Sports News Roundup: Tennis-Kyrgios wants to avoid Djokovic if Serb gains Australian Open reprieve; Tennis-Osaka pulls out of Melbourne semi-final and more
The Serbian superstar, a vocal opponent of vaccine mandates who came to Australia in hopes of winning his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, has been holed up since Thursday in a modest Melbourne hotel since having his visa cancelled due to problems with a medical exemption. Tennis-Osaka pulls out of Melbourne semi-final Top-seeded Naomi Osaka pulled out of her Melbourne Summer Set 1 WTA event semi-final against Veronika Kudermetova on Saturday, citing the intensity of recent games as cause for her withdrawal.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Nick Kyrgios said he is keen to avoid being drawn to face a fired-up Novak Djokovic if the reigning Australian Open champion manages to convince authorities to allow him to play at this year's tournament in Melbourne. Djokovic, the winner of nine Australian Open titles, was spending his third day in an immigration detention hotel after authorities on Thursday revoked his visa, which had been supported by a medical exemption from the country's vaccination requirements.
Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic began the third day in Australian immigration detention on Saturday, joined by Czech women's player Renata Voracova as a blame game between Australian authorities over the handling of COVID-19 vaccine exemptions gathered steam. The Serbian superstar, a vocal opponent of vaccine mandates who came to Australia in hopes of winning his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, has been holed up since Thursday in a modest Melbourne hotel since having his visa cancelled due to problems with a medical exemption.
Tennis-Osaka pulls out of Melbourne semi-final
Top-seeded Naomi Osaka pulled out of her Melbourne Summer Set 1 WTA event semi-final against Veronika Kudermetova on Saturday, citing the intensity of recent games as cause for her withdrawal. "Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took," Osaka said https://twitter.com/naomiosaka/status/1479650178843832328 on Twitter.
NHL postpones two more games in Canada
The NHL postponed two more games Friday due to coronavirus-related attendance restrictions in Canada. Saturday night's game between the Ottawa Senators and host Vancouver Canucks, and the Jan. 15 game between Ottawa and the host Winnipeg Jets will both be rescheduled.
Figure skating-Ice dancers Chock and Bates take lead at U.S. Figure Skating Championships
The ice dancing pair of Madison Chock and Evan Bates put on a nearly flawless rhythm dance routine at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday to put them in position to win their third national championship. Going last and performing to a medley of songs by Billie Eilish, they mesmerized the Nashville crowd with their clean skating and electrifying lifts to earn the only standing ovation of the day and a 91.94 from the judges.
Tennis-Rybakina storms past Doi into Adelaide final
Seventh seed Elena Rybakina put in a solid performance to breeze past Japan's Misaki Doi 6-4 6-3 on Saturday and claim a spot in the Adelaide International final. Rybakina, who knocked out American Shelby Rogers in the previous round of the WTA 500 event, went down a break in the second game of the first set, but rallied immediately to break back and bring the set back on serve.
Basketball-'Battle-tested' Brondello ready to take Liberty to next level
The New York Liberty's "battle-tested" new head coach Sandy Brondello will bring vital experience to a young roster hungry for a title, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) franchise said Friday. Brondello, a former WNBA All-Star, led the Mercury to their third championship title in 2014 and to the finals last year, where they lost to the Chicago Sky, parting ways with the team.
Cricket-Bangladesh chase history in Taylor's farewell test
Bangladesh will be chasing a momentous series victory against New Zealand while their smarting hosts are determined to give Ross Taylor a fitting farewell in test cricket in the second and final match which starts on Sunday in Christchurch. Ninth-ranked Bangladesh pulled off test cricket's one of the biggest upsets when they beat world champions New Zealand by eight wickets in the series opener in Mount Maunganui.
Golf-U.S. Women's Open purse to nearly double to $10 million
The U.S. Women's Open purse will nearly double this year to $10 million from $5.5 million in 2021, the highest amount in women's golf, the USGA announced on Friday. The move comes after health care system ProMedica agreed to a long-term sponsorship deal with the USGA focused on the tournament.
Figure skating-Liu withdraws from U.S. Figure Skating Championships after positive COVID-19 test
Two-time national champion Alysa Liu has withdrawn from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships after testing positive for COVID-19 and plans to petition for one of three spots on the U.S. Olympic team, U.S. Figure Skating said on Friday. Liu was in third place on Thursday after earning a score of 71.42 in the women's short program in Nashville. She will miss Friday's free skate as a result of the positive test.
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