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Update on the latest sports

 

 

TENNIS-AUSTRALIAN OPEN

 

Djokovic and Nadal to meet in final

 

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Six-time champion Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has set up an Australian Open final against second-ranked Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL’) by routing Lucas Pouille (pwee) 6-0, 6-2, 6-2.

 

Djokovic extended his streak of Grand Slam semifinal victories to 10, and advanced to his record-equaling seventh final in Australia. He shares the record for most Australian titles with Roger Federer and Roy Emerson. Djokovic has never lost a championship match at Melbourne Park.

 

The 31-year-old Serb has won the last two majors and simply overwhelmed the No. 28-ranked Pouille, who was playing in the semifinals at Grand Slam event for the first time. Pouille had never won a match in five previous trips to the Australian Open, and credited his success this time to his new coach, Amelie Mauresmo. It didn’t work this time. It was the second consecutive night where one of the old guard gave a tennis lesson to a potential up-and-coming star.

 

Nadal overwhelmed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in their semifinal match on Thursday.

 

Djokovic has a 27-25 edge in career meetings with Nadal, including their five-set, almost six-hour final in Melbourne in 2012.

 

In other action at the Australian Open:

 

– The unseeded pairing of Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai have won their first Grand Slam doubles title together. They beat defending champions and No. 2-seeded Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-4 in the Australian Open final. Stosur now owns three major doubles championships. She is the first Australian to win the women’s doubles title at the country’s Grand Slam tournament since Alicia Molik teamed with Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in 2005.

 

NBA-WARRIORS-OBAMA

 

Golden State Warriors visit former President Barack Obama

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Golden State Warriors spent about an hour with former President Barack Obama.

 

The meeting took place Thursday at Obama’s office in Washington before the defending NBA champs beat the Wizards 126-118.

 

Players and coach Steve Kerr were reluctant to talk about it.

 

A photo was posted on Instagram but has since been deleted.

 

Stephen Curry said he had no idea where the idea came from. All-Star forward Kevin Durant said it was amazing, and forward Draymond Green called it a “good private team meeting.”

The Warriors celebrated their 2015 NBA championship with Obama at the White House in 2016.

 

President Donald Trump tweeted that he withdrew a White House invitation to celebrate the team’s 2017 championship after Curry and some other players said they would not go.

 

OLYMPICS-COMBINED KOREAN TEAM

 

Field hockey aims for combined Korea in Olympic qualifying

 

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – The governing body of field hockey says it is working with South Korea and North Korea to combine teams and try to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

 

The International Hockey Federation hosted both Korean federations in Lausanne last week to discuss “future steps to reach the goal of playing together as one team.” It follows an initial meeting in India in November.

 

A combined Korean team played in women’s ice hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics last year.

 

South Korea has a medal-winning tradition in Olympic field hockey.

 

The 11th-ranked women’s team won silver medals at the 1988 and 1996 Olympics. South Korea’s 17th-ranked men took Olympic silver in 2000.

 

Both South Korean teams play Women’s Hockey Series events in June toward qualification for the next Olympics.

 

RUSSIAN DOPING

 

Russia drops appeal against athletics doping ban

 

MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s athletics federation has dropped its legal challenge against its ban from international competitions.

 

Russia has been banned from international meetings since 2015 because of doping, though dozens of top athletes have been allowed to compete by the IAAF in a neutral status.

 

In September, the Russian federation appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, including a claim it was unfair for the IAAF to require access to evidence of past doping cases stored at a Moscow laboratory. The data and samples are guarded by Russian law enforcement.

 

Russian athletics federation president Dmitry Shlyakhtin says “we need to focus efforts on negotiations … and not waste time and strength on legal processes.”