Update on the latest sports
Djokovic in limbo as he fights deportation from Australia
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – Locked in a dispute over his COVID-19 vaccination status, Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) is confined to an immigration detention hotel in Australia as he awaits a ruling on whether can compete in the Australian Open later this month.
Djokovic, the No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world, is a vocal skeptic of vaccines. He obtained a medical exemption to Australia’s strict vaccination rules before setting out for Australia. But when he arrived, border authorities rejected it. After his long-haul flight, Djokovic spent the night trying to convince authorities he had the necessary documentation, to no avail. He is now awaiting a court hearing on Monday in his bid to stave off deportation.
Dokovic’s bid to get around the vaccine requirements so that he could play has caused an uproar and triggered allegations of special treatment in Australia, where people spent months in lockdown and endured harsh travel restrictions at the height of the pandemic.
Djokovic came within one victory of sweeping all four of last year’s Grand Slam tennis tournaments and entered 2022 needing one title to set the men’s record of 21 major championships. The Australian Open begins Jan. 17.
In other tennis news:
– Rafael Nadal began fine-tuning his quest for a 21st Grand Slam singles title with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Ricardas Berankis in a warm-up tournament at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open. Nadal is recovering from the coronavirus. He showed no signs of sluggishness on Rod Laver Arena but he was broken early in the second set and again when he served for the match. Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek advanced to the Adelaide International quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-2 win over U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-AP ALL-BOWL TEAM
AP All-Bowl Team: Top performers from the Alamo to Sun bowls
UNDATED (AP) – With only Monday’s College Football Playoff championship game between Alabama and Georgia remaining on the postseason schedule, The Associated Press is releasing its all-bowl team now.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba helped Ohio State make up for the absence of two star receivers by delivering one of the great individual performances in bowl history. Smith-Njigba had 15 receptions for 247 yards to help No. 7 Ohio State rally from a 14-point deficit to beat No. 10 Utah 48-45. He also caught three of C.J. Stroud’s six touchdown passes.
Their ability to keep Ohio State’s passing game thriving even without star receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson made Stroud and Smith-Njigba obvious selections for the all-bowl team, selected by AP staff.
WORLD CUP-MEN’S SLALOM HALTED
Dangerous snow surface forces World Cup ski race to stop
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) – A men’s World Cup slalom race was stopped Thursday after 19 skiers started on a course that was muddy rather than white with snow and ruled too dangerous to continue.
The French team said Victor Muffat-Jeandet – an Olympic bronze medalist in the combined event four years ago – broke his right ankle when he skied out. There was no assessment if he will miss the Beijing Olympics that open in four weeks.
Race organizers were criticized by skiers including overall World Cup champion Alexis Pinturault for allowing the race to start on a soft surface that quickly degraded.