Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces to see off the challenge of the Russian-Czech pairing. The Taiwanese-Czech duo in the semi-finals were due to face unseeded Hayley Carter of the US and Luisa Stefani of Brazil, who rallied from a set down to defeat Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic and Andreja Klepac of Slovenia 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 10-8 in 1 hour, 42 minutes. Their match was to begin at about press time last night. Hsieh and Strycova are looking to claim their fourth title of the season after victories at the Brisbane International in January, and the Dubai Championships and Qatar Open in February before the WTA Tour was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the women’s singles, Simona Halep and defending champion Karolina Pliskova eased into the quarter-finals on Friday and Halep yesterday to the semi-finals. Top seed Halep on Friday rallied from 3-0 down in the first set to see off Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska in a 7-5, 6-4 victory that took 1 hour, 28 minutes. “Big picture, I think it was a great match and gives me confidence that even in these conditions with a big hitter that I could win in two sets,” Halep said. The two-time Rome finalist yesterday beat Yulia Putintseva, who on Friday battled back
The ACT Brumbies withstood a late onslaught to edge a gutsy Queensland Reds 28-23 and clinch the Super Rugby AU title yesterday, solidifying their status as the kings of Australian rugby union. The Canberra side went to the break two points ahead and put the hammer down to stretch their lead to 28-13 before the Reds came storming back to set up a tense finale. Newly minted Wallaby Noah Lolesio scored 13 points in the three-tries-to-two victory to deny coach Brad Thorn’s young and fast-improving Queensland side a first win in the Australian capital since 2014. It was the Brumbies’ third Super Rugby title — albeit a domestic version after the COVID-19 pandemic halted international rugby — following their triumphs in 2001 and 2004. “It was a huge effort from the boys, but you have to give credit to the Reds,” said skipper Allan Alaalatoa, whose side were dominant all season. “We always knew they were going to come back in the second half and they made it really hard for us,” Alaalatoa said. “I’m really proud of the boys to be able to close out the game,” he said. Although the Reds had not beaten the Brumbies in Canberra for six years, they went into the game upbeat after upsetting them 26-7 in Brisbane earlier this month. However, the experience of Dan McKellar’s men, Australian conference champions in three of the past four Super Rugby campaigns, ultimately proved decisive. “We shot ourselves in the foot a bit again, our ill-discipline was very costly, but this team has got a lot of fight and I’m incredibly proud of every single one of them,” Reds skipper Liam Wright said. “They’ve put in an amazing amount of effort this season,” he said. Despite losing, it was a breakout year for the Reds with their run to the final capping a team rebuild that
The new Bundesliga began in an empty stadium on Friday with eight-time defending champions Bayern Munich marching to an 8-0 rout of Schalke 04 for a record in the league’s opening match. And it should have been more. Germany winger Leroy Sane starred and scored on his Bayern debut, while Jamal Musiala became Bayern’s youngest-ever goalscorer at 17 years, 205 days, but otherwise it was business as usual as they totally dominated and the visitors tried limiting the damage. Schalke’s winless run stretched to 17 games, while Bayern extended their winning run to 22. Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick and Sane set up two of the goals. It was 3-0 by halftime and Bayern missed a host of chances. “Everyone was so hungry. We were all looking forward to the new start and we just wanted to attack,” said Sane, a former Schalke player who joined Bayern from Manchester City in the off-season. The game took place without fans, despite plans for 7,500 spectators to attend. A spike in local COVID-19 infections prompted authorities to close the doors. “It’s a really big blow. We were really looking forward to our fans,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said before the game. The team showed no ill effect from the supporters’ absence, nor the short break of 26 days after winning the Champions League final against Paris Saint-Germain. It was the biggest opening night win since 2016, when Bayern routed Werder Bremen 6-0. Gnabry got the side off to a flying start in the fourth minute, taking Joshua Kimmich’s pass from midfield, switching direction to elude Schalke captain Benjamin Stambouli, then unleashing a fine strike with his left boot inside the left corner. Robert Lewandowski almost made it 2-0 a minute later after being set up by Sane, but Sebastian Rudy deflected the Poland striker’s shot. Schalke held out until the 19th minute, when
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick and James Rodriguez bagged his first Premier League goal as Everton crushed 10-man West Bromwich Albion 5-2 yesterday to extend their perfect start to the season. Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell behind to Grady Diangana’s early goal at Goodison Park, but Calvert-Lewin equalized and James put them ahead before West Brom imploded. Kieran Gibbs was dismissed for pushing James in the face at the end of the first half. Then Albion boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands after storming onto the pitch for a furious rant at referee Mike Dean. Matheus Pereira equalized for Albion after the interval, but Michael Keane restored Everton’s lead and Calvert-Lewin sealed the points with his second and third goals. At 23, Calvert-Lewin is the youngest Englishman to score a Premier League hat-trick for Everton.
