Update on the latest in sports:
Federer off to a good start
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Defending champion Roger Federer began his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Denis Istomin.
Playing before a capacity crowd of more than 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena, Federer broke Istomin’s serve at 2-2 in the third set on the way to his seventh win in a row without a loss against the Uzbek player.
Federer’s seventh Australian Open title would be the most by any player. Novak Djokovic, who plays his first-round match on Tuesday, and Roy Emerson, also have six wins each at the Australian Open, although Emerson’s wins were before the start of the Open era in 1968.
A win in Melbourne would also be Federer’s 100th tour-level title, the second man after Jimmy Connors to win 100 titles. Connors had 109.
In other action in the Australia Open:
– Andy Murray pulled a full house for what is likely his last match at the Australian Open, and had the capacity crowd at Melbourne Arena in his corner as he lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-2 to No. 22-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.
– Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was shunted from a show court to a side court at Melbourne Park late in the day but it didn’t matter where she was – the Czech player beat Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-2 in 67 minutes.
– Bernard Tomic is continuing his criticism of Australia’s Davis Cup captain, saying LLeyton Hewitt is causing division among the players and should be replaced. Tomic, who was beaten 6-2 6-4, 7-6 (3) by sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, says he will not play Davis Cup again with Hewitt as captain. Tomic says, “No one likes him anymore.” He says, “We have a lot of issues that not a lot of players are happy about … he’s doing the wrong thing and everyone’s leaving.”
NBA ACROSS THE COUNTRY, ACROSS THE POND
The New York Knicks are headed across the pond.
They are leaving today for London, where they will play the Washington Wizards on Thursday in the NBA’s annual trip to The O2 Arena.
It’s a grueling stretch of the schedule for the Knicks, who just returned home from six-game trip, mostly to the Western Conference, that had them on the road for 15 days. Their game Friday against Indiana was their first at Madison Square Garden since losing to Milwaukee on Christmas and they were a little worn out from their travel, with Enes Kanter missing it because of an illness and Tim Hardaway Jr. leaving early after cramping.
That game, followed by their matinee Sunday against Philadelphia, was during their stretch of only five days at home before heading across the Atlantic.
But coach David Fizdale says he likes the crammed schedule for his young team. He says it’s all experience.
6 games in NBA tonight
UNDATED (AP) – In the NBA tonight, it’s Charlotte at San Antonio. Tony Parker should receive a much warmer welcome than Kawhi Leonard did in his return. Also, Boston visits Brooklyn, it’s Memphis at Houston, Detroit at Utah, Portland at Sacramento, and New Orleans faces the L.A. Clippers.
Browns’ Kitchens hires Browns Wilks, Monken as coordinators
CLEVELAND (AP) – New Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has hired Todd Monken as offensive coordinator and Steve Wilks to run his defense.
Monken spent the past three years with Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers ranked first in passing yardage per game (320.3) and were 12th in points. Monken called plays, but Kitchens is expected to keep that duty following his eight-game run as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator.
Wilks was recently fired after going 3-13 in one season as Arizona’s coach. He has a deep defensive background, spending 12 years as a secondary coach before becoming Carolina’s coordinator in 2017.
He succeeds Gregg Williams, who was not retained by Kitchens.
Mike Priefer will coach Cleveland’s special teams after eight years with Minnesota.
Also, Kitchens added Stump Mitchell (running backs), James Campen (offensive line), Ryan Lindley (quarterbacks), Jody Wright (special assistant) and Jim Dray and Tyler Tettleton (offensive quality control) to his staff.
4-time Asian champion runner tests positive for steroid
MONACO (AP) – Four-time Asian Games champion Kemi Adekoya has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.
The Athletics Integrity Unit says a “notice of allegation” has been sent to Adekoya, a Nigerian-born runner who switched allegiance to Bahrain.
The AIU says on its website that the 25-year-old Adekoya tested positive for stanozolol – the steroid sprinter Ben Johnson used at the 1988 Seoul Olympics – in November.
Last August at the Asian Games, Adekoya took gold in the 400-meter hurdles and 4×400 mixed relay.