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January 18, 2022
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January 18, 2022
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Update on the latest sports

 

CARDINALS ELIMINATED
Murray’s first playoff start a nightmare for Cardinals
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) – Kyler Murray’s first NFL playoff start quickly turned into a nightmare.
The dynamic quarterback and his Arizona Cardinals teammates had about the worst start imaginable in Monday night’s 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC wild-card round.
By the time the Cardinals got their initial first down, they were trailing 21-0 midway through the second quarter. They went three-and-out on their first four possessions, the first time that’s happened in a playoff game in at least 10 seasons. Arizona was outgained 180-40 in the first half and averaged just 1.5 yards per play, the second-worst average in a playoff game over the last 20 seasons.

 

AUSTRALIAN OPEN-MURRAY
Andy Murray wins in Australia for 1st time since 2017
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Andy Murray has held off 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili in five sets to win a match at the Australian Open for the first time in five years.
The five-time runner-up has missed three trips to Melbourne Park since then because of injuries or illness and lost in the first round in 2019.
Murray thought that might have been his last appearance at Melbourne Park because of a hip injury that required two operations.

 

Also, at the second day of the Australian Open:
– Title favorite Daniil Medvedev has moved into the second round with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Henri Laaksonen, extending his Grand Slam winning streak to eight matches. That includes his victory in the U.S. Open final last September, a result that denied top-ranked Novak Djokovic a calendar-year Grand Slam tournament.

 

– Nick Kyrgios says his recent bout of COVID-19 hit him “pretty hard.” The 26-year-old Australian says he was practicing hard, “feeling extraordinary, and then it hit me and I was bedridden.” Kyrgios recovered to win his first-round match at the Australian Open against qualifier Liam Broady today. This was Kyrgios’ first competitive match of 2022. He’s advanced to a meeting against No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev, the U.S. Open champion and runner-up at the Australian Open last year.

 

– Emma Raducanu beat Sloane Stephens 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 in a seesawing first-round match between U.S. Open champions. The No. 17-seeded Raducanu won the first set in 17 minutes and seemed to be in complete control of her debut main draw match at the Australian Open. But 2017 U.S. champion Stephens converted her fifth breakpoint chance to open the second set in a 12-minute game that finished on a pair of double-faults from Raducanu. Two early service breaks gave 2021 U.S. Open winner Raducanu the match-winning advantage. The match brought Day 2 to a close when it finished minutes after men’s fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Mikael Ymer on Rod Laver Arena.

 

– Garbine Muguruza has extended her first-round success record at Melbourne Park. The 2020 Australian Open finalist and winner of the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon tournaments has never lost a first-round match in her now 10th year of competition here. Muguruza beat Clara Burel 6-3, 6-4 to open play on Rod Laver Arena.

 

– Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka rallied from a set and a break down to beat wild card Storm Sanders 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in the first-round night match on Rod Laver Arena. Sabalenka lost her opening matches at two tune-up tournaments and appeared to be headed the same way when she trailed No. 128-ranked Sanders 3-1 in the second set. But she rebounded to win the next nine games and 11 of the last 13 to secure the win. Sabalenka will next play Wang Xinyu (shihn-yoo).

 

AUSTRALIAN OPEN-NOVAK DJOKOVIC
Australia’s tennis officials say they’ll review Djokovic saga
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Tennis Australia says that after the Australia Open, it will review the entire saga in which nine-time champion Novak Djokovic lost a legal challenge against his visa cancellation.
Three judges in the Federal Court on Sunday rejected Djokovic’s bid to have his visa reinstated and he was deported later that night, flying back to Serbia via Dubai.
Djokovic has not been vaccinated for COVID-19, but was approved by Tennis Australia and the state of Victoria for a medical exemption to the country’s strict COVID-19 vaccination rules based on the fact he had tested positive for the coronavirus last month.
But border officials rejected the exemption and revoked his visa after Djokovic arrived in Australia late on Jan. 5, triggering an 11-day saga that involved two court hearings and the world’s top-ranked male tennis player spending five nights – in two stretches – in an immigration detention hotel.

 

WOMEN’S HOCKEY-EXPANSION
Women’s hockey league to increase salary cap, add 2 teams
UNDATED (AP) – The Premier Hockey Federation is more than doubling each of its six teams’ salary caps to $750,000 and adding two expansion franchises next season in a bid to capitalize on the wave of attention women’s hockey traditionally enjoys following the Winter Olympics.
The increased payroll and number of teams comes as a result of the league’s board of governors’ commitment to invest more than $25 million over the next three years.
The decision is also considered a major step in the PHF’s attempt to thaw its relationship with United States and Canadian national team players. They have balked at joining North America’s lone professional women’s hockey league.