Update on the latest sports
DOCTOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT-MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State votes to oust Engler immediately
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan State University trustees garnered applause after voting to force the immediate resignation of the university’s interim president.
John Engler submitted his resignation letter Wednesday, saying he’d resign next week after making controversial comments about some victims of former sports doctor and convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar. On Thursday, the Board of Trustees voted to make the resignation immediate.
Trustee Kelly Tebay says “a wrong has been righted today. I’m sorry it took so long.”
The former Michigan governor was brought in to help the university following the Nassar scandal. Engler had resisted past calls to step down, but the final straw came last week when he said Nassar’s victims had been in the “spotlight” and were at times enjoying the awards and recognition.
Hundreds of women and girls have accused Nassar of molesting them when they sought treatment during his time working for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. The victims included Olympic gymnasts.
Muguruza, Konta work overtime
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Garbine Muguruza (GAHR’-been moo-gah-ROO’-thuh) and Johanna Konta are working overtime at the Australian Open – heading to a third set in a match believed to have the latest starting time in tournament history.
Because of rain delays and lengthy matches earlier in the day, their second-round match did not begin until 12:30 a.m.
Muguruza took the first set 6-4, and Konta responded by taking the second 7-6 as the clock hit 2:20 a.m.
The tournament says it believes the previous record for latest start in Melbourne was 11:59 p.m. for a women’s match between Elise Mertens and Daria Gavrilova a year ago.
The record for latest finish? That’s 4:34 a.m., for a 2008 match between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis.
Also at the Australian Open:
– Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev served 29 aces in a late-finishing 7-6 (5), 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (6), 6-1 win over Jeremy Chardy to reach the third round of the Australian Open. The ATP Finals winner had control in the first two sets before the No. 36-ranked Chardy rebounded to level at two sets apiece and force the second-round match into a fifth. It finished after midnight, delaying the later night match on Margaret Court Arena between Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza.
– Seven-time champion Serena Williams needed only 70 minutes to beat 2014 Wimbledon finalist Genie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the Australian Open. Williams is in Australia aiming for a 24th Grand Slam singles title. She won here in 2017 but missed her title defense last year while she took time off following the birth of her daughter.
– Top-ranked Simona Halep came back after dropping the second set and going down a break in the third to beat Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4 and move into a third-round match against Venus Williams. Venus Williams beat Alize Cornet, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.
– No. 17 Madison Keys is through to the third round of the Australian Open. The 2017 U.S. Open runner-up was a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Anastasia Potapova. Keys next faces No. 12 Elise Mertens, who won her second-round match in straight sets.
– Fourth seed Naomi Osaka dropped just six games in her second-round victory as she seeks her second straight Grand Slam singles title.
– Unseeded American Madison Brengle had put herself in position to advance to the third round before Karolina Pliskova (PLIHSH’-koh-vah) found her game. Brengle won her opening set before the seventh-seeded Czech rallied for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 victory. Pliskova is joined in the third round by sixth seed Elina Svitolina, who won in straight sets.
– Kei Nishikori (kay nee-shee-KOHR’-ee) has moved into the third round on the men’s side with a five-set win against Ivo Karlovic (EE’-voh kahr-LOH’-vihch).
– Also advancing to Round 3 are 11th seed Borna Coric (KOHR’-ihch) and No. 12 Fabio Fognini following straight-sets wins.
– Lleyton Hewitt’s return to the Australian Open is over in the first round of men’s doubles. The two-time major winner and Australian Davis Cup captain partnered John-Patrick Smith in a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 loss to Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof.
– Hyeon Chung made it to the semifinals last year at the Australian Open, giving the sport’s profile a massive boost in South Korea. His run was more brief on return this year, beaten by Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in a rain-interrupted second-round match.
AP Interview: Europol ties together tennis match-fixer rings
PARIS (AP) – European police agency Europol says it has identified links between match-fixing gambling syndicates being unraveled in Spain and Belgium that are thought to have paid off dozens of players and corrupted lower-level tennis tournaments on a massive scale.
Pedro Felicio, who heads Europol’s Economic and Property Crime unit, said there are “strong indications” the fixers were also involved in volleyball, beach volleyball, and basketball. Felicio spoke exclusively to The Associated Press, in a phone interview.
European police investigators are still trying to determine the extent to which syndicates broken up last year in Spain and Belgium may have worked together.
However, Felicio said cross-checks of suspects’ names, their contacts, company details, places and people they frequented and phone records pointed to ties. He said: “We see these links. They exist.”
WORLD CUP-VONN RETURNS
Vonn takes few risks in 1st downhill training run of season
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) – Lindsey Vonn skied conservatively in the first World Cup downhill training session of her injury-delayed season on Thursday.
In foggy conditions, Vonn placed 10th, 0.76 seconds behind leader Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway, and was a bit shaky landing the final jump.
Vonn, who injured her left knee in November, will return to competition in downhill races tomorrow and Saturday, followed by a super-G on Sunday.
The American skier needs five more wins to break the all-time victories record of 86 held by Swedish standout Ingemar Stenmark. Vonn already holds the record of 12 wins in Cortina. Vonn plans to retire next season.
Ledecka chooses Alpine over snowboard worlds
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) – Skier-snowboarder Ester Ledecka has decided to compete in the Alpine skiing world championships next month instead of the snowboard worlds.
The Czech athlete who won golds in skiing and snowboarding at the Pyeongchang Olympics last year had to make a choice since the parallel giant slalom at the freestyle ski and snowboard world championships in Utah is scheduled for Feb. 4 – the same day that downhill training opens at the skiing worlds in Are, Sweden, and a day before the super-G race.
At the Pyeongchang Olympics, Ledecka followed her super-G victory in Alpine skiing by winning the parallel GS in snowboarding – becoming the first athlete to win two golds at the same Winter Games using two such different types of equipment.