer 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Australian Open. The semifinal match was their 50th meeting. Djokovic will compete in the finals of the Australian Open for the eighth time in his career, having won the previous seven. If he’s victorious on Sunday, he will have accumulated 17 grand slam titles and be back to #1 in the rankings.

In the women’s final, American Sofia Kenin will appear in her first grand slam final on Saturday against unseeded Garbiñe Muguruza. Kenin is the first American (other than Serena or Venus Williams) to reach the Australian Open final since 1995.

FOOTBALL

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (who is also the VP for the NFL Players Association executive committee) laid into the NFL owners for rumors that they are thinking of expanding the regular season to include 17-games. His frustration stems from the notion that the NFL claims player safety is their main priority, but are then considering expanding the season. He said, “It’s always odd when you hear player safety is (the league’s) biggest concern. They’re really standing up for player safety, player safety, player safety, but it seems like player safety has a price tag. Player safety up to the point of ‘Hey, 17 games makes us this much money, so we really don’t care how safe they are if you’re going to pay us this much money to play another game.’ “That’s the part that’s really concerning for us as a union and us as players.”

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15-Year Old Coco Eliminates #1 Naomi, Serena Loses, LeBron & Giannis Named Captains For All-Star Game

TENNIS

In the third round of the Australian Open, 15-year old Coco Gauff eliminated former #1 Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4. Coco is the youngest player to beat a reigning women’s champion at the Australian Open and the youngest since Jennifer Capriate in 1991 to beat a top-five opponent in a woman’s tour-level match. After the match, Coco effused, “Honestly, like, what is my life? Like, oh, my gosh Two years ago, I lost first round in juniors and now I’m here. This is crazy.”

In other Open news, Serena Williams lost 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 to 27th seeded Wang Qiang in the third round, her earliest exit in 14 years.

BASKETBALL

The League announced LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will again be captains and starters for the NBA All-Star Game on February 16th in Chicago. The other starters in the East are Kemba Walker, Trae Young, Pascal Siakam and Joel Embiid. In the West, the starters are James Harden, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Luka Doncic. Next Thursday the League will announce the reserves.

 

 

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Brown A Patriot, Jackson ‘Not Bad For A RB”, Mahomes Great Day, Foles Suffers Broken Bone, Andreescu & Nadal Win U.S. Open

FOOTBALL

The Antonio Brown saga is seemingly over. After a tumultuous, drama-filled couple of days, Brown signed with the New England Patriots for a one-year deal worth up to $15 million just hours after he was released from the Oakland Raiders. If the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver thrives under Pats’ coach Bill Belichick’s strict system, the Patriots could have grabbed the next secret weapon target for quarterback Tom Brady.

After the first weekend of NFL games, here are just a few stories. For the full weekend recap, click here.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was spectacular against the Miami Dolphins throwing for 324 yards and 5 touchdowns, giving him a perfect passer rating.  In the news conference after the game, Jackson smiled about his performance and said: “Not bad for a running back”. The comment was in reference to those who thought he should switch positions to running back because of his athleticism.

The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also had a great passing day throwing for 378 yards and three touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Speaking of the Jaguars, in some upsetting news, quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken left clavicle. He will have surgery on Monday, but there is no timetable set for his return.

TENNIS

Nineteen-year-old Bianca Andreescu beat Serena Williams 6-3, 6-5 in the U.S. Open finals and became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Rafael Nadal held off Daniil Medvedev in an exciting five-set, almost five-hour Men’s U.S. Open final. The win marks Nadal’s 19th major tournament singles title, just one win behind Roger Federer’s record for most men’s major titles.

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Packers D Beats Bears, Brown Saga Continues, Serena Advances To Open Final

FOOTBALL

In the NFL season opener Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers defense shined in an otherwise uneventful game against the Chicago Bears. The 10-3 victory gives Packers’ new head coach Matt LaFleur his first win.

The Antonio Brown saga continues. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Oakland Raiders are now planning to suspend Brown, but the length of the suspension is still unknown. After Brown posted on Instagram the letter he received from general manager Mike Mayock outlining his $54,000 in fines, he reportedly had a confrontation with Mayock telling him he’d hit him in the face. The Browns are weighing their options and figuring out what to do with his $30.125 million guaranteed contract.

TENNIS

Thirty-seven-year-old Serena Williams advanced to the US Open finals. On Saturday she will face nineteen-year-old #15 Bianca Andreescu. With a victory, she will claim her seventh Open championship and her 24th grand slam, tieing her with Margaret Court for the record.

 

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