Update on the latest sports
Grand slam leaders say they’ll address concerns about mental health
UNDATED (AP) – The leaders of the four Grand Slam tournaments have reacted to tennis star Naomi Osaka’s stunning withdrawal from the French Open by promising to address players’ concerns about mental health.
The pledge came in a statement signed by the same four tennis administrators who threatened the possibility of disqualification or suspension for Osaka if she continued to skip news conferences.
Osaka is a four-time major champion and is ranked No. 2. She was fined $15,000 when she didn’t speak to reporters after her first-round victory. Osaka then pulled out of the tournament. She says she experiences anxiety before meeting with the media.
Kvitova drops out, citing injury
PARIS (AP) – Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says on Instagram that she has pulled out of the French Open because of an ankle injury.
Kvitova says she fell and hurt her ankle during “post-match press requirements” after her first-round victory. She calls it “incredibly bad luck” and hopes to recover in time for the grass-court season.
Wimbledon begins on June 28. She won that Grand Slam tournament in 2011 and 2014.
The 11th-seeded Kvitova saved a match point before coming back to beat Greet Minnen 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-1 on Sunday at Roland Garros. She was a semifinalist in Paris in 2012 and 2020.
Gauff wins, Nidal advances, Venus Williams loses
PARIS (AP) – American teenager Coco Gauff has won her first match as a seeded player at any Grand Slam tournament. The 17-year-old Gauff erased set points before pulling out the opening tiebreaker and went on to beat Aleksandra Krunic 7-6 (11), 6-4. Gauff next faces Wang Qiang, who happens to be the woman she beat in straight sets in the final of the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, Italy, on Saturday. Gauff is seeded 24th at Roland Garros.
In other action:
– Rafael Nadal’s bid for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title has started with a straight-set victory at the French Open. Nadal twice was a point from dropping the third set against Alexei Popyrin but eventually held on there and wound up winning the first-round match at Court Philippe Chatrier 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Nadal has now won 26 consecutive sets at Roland Garros dating to the 2019 final that he won.
– Venus Williams was runner-up at Roland Garros against her sister 19 years ago but has now lost her opening match at the clay-court major for the fourth year in a row. The American veteran’s 24th appearance at the French Open ended in a 6-3, 6-1 defeat against Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia.
– Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty overcame a strong challenge from Bernarda Pera to win her first match at Roland Garros since she claimed the 2019 French Open title. Barty played with her left thigh bandaged and struggled before getting medical treatment at the start of the deciding set. Barty improved and eventually made the most of Pera’s lack of consistency to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
– Seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev has lost in the first round of the French Open. The 23-year-old Russian lost to German player Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4. It’s the first time Rublev has lost so early at Roland Garros since his debut at the tournament in 2017.
– Teenage wild card Oceane Babel’s inexperience was too much for her to overcome on her Roland Garros debut. Facing fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, the 17-year-old from France led 5-2 in the second set but eventually lost 6-2, 7-5 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
– Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady breezed past Anastasija Sevastova to reach the second round and match her best performance at the French Open. The 13th-seeded American, who has never reached the third round at Roland Garros, won 6-3, 6-3 after breaking Sevastova at love in the final game.
Nets could wrap up series with Celtics
BROOKLYN (AP) – The Brooklyn Nets take a 3-games-to-1 lead over the Boston Celtics into Game 5 of their NBA playoff series tonight in Brooklyn.
The Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers are even at two games apiece, and play Game 5 tonight in Denver.
The Lakers-Suns series is back in Phoenix tonight, also even at two apiece.
Lightning at Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes meet in Raleigh for Game 2 of their second-round NHL playoff series. Tampa Bay won the opener, 2-1, as the Lightning tries to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
Orioles hope to break out of losing streak
BALTIMORE (AP) – The Baltimore Orioles have lost 14 straight games, the worst skid in the majors since Houston dropped 15 in a row in 2013. The Twins, who have beaten Baltimore 16 straight times, try to extend their string when Michael Pineda starts against Bruce Zimmermann at Camden Yards.
Among the other games on the major league schedule:
– Rookie left-hander Ryan Weathers makes his first career appearance at Wrigley Field when he starts for the San Diego Padres against Kyle Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs. Weathers’ father, David, pitched in 28 games for the Cubs in 2001, going 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He made 57 appearances at Wrigley during his 19 years in the majors.
– The Toronto Blue Jays return to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, where they played home games last year during the coronavirus-shortened season. Still barred from playing at Rogers Centre in Toronto by the Canadian government because of virus restrictions, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays began this year hosting home games at their spring training site in Dunedin, Florida, going 10-11 there. They’ll be hosting the Marlins tonight in Buffalo.
Jets sign Saleh favorite Blair to add depth to D-line
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Jets have signed defensive lineman Ronald Blair, who was a favorite of coach Robert Saleh from their days together with the San Francisco 49ers. The addition of Blair on Tuesday bolsters a defensive line that is considered a strength of the Jets.
The Jets waived defensive lineman Sharif Finch to make room on the roster for Blair.
The 28-year-old Blair had 13 1/2 career sacks in 47 games over five seasons with the 49ers, but also dealt with knee injuries since being a fifth-round pick out of Appalachian State in 2016.
Essential Quality is 2-1 morning line favorite for Belmont
NEW YORK (AP) – Essential Quality has been set as a 2-1 favorite for the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Essential Quality and Preakness winner Rombauer headline a field of eight horses running in the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Medina Spirit wasn’t eligible to enter the race after the New York Racing Association suspended trainer Bob Baffert pending an investigation into the horse’s failed drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby.
Essential Quality went off as the Derby favorite and finished fourth. Jockey Flavien Prat left Rombauer following the Preakness victory to ride Hot Rod Charlie in the Belmont.