DEFENSIVE WOES: Nuggets coach Mike Malone said that they did not do enough on defense and fouls had hurt their effectiveness, lamenting 24 in one quarter
Anthony Davis scored 37 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers dominated the Denver Nuggets 126-114 on Friday in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals. LeBron James added 15 points with 12 assists and six rebounds for the Lakers, who shot out of the gate after dropping their opener in each of their previous two playoff series in the NBA’s COVID-19 bubble in Orlando, Florida. After a close first quarter ended with the Nuggets up by two, the Lakers seized control in the second quarter, outscoring Denver 34-21 to take a 70-59 lead into halftime. Lakers reserve Alex Caruso converted a three-point play to spark a 17-1 scoring run, the Nuggets going without a basket for more than five minutes to start the second quarter. “It took a quarter for us to kind of figure it out,” James said. “I’m not saying we fully figured them out because it’s too early in the series to say that, but we started to get a better feel, just started to get in a better rhythm defensively and we started to get some stops in that second quarter and we were able to build that lead up going into halftime.” Well aware that the Nuggets had proved their resilience with some big second-half comebacks against the Los Angeles Clippers in the previous round, the Lakers kept the pressure on after the break. Denver trimmed the deficit to nine points midway through the third quarter, but their efforts were hampered with star Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap all in early foul trouble, and that was the closest they got in the second half. Jokic and Murray both scored 21 points to pace the Nuggets. Michael Porter added 14 off the bench, but Denver coach Mike Malone said that they did not do enough
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s historic year earned him a historic awards sweep. The Milwaukee forward is the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season, being named as its winner on Friday. He got the Defensive Player of the Year award earlier in these NBA playoffs. The 25-year-old Antetokounmpo becomes just the third player in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. “Michael Jordan, one of the best players who’s ever done it, if not the best,” Antetokounmpo said. “Hakeem, a guy that I look up to, he came from where I’m from, Nigeria, where I have roots... Just being in the same sentence with them, that means a lot to me.” Antetokounmpo — who was in his native Athens with his family when the award was announced — received 85 votes. There were 101 votes available; 100 from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league, plus one additional vote through fan balloting. “It feels good to get this award announced when I’m back home,” Antetokounmpo said, after telling NBA commissioner Adam Silver — who was in possession of the trophy on Friday — to hang on to the hardware until he returns to the US. “I’m going to ship it to Greece,” Silver said during the televised announcement show on NBA TV. “No, don’t do that,” Antetokounmpo replied. “I’ll come get it when the season starts.” LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers got the other 16 first-place votes and finished second, while James Harden of the Houston Rockets finished third. James, a four-time MVP, said he was not pleased initially when he saw that he finished second by such a wide margin. “Not saying that the winner wasn’t deserving of the MVP, but that [ticked] me off,” James
The New York Yankees’ bats arrived just in time on Friday to help extend their longest win streak of the season. Gary Sanchez hit a tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning, while D.J. LeMahieu had a go-ahead double in the 12th as the Yankees rallied past the Boston Red Sox 6-5 for their ninth straight victory. New York improved to 8-0 over their longtime rival this season. Dating to last year, the Yankees have won 11 in a row over the Red Sox, one short of their best streak ever against them. “”I had absolute confidence we were going to find out a way back in this game,” LeMahieu said. “I feel like we’re playing like we should be playing. We’re all clicking.” The victory moved the Yankees (30-21) just ahead of Minnesota (31-22) for the No. 4 seed and home field in the first round of the playoffs. The fourth-seeded club are to host the No. 5 team in every game of the best-of-three series. The Yankees won on a night in which sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were in the lineup together for the first time since Aug. 8 after recently returning from the injured list. Sanchez said their returns came at the perfect time. “They’re key pieces to our team,” he said through a translator. “When they are in the lineup they have certain energy and an intimidation factor.” Jonathan Loaisiga (3-0) pitched three scoreless innings to get the victory in a game that ended well past midnight. Ryan Weber (1-3) took the loss. PADRES 6, MARINERS 1 Manny Machado homered twice and drove in four runs, while Chris Paddack one-hit Seattle for six shutout innings as the Padres beat the Mariners to reduce their magic number to 2 for their first playoff berth since winning the National League West in 2006. They
Sebastien Loeb at 46 became the oldest driver to lead a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) after ending Friday’s opening leg of Rally Turkey with a 1.2 second advantage over Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville. The Frenchman, a nine-time world champion and three-time Rally Turkey winner who now races only in selected events, was competing for the first time since January’s Monte Carlo season opener. Turkey is the fifth round of the championship. “I didn’t expect to be leading tonight,” he told the wrc.com Web site after the two short and dusty evening speed tests totaling 25.22km. “The last stage, I had a lot of pressure at the start because we didn’t find the road so good. I had precise notes so I was able to do it and leading the rally tonight is the best thing that can happen,” he said. Toyota’s championship leader Sebastien Ogier, who won six titles in a row after compatriot Loeb retired from full-time rallying, was in third place, 0.1 seconds behind Neuville. Teammates Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera were fourth and fifth respectively. Estonian world champion Ott Tanak was in seventh for Hyundai, but only 4.8 seconds off the lead.
