Update on the latest sports
Djokovic beats Federer, reaches Australian final
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has reached an eighth Australian Open final with a straight-set win over Roger Federer, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-3. The second-seeded Djokovic maintained his record of never losing a semifinal match at Melbourne Park and is one win from extending another streak.
He will meet the winner of Friday’s match between No. 5 Dominic Thiem (teem) and No. 7 Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s championship match.
It was an all-upset women’s semifinal at the Australian Open today as American Sofia Kenin and unseeded Garbine Muguruza (gahr-BEEN’ moo-gah-ROO’-thah) moved into the final.
Kenin has reached her first Grand Slam final by upsetting No. 1 Ash Barty. Kenin saved two set points in each set en route to the 7-6, 7-5 victory in the semifinals at Melbourne Park. The 14th-seeded Kenin had never been past the fourth round at a major tournament until now.
Barty was trying to become the first Australian woman to reach the final of the country’s Grand Slam tournament since 1980. Instead, Kenin became the first American other than a Williams sister to reach the Australian Open final since Lindsay Davenport in 1995. She’s also the first American woman to beat the No. 1 player at any major since Serena topped Venus at Wimbledon in 2002.
Kenin is the highest seed left standing after Muguruza knocked out No. 4 Simona Halep (HA’-lehp), 7-6, 7-5. Muguruza accumulated 39 winners, fired 10 aces and won 20 of 30 net points in reaching a hardcourt Grand Slam final for the first time. The former No. 1 is 4-0 versus Halep on hardcourts, the last coming under triple-digit temperatures.
NFL-CLERGY-ABUSE-NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Saints helped shape accused clergy list, victim lawyers say
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The New Orleans Saints maintain their behind-the-scenes public relations work on the area’s Roman Catholic sexual abuse crisis was “minimal,” but attorneys suing the church allege hundreds of confidential Saints emails show the team actively helping to shape a list of credibly accused clergy that appears to be an undercount.
New court papers filed this week by lawyers for about two dozen men making sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese of New Orleans gave the most detailed description yet of the emails that have rocked the NFL team and remain shielded from the public.
They accuse the Saints of issuing misleading statements by saying their work for the archdiocese involved only “messaging” and handling media inquiries as part of the 2018 release of the clergy names. The attorneys wrote that instead, “The Saints appear to have had a hand in determining which names should or should not have been included on the pedophile list.”
That list, the Saints’ involvement in it and how accurate it was have become key questions in a controversy that has swirled around the team since news of the emails broke last week.
Formula 1 will alter calendar for coronavirus if needed
UNDATED (AP) – Formula One is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in China and will modify its race calendar if necessary.
Amid growing concern about the spread of the virus, international sports have been postponed and Olympic qualifying tournaments in soccer, basketball and boxing have been taken elsewhere.
The latest cancellation on Thursday was equestrian’s Asia Horse Week from Feb. 13-16 in Hong Kong, which is cutting rail links with mainland China as a precaution to limit the virus spreading.
The F1 race in Shanghai is scheduled for April 19 and may be at risk of being postponed or canceled.
On Wednesday, the indoor athletics world championships in Nanjing were postponed by one year to March 2021. The first alpine ski World Cup races next month at one of the 2022 Beijing Olympics courses in Yanqing were also called off.
More than 170 deaths in China have been recorded because of the disease.
WORLD CUP-WOMEN’S DOWNHILL TRAINING
Downhill training canceled again because of poor weather
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) – A second women’s downhill training run was canceled Thursday on the 2014 Sochi Olympic course, putting Saturday’s World Cup race at risk.
The International Ski Federation published a photograph showing the mountain shrouded in fog.
Something similar happened last season at the Rosa Khutor venue when the first World Cup races since the 2014 Games were wiped out by the weather for five days.
Three downhill training days lost last season forced the race the to be canceled for safety reasons. A revised plan for super-G races on both weekend slots also could not start because of the weather.
Organizers will try again Friday for the mandatory downhill training run. A super-G is scheduled for Sunday.
Spanish police bust ring that sold EPO to athletes online
MADRID (AP) – Spanish police say a doping ring that sold the blood-buster EPO to athletes both locally and abroad has been broken up.
Spain’s Civil Guard said the 850 syringes of EPO they confiscated from the bust is the largest haul of the substance in Europe.
Police are investigating six people in Barcelona and Cadiz for suspected crimes against public health, money laundering, belonging to a criminal organization, theft and social security fraud.
According to police investigations, the ring is composed of citizens of Serbia and Spain spent 10 years illegally trafficking EPO via various websites in different languages targeting athletes both in Spain and in other countries.
INDYCAR-KANAAN FAREWELL TOUR
Tony Kanaan closing IndyCar career with 5 final oval races
UNDATED (AP) – Tony Kanaan (kuh-NAHN’) will close his wildly popular IndyCar career this season on a farewell tour of oval tracks and the Indianapolis 500.
The “TK Farewell Tour” was announced Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Kanaan is one of the most revered drivers in speedway history.
Fans adore the 45-year-old Brazilian, who led laps many times in May but came up empty 11 consecutive times – finishing in the top five in five of those defeats. His breakthrough came in 2013 with what is now Vasser Sullivan Racing, when Kanaan finally won the Indianapolis 500.
Kanaan laughed at the idea that his is truly a “farewell tour” since he will likely chase a seat in the Indianapolis 500 the next several years. Kanaan is eyeing the Ironman World Championships in October and other forms of racing, possibly sports cars, for his future.