Sports News Roundup: Kyrie Irving's vaccination stance looms large over NBA season; Tennis-Badosa outworks Azarenka to win Indian Wells title and more
Down by three shots at the start of the day, Fitzpatrick made 15 consecutive pars followed by birdies on the 16th and 17th to rise up the leaderboard as others struggled on the Valderrama course where only 14 players finished under par. Tennis-British breakthrough as Norrie wins Indian Wells title Cameron Norrie battled back to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6 6-4 6-1 in the Indian Wells final on Sunday, becoming the first British man to win the Masters 1000 tournament.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Kyrie Irving's vaccination stance looms large over NBA season
The 75th season of the NBA tips off on Tuesday with fans focused on Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving, whose refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine in defiance of New York City's mandate led the Nets to announce he would not suit up for the championship contender. The loaded Nets roster includes Kevin Durant and James Harden but the team will be at a disadvantage without sharp-shooting point guard Irving, a seven-time All-Star who won a title with Cleveland in 2016.
Paula Badosa survived a stiff challenge from Victoria Azarenka to produce a gutsy 7-6(5) 2-6 7-6(2) win in an epic Indian Wells championship match on Sunday. Azarenka was two points from winning the tournament for a third time and serving at 5-4 in the decider when her game began to unravel behind a series of uncharacteristic errors.
After shaky opener, Flyers look for spark vs. Kraken
The Philadelphia Flyers struggled for large portions in their season-opening shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. But they still managed to earn one point with a pair of goals in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
WNBA-Sky beat Mercury to claim first championship
The Chicago Sky came from behind to beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 and win the best-of-five finals series 3-1 on Sunday, earning the franchise its first championship. The Mercury looked poised to force a Game Five when they took a 14-point lead late in the third quarter but the Sky came roaring back, tying the game at 72 in the fourth quarter on a wide open three pointer by Candace Parker.
Olympics-Protests or not, Beijing Games are about unity, says IOC's Samaranch
Next year's Beijing Games has triggered protests over China's human rights record but the International Olympic Committee's point man for the event, Juan Antonio Samaranch, said the multi-sport extravaganza is about bringing young people together. Samaranch, the IOC's head of the coordination commission for the Beijing Olympics starting on Feb. 4, said the Games were only about unity.
NHL roundup: Connor McDavid's hat trick powers Oilers
Connor McDavid notched a hat trick, and Jesse Puljujarvi collected a goal and two assists to lead the host Edmonton Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Derek Ryan also scored in the win and goaltender Mike Smith made 45 saves for the Oilers, who have started the season with a pair of victories. Leon Draisaitl collected three assists.
Tennis-Norrie makes light of missing shoes after Indian Wells triumph
Cameron Norrie said playing Sunday's Indian Wells final in a brand new pair of shoes was not ideal, but the Briton was able to see the funny side of things after getting past Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6 6-4 6-1. Norrie, who became the first British man to win the Masters 1000 tournament, discovered shortly before the biggest match of his career that three pairs of well-worn shoes he had left on his locker overnight had disappeared.
Kenya's Elisha Rotich won the men's race and Ethiopia's Tigist Memuye topped the women's podium at the Paris Marathon on Sunday. Rotich set a course record as he crossed the line in two hours four minutes 21 seconds to finish ahead of Ethiopia's Hailemaryam Kiros.
Golf-Fitzpatrick wins Andalucia Masters for seventh European Tour crown
Matt Fitzpatrick won the Andalucia Masters on Sunday to claim his seventh European Tour title after the Englishman shot an error-free round of 69 on the final day to finish at six-under overall and win by three strokes. Down by three shots at the start of the day, Fitzpatrick made 15 consecutive pars followed by birdies on the 16th and 17th to rise up the leaderboard as others struggled on the Valderrama course where only 14 players finished under par.
Cameron Norrie battled back to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili 3-6 6-4 6-1 in the Indian Wells final on Sunday, becoming the first British man to win the Masters 1000 tournament. It appeared an upset was in the works when the hard-hitting Basilashvili quickly took the first set but Norrie regrouped in the second, breaking the Georgian at love to force a decider.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)