No Englishman has won Wimbledon since 1936, so British fans are accustomed to waiting. And they did a lot of it Wednesday. \nThe first two men's quarterfinal matches, including one involving England's Tim Henman, were stopped four times because of rain and then finally suspended for the day. \nNo. 13-seeded Sebastien Grosjean led No. 10 Henman 7-6 (8), 3-6, 6-3, 1-2. Unseeded Mark Philippoussis rallied and was serving with a two-point lead over Alexander Popp 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 2-2, 30-0. \nThree delays totaled nearly four hours before the matches resumed Wednesday evening, but drizzle and darkness again halted play for the night. \nThe other quarterfinals were postponed until Thursday. No. 5 Andy Roddick is scheduled to play unseeded Jonas Bjorkman, and No. 4 Roger Federer will play No. 8 Sjeng Schalken. \nThe women's semifinals are also Thursday. Defending champion Serena Williams will play French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne, who pulled an upset in their semifinal match at Paris four weeks ago. Two-time champion Venus Williams will face Kim Clijsters. \nPhilippoussis, who tied a tournament record with 46 aces in his fourth-round upset of Andre Agassi, had 26 against the 2.01m Popp when play was stopped. Philippoussis is trying to overcome a two-set deficit for the fourth time in his career. \nHenman and Grosjean played a roller-coaster first set twice interrupted by rain. Henman rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the opening set and held four set points in the tiebreaker but couldn't convert them. Three consecutive passing shots for winners helped Grosjean break serve en route to a 4-1 lead. Then came a one-hour delay. \nWhen play resumed, Henman lost his serve again to make it 5-1. Then came more rain. \nSunshine broke through, and the Centre Court crowd roared. Then Henman mounted a comeback, and the cheers became even louder. He broke serve twice, the second time by winning four consecutive points. \nWhen he held serve for 5-5, fans waved Union Jacks. \nIn the tiebreaker, Henman served leading 6-3. \nBut Grosjean saved three consecutive set points when Henman floated a volley long, dumped a difficult volley in the net and hit a backhand wide. \nHenman had another set point at 8-7 but put a backhand in the net. Grosjean hit a lunging volley for a winner, then called a forehand crosscourt for another winner and the set. It took 2 hours, 36 minutes, delays included. \nHenman lost his serve in the next game, then broke in the second and eighth games to win the second set and even the match. But he lost his serve twice more in the third set, and Grosjean served it out at love. \nOn the women's side, the best of Belgium -- Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne -- will try to prevent another all-Williams final at Wimbledon. \n"For Kim and me, it's going to be very difficult, for sure," Henin-Hardenne said. \nSerena beat Venus in last year's final -- and in four of the past five Grand Slam finals. The lone exception was at the French Open four weeks ago, where Henin-Hardenne earned her first major title by beating Clijsters. \nSerena has been ranked No. 1 for the past year, but the Belgians are second and third and gaining on her. If she loses Thursday, Clijsters will become No. 1 for the first time. \n"It's hard to keep up with the Belgian girls," Williams said with a grin. "They're playing every week and winning all the time. I don't play every week, but I might have to start." \nWhen Williams does play, she usually wins. She has won 38 of her past 39 Grand Slam matches, including a quarterfinal comeback Tuesday against No. 8-seeded Jennifer Capriati, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. \nThe victory was her eighth in a row over Capriati. \n"She had to play her best tennis there to raise her game completely to beat me," Capriati said. "I don't think I gave her the match. She had to step it up." \nNo. 4 Venus Williams won the final five games and the last 11 points to beat No. 5 Lindsay Davenport 6-2, 2-6, 6-1. Williams dropped a set for the first time in the tournament, but still improved to 25-1 at Wimbledon over the past four years. \n"If you get this far, you have to be doing something right," the elder Williams said. "I'll just have to keep on with the same things." \nDavenport, the 1999 champion, said the match may have been her last at Wimbledon. Newly married and hampered by injuries in recent years, Davenport said she plans to play the US Open but may be nearing retirement. \n"There are absolutely no plans made," the 27-year-old Davenport said. "It's not saying that it's over. It's just saying that I'm not sure." \nClijsters, seeded second, who was stung on her stomach by a bee during the first set but rallied past No. 27 Silvia Farina Elia 5-7, 6-0, 6-1.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, whose positive COVID-19 test prompted the NBA to shut down its season, says that the coronavirus has caused him to lose his sense of smell. The Frenchman, whose defensive talents have earned him the nickname “Stifle Tower,” tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, the result bringing the NBA season to an abrupt halt. In social media posts since then, the 27-year-old had said he was feeling better, but on Sunday he tweeted that he was experiencing one of the lesser-known symptoms of the illness. “Just to give you guys an update, loss of smell and taste is