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets
Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first returns as their bid for a fourth title of the year remained on track. The favorites were next due to face sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova, after the Russian-Czech duo routed Italian wild-cards Giulia Gatto-Monticone and Jasmine Paolini 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minutes. In the women’s singles, Azarenka produced a masterclass on Centre Court to knock out third seed Sofia Kenin 6-0, 6-0 in the second round. Azarenka, who beat Venus Williams in a two-hour first-round match on Wednesday, needed only an hour to dispatch the Australian Open champion. American Kenin, who received a bye into the second round, had no answers to Azarenka’s consistency from the baseline and made a string of errors, finishing the match with 22 unforced errors, while Azarenka made only four. Kenin did not create a single opportunity to break the 31-year-old Belarusian, while Azarenka won an overwhelming 89 percent of her first serves, while converting six of 11 break points. “I think consistency was key to the scoreline, I feel like I played really smart tennis today,” Azarenka said. “I was able to use a lot of the court and different pace. I went for bigger serves when I needed it, I went for variety. I wasn’t feeling
Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open with a hamstring injury, she said on Thursday. The 22-year-old had her left hamstring taped when she battled back against Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final in New York on Saturday last week to win her third Grand Slam title. “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” the world No. 3 wrote on social media. “My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have time to prepare for the clay — these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organizers and players all the best.” The French Open is to be held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 11 at Roland Garros in Paris after being moved from its usual May-to-June slot due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hamstring issue had prompted Osaka to withdraw from the final of the Western & Southern Open in the buildup to the US Open, but it did not appear to hamper her at Flushing Meadows. The withdrawal of Osaka, who has never advanced past the third round at Roland Garros, comes as another blow to the tournament after world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia said she would not be defending her title due to COVID-19 concerns. Meanwhile, the French Tennis Federation said that it is to allow 5,000 spectators to attend the French Open per day following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the nation. It had previously said that the clay-court major would permit a maximum of 11,500 fans per day.
