Update on the latest in sports:
AUSTRALIAN OPEN-DJOKOVIC’S BAD SET
Djokovic cedes Australian Open set in 1st Rd; 1st since 2006
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has started his bid for a record eighth Australian Open title by doing something he hadn’t done in 14 years: He dropped a set in the first round in Melbourne.
The defending champion recovered from that blip to get past 37th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff in four sets – 7-6 (5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.
Djokovic says he is OK with the performance because he likes to get a test in the first round at a Grand Slam tournament.
Djokovic last ceded a set in an Australian Open opener all the way back in 2006, during a loss to Paul Goldstein. Since then, the 16-time Grand Slam champ had produced 13 consecutive straight-set wins in the hard-court tournament’s first round; add in the initial pair of sets against Struff, and the streak was at 41.
In other action on opening day:
– Stefanos Tsitsipas thrilled his vocal Greek supporters with a 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 win over Salvatore Caruso at Margaret Court Arena. Tsitsipas has been adopted by the large local Greek population in Melbourne and even has a souvlaki named after him at his favorite restaurant, with all proceeds doing to the charity appeal for the local wildfires that have hit the region.
– Top-ranked Ash Barty wasted little time winning the final two sets of her match against Lesia Tsurenko after a slow start against the Ukrainian player. Barty won 12 of the final 14 games to clinch the match 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.
– Grigor Dimitrov won his first-round match, but it wasn’t so much his four-set victory that sent social media into a frenzy. It was his warm-up track suit that one person described as visual pollution” and another as a fine impersonation of a pair of pajamas. The jacket and pant combo had matching designs of navy body with yellow dots. Dimitrov said after his 4-6, 6-2 6-0, 6-4 win over Juan Ignacio Londero that since designs are done some eight months in advance, he may have forgotten the color scheme of the bodysuit.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN-COCO BEATS VENUS
Coco goes to work at the Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Coco Gauff beat Venus Williams today in the first round for the second time in three Grand Slam tournaments.
The 15-year-old Gauff followed up her upset over Williams at Wimbledon last year with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over the 39-year-old, seven-time major winner at the Australian Open.
While play was suspended on all outside courts because of heavy rain over Melbourne, Gauff went to work under the roof on Margaret Court Arena. She served an ace to set up triple match point and converted with a drop shot, which Williams couldn’t retrieve in time.
Gauff was playing her first match in the main draw at Melbourne Park. Williams was in the main draw of a major for an Open Era-record 85th time.
In other action on opening day:
– Defending champion Naomi Osaka has won the opening match in Rod Laver Arena, reeling off the last four games after dropping serve for the only time to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-2, 6-4. Osaka is aiming to be only the ninth woman to successfully defend the Australian Open title.
– Zhang Shuai beat Sloane Stephens in the first round of the Australian Open for the second time in three years. The No. 35-ranked Zhang had a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2. win over 24th-seeded Stephens in a night match on Margaret Court Arena that finished less than 40 minutes before her 31st birthday. The crowd got in early, singing her the Happy Birthday song.
– Top-ranked Ash Barty wasted little time winning the final two sets of her match against Lesia Tsurenko after a slow start against the Ukrainian player. Barty won 12 of the final 14 games to clinch the match 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Barty is attempting to become the first Australian woman since Chris O’Neill in 1978 to win the Australian Open singles title.
Mavs’ Porzingis says knee ready for game after false start
DALLAS (AP) – Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) appears close to returning from right knee soreness that has sidelined the Dallas Mavericks forward the past 10 games.
The 7-foot-3 Latvian stops short of declaring himself ready because Porzingis was a late scratch in Sacramento last week when he thought he was ready.
The Mavericks have been cautious with Porzingis since acquiring him in a trade with New York when he was still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Who’s on the court tonight?
UNDATED (AP) – In Top 25 men’s basketball tonight, it’s No. 2 Baylor vs. Oklahoma. And No. 12 West Virginia takes on Texas.
In Women’s Top 25 basketball, No. 1 South Carolina faces No. 10 Mississippi State. No. 15 Indiana is at No. 20 Maryland and it’s No. 24 Tennessee vs.
Gaby Lopez wins LPGA tournament in Florida in 7-hole playoff
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) – Gaby Lopez ran in a 30-foot putt for birdie today to defeat Nasa Hataoka in a seven-hole playoff that took an extra day to finish at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.
It was Lopez’s second LPGA victory. áGaby Lopez has won an LPGA tournament that needed seven playoff holes and an extra day to finish.
She made a 30-foot putt for birdie today to defeat Nasa Hataoka at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
It was Lopez’s second LPGA victory. Lopez and Hataoka matched one another with five pars at 18 on Sunday before darkness halted play. They tied the record for the LPGA’s fourth-longest playoff.
Controversial Irish soccer official resigns from UEFA
NYON, Switzerland (AP) – Ireland’s top soccer official has resigned from the UEFA executive committee after months of being effectively suspended from taking part in decision-making.
John Delaney’s exit removes him from soccer leadership after he intended to take a key role in a possible British and Irish bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
Delaney tried to cling to power within the Dublin-based Football Association of Ireland, where he had been CEO and treasurer, despite its troubled financial affairs and himself being investigated by national media and government.
After a series of newspaper reports last year, UEFA kept Delaney from attending meetings and high-profile games.