Down by 14 in Game 1, the Miami Heat found a way. Down by 17 in Game 2, they did it again. After making the Boston Celtics lose another big lead on the court — as well as their cool in the locker room — the unheralded Heat are two wins away from the NBA Finals. Goran Dragic on Thursday scored 25 points and Bam Adebayo led a big third-quarter rally to finish with 21, as the Heat pulled off another comeback to beat the Celtics 106-101 and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. “We got grit,” Adebayo said. “That’s about all I can tell you. We got grit, man.” Duncan Robinson scored 18 points, Jimmy Butler had 14, Jae Crowder 12 and Tyler Herro 11. The Heat were down by 17 in the second quarter and trailed by 13 at halftime. They had been 0-21 in playoff games when trailing by at least that many at the half. They are 1-21 now, and two wins away from their first NBA Finals since 2014 — and the team said that the 17-point comeback matched the biggest in Heat post-season history. “We like to make it hard on ourselves,” Butler said. “We like being down double digits and being the comeback kids.” Kemba Walker had 23 points for Boston, which got 21 apiece from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Brown missed a corner three-pointer that would have tied it with 15 seconds left. Butler sealed it with two free throws with 7.4 seconds remaining. The Celtics had a loud, animated conversation in their locker room after the game, the walls unable to hold in the sound. They tried to downplay whatever was happening. “It was nothing,” Walker said. “It was nothing.” “We’re frustrated, but that’s team sports. Not supposed to be happy we’re down 0-2, but that’s nothing out of the
Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic on Thursday retained his lead on compatriot Tadej Pogacar atop the Tour de France standings after stage 18, as British team Ineos Grenadiers claimed a one-two finish. After Ineos withdrew team leader Egan Bernal on Wednesday, Michal Kwiatkowski won the stage and his teammate Richard Carapaz took the King of the Mountains jersey after the pair crossed the finish line two minutes ahead of the peloton. “I had the best legs ever, the way we rode together with Richard was just incredible,” Polish rider Kwiatkowski said. “When Egan left the race he was very sad, but wished us well, and now we have this wonderful day. That’s the Tour de France.” Giro d’Italia champion Carapaz has been a revelation over the three Alpine stages that culminated with the Ineos-led escape, as the Ecuadoran relentlessly attacked, picking up climbing points to take the polka dot jersey. Although Carapaz is just two points ahead of the 21-year-old Pogacar in the mountains classification, with the form he is showing he could hold on to the jersey all the way to Paris. “We will do everything we can, we have much to think about,” Carapaz said after the double act saved face for the British team, who won the previous five editions. Carapaz must now better the Slovenian over one remaining small climb and today’s time trial featuring the Planches des Belles Filles, adding further drama and a possible twist to a lively Tour de France finale. Carapaz was drafted into the race at the last minute. He fell on the first stage in a deluge in Nice and is only now finding his form. Carapaz and Kwiatkowski were clearly brimming with joy over the fruits of their partnership, which will have brought some relief for Ineos team principal Dave Brailsford. “Adapting quickly to change is one of the main
Brett Gardner, D.J. LeMahieu and Luke Voit homered on consecutive pitches for the New York Yankees — and that was just the start of the night’s power surge. By the time the barrage was over, the Yankees had hit a record-setting 2.29km of home runs in a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees on Thursday tied a major league record with five home runs in an inning and hit six overall in a 10-7 victory that extended their winning streak to eight. “What a show,” Gary Sanchez, who also homered, said through a translator. New York set a major league record for most home runs in a three-game span with 19 — three more than the previous high — and became the first team with six or more home runs in three straight games. The Yankees (29-21) outscored Toronto 43-15 over the three games and outhit the Blue Jays 44-28, opening a 2.5 game lead over the Blue Jays for second place and closing within one game of Minnesota (31-21) for a first-round playoff series at home. Voit’s home run was his major league-leading 20th. Aaron Hicks struck out, and Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with home runs that gave the Yankees a 9-2 lead and chased Chase Anderson. The Yankees hit five homers in an inning for the first time, the seventh team to achieve the feat. “That was a lot of fun.” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, a tie game going into that inning and then everyone just started unloading with real good at-bats.” “It was awesome,” said Stanton, who had four hits for the first time since July 23, 2018. “In general, it was just amazing to see everyone contribute like that.” Sanchez, slumping for most of the season, added a seventh-inning homer off T. J. Zeuch for a 10-3 lead and raised
Five years after socially distancing from the Prince of Wales Trophy and losing in the Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning got their hands on and arms around it on Thursday. Anthony Cirelli scored in overtime as Tampa Bay beat the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals to return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2015, where they face the Dallas Stars. Injured captain Steven Stamkos, who would not even stand near the trophy then out of superstition, walked on to the ice to accept it along with the Lightning’s entire traveling party. “It didn’t work last time, so we tried obviously touching the trophy this year,” alternate captain Victor Hedman said. “That was a no-brainer for us. We’re not superstitious, but obviously didn’t touch it last time, so this year we did. That’s the end of it. We won one trophy and now we’re going for the next one.” Stamkos, Hedman, Alex Killorn and Ryan McDonagh were the first players to shake deputy NHL commissioner Bill Daly’s hand. It mattered to the team’s leaders to have Stamkos there. “We wanted all the team captains up there and wanted Steven a part of it,” McDonagh said. “He’s been a huge part of this run even without playing.” Players and coaches screamed with joy after taking a team photograph with Daly. That came minutes after they streamed on to the ice to celebrate Cirelli’s goal 13 minutes, 18 seconds into overtime. Tampa Bay ended each of their three series victories in overtime. Only New York lasted more than five games, pushing the Lightning to their limits before their talented core got them into the final. “We got close,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “We could see the mountain top, but we couldn’t get to the mountain top.” Now the Lightning
IN ABSENTIA: A scheme hushed up the offenses of 23 Russian athletes so that they could compete in the 2012 Olympic Games and 2013 world championships
The former head of athletics’ world governing body, Lamine Diack, was on Wednesday found guilty by a French court of corruption in covering up Russian doping cases and sentenced to four years in prison, two of which were suspended. Diack, an 87-year-old Senegalese who led the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now renamed World Athletics, for 16 years was also fined 500,000 euros (US$600,000). The presiding judge in the court in Paris, Rose-Marie Hunault, said that Diack’s actions had “caused serious damage to the fight against doping.” Other senior figures in track and field, including former IAAF marketing consultant Papa Massata Diack, Lamine Diack’s son, and former IAAF anti-doping head Gabriel Dolle, were also given prison terms for their part in a scheme that hushed up the doping offenses of 23 Russian athletes so that they could compete at the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships in Moscow. Papa Massata Diack, who was tried in absentia because Senegal had refused to extradite him, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 1 million euros. Previously one of the most influential figures in world sport, Lamine Diack was president of the IAAF from 1999 to 2015, when he was replaced by Britain’s Sebastian Coe. The prosecution alleged that under the scheme, named “Full Protection,” individual Russian athletes paid 3.2 million euros in exchange for the IAAF’s anti-doping body to cover up their drug taking. Lamine Diack told the court that it was his decision to waive bans after the athletes failed tests in 2011, but he denied knowing that officials from the body had directly or indirectly asked those athletes for payment to hush up their cases. He said that he was acting to safeguard the “financial health of the IAAF,” because the federation was negotiating major sponsorship contracts with Russian bank VTB and a Russian
Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic is taking nothing for granted despite holding a comfortable lead in the Tour de France on Wednesday with four competitive stages left. The Jumbo-Visma rider is in complete control of the race after extending his overall lead to 57 seconds over compatriot Tadej Pogacar, with one mountain stage and a partly uphill time trial to come. The 21-year-old Pogacar had been the most explosive rider, but in Wednesday’s grueling 17th mountain stage ending at the top of the Col de la Loze, the UAE Team Emirates rider was on the back foot. Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez prevailed 2,304m above sea level, beating Roglic by 15 seconds and Pogacar by 30 to move up to third place overall, 1:26 off the pace. “I don’t think the job is done,” Roglic told reporters. “There are still some hard stages to come and Tadej Pogacar is a great climber. I felt really good on the climb, but you can’t compare these last 4km to 5km to anything else. I’m glad this stage is behind us.” As the road rose up to 25 percent at times, Roglic still could count on teammate Sepp Kiss to attack and test his rivals’ legs, while Pogacar and Lopez were on their own. “Sepp Kiss and I talked during the climb and we decided that he could go and try to win the stage, as he could always drop back and help me,” Roglic, 30, said. “The others tried to chase him back and it helped me realize many guys around me were struggling,” Roglic added. “Sepp’s attack pointed me when to attack myself. On this climb, every meter counts. Having his help was really good. Again, it has been a very big performance from him and the team.” Pogacar and Lopez needed to take chances in yesterday’s 18th stage to La Roche
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal showed little signs of rust on Wednesday when he played his first match in 200 days and beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-1 in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Nadal, who received a bye into the second round, has not played a tournament since winning his 85th singles title in Acapulco, Mexico, having skipped the Western & Southern Open and the US Open due to concerns over COVID-19. The match was Nadal’s first on clay in 465 days after his French Open triumph last year and the 34-year-old Spaniard sent an ominous message to the field as he dominated the US Open semi-finalist from the start in an empty Foro Italico. “It’s good to be back on the Tour, but obviously the feeling is not the best playing without crowds,” Nadal said. “At least there’s one positive thing, the sport is back.” Nadal broke in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and did not look back, winning the last 10 points in the opening set to put down a marker for Carreno Busta, who struggled with the pace of the ball on clay after two hardcourt tournaments. The second set was more of the same as a jumpy Nadal could not wait to get going between games and finished the match in 73 minutes with 20 winners, while Carreno Busta made 28 unforced errors. “I played a good match, maybe he was a little bit tired from New York, [where] he played an amazing tournament,” Nadal added. “It’s a perfect start for me. I played solid, some good shots with the forehand and backhand.” Italian wildcard Jannik Sinner pulled off a stunning upset in the second round when he beat third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-7 (9), 6-2 to take revenge on the Greek who beat him in
WNBA star Maya Moore has married the man that she helped free from prison. Moore was in the prime of her playing days when she paused her basketball career at the age of 30 in February last year to work on the campaign to free Jonathan Irons. Irons, who is 40, had been serving a 50-year prison sentence over the shooting of a homeowner during a robbery when Irons was 16. A judge ruled in March that prosecutors had suppressed fingerprint evidence that could have helped prevent Irons from being found guilty — and he was freed from prison in July. “We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we’ve been doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Moore told ABC’s Good Morning America. “We’re excited to share this new chapter of life together.” Moore said the two met through a prison ministry program when she was 18, and that they married earlier this summer. “Over the last 13 years, we have just developed a friendship and just entered into this huge battle to get him home and just over time, it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts and now we’re sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together,” she said. Irons proposed to Moore once he had been freed, although he said that he knew he wanted to marry her while he was still in prison. “I wanted to marry her, but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it’s extremely difficult and painful,” he said. “And I didn’t want her to feel trapped and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life —
Julian Draxler on Wednesday scored in added time to give depleted Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) their first league win of the season, 1-0 at home against Metz. PSG, shorn of many stars before kickoff, were playing with nine players when Draxler pounced on a rebound to nod home PSG’s first goal of the league season. “I’m very proud. It’s incredible, honestly. I still have to think about it because I still can’t believe it,” PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said after the game. PSG, who started the game seriously depleted, were reduced to 10 players after 65 minutes when central defender Abdou Diallou collected a second yellow card and his club’s fourth of the season. In the dying seconds, defender Juan Bernat, a 63rd minute replacement, limped off with a knee injury, leaving PSG, who had used all of their replacements, with nine players. “All the fans can be proud. We still deserved to win, at 9 against 11,” Tuchel said. As the match was happening, the French league announced two-game bans for Neymar and Leandro Paredes, and a six-game ban for Layvin Kurzawa after they were given red cards during a home loss to Marseille on Sunday that ended in a brawl. Another star attacker, Kylian Mbappe, remains in COVID-19 quarantine, while Thilo Kehrer and Marco Verratti are injured. However, striker Mauro Icardi, centerback Marquinhos and goalie Keylor Navas returned after spells in quarantine. “We made a lot of effort. We had a lot of changes. We used a lot of players who have not trained for a while ... with players who haven’t played for a long time,” Tuchel said. “But the effort is still there.” PSG had opened the season with two defeats for the first time since the 1984-1985 season, losing by one goal to RC Lens and then Olympique de Marseille. On Wednesday, they again dominated possession, but
Catcher Will Smith on Wednesday drove in three runs, while A.J. Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo homers as the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Padres 7-5 in the rubber match of a three-game series. The win increased the 35-15 Dodgers’ edge on the Padres (32-19) to 3-1/2 games in the National League West and gave Los Angeles a 6-4 edge in the season series. The Dodgers, who became the first team in the majors to clinch a berth in the expanded playoffs, scored runs against five of the Padres’ nine pitchers. Left-handed reliever Adam Kolarek (3-1) earned the win by keeping the Padres scoreless for two of his three innings, while right-hander Dustin May entered the game in the third inning and held them to three runs (one earned) on three hits over 5-1/3 innings. Pollock gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with his 11th homer of the season in the second inning off Padres starter and loser Adrian Morejon (2-1). The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Wil Myers opened the inning with a double off “opener” Brusdar Graterol and scored on Jason Castro’s double off Kolarek. The Dodgers took the lead for good in the third inning, which opened with Gavin Lux reaching on an error by second baseman Jake Cronenworth. Max Muncy broke the tie with a double off Joey Lucchesi and Smith followed with a RBI, infield single to make it 3-1. The Dodgers broke it open with three runs in the fifth. Mookie Betts opened the inning with his second hit, then stole his third base of the game. After Luis Perdomo walked Justin Turner, Tim Hill entered the game and struck out Muncy, but Smith followed with a two-run double and scored on Cody Bellinger’s single. Taylor scored the Dodgers final run with a homer off Garrett