Sports News Roundup: Tennis-Lure of Wimbledon grass courts too much for Venus to resist; Cricket-England white-ball captain Buttler downplays talk of test role and more
The eight-team tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, will see the top four finishers qualify for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and the overall winner for the 2024 Paris Olympics. U.S. basketball star Griner goes on trial in Russia on drug charges U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner went on trial in a court on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday to hear drug charges that could see her serve up to 10 years in a Russian jail.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Cricket-England white-ball captain Buttler downplays talk of test role
England's new white-ball captain Jos Buttler has downplayed the prospect of becoming an opener for the England test team after he was touted for the role by ex-Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara. Sangakkara this week said Buttler, who top-scored in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season with 863 runs, could be a perfect fit for the test team's newfound swashbuckling style under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.
The sight of the All England Club's manicured lawns proved irresistible for Venus Williams as the multiple Grand Slam champion made an unexpected - and winning - return after almost a year off the court to play at Wimbledon on Friday. The 42-year-old American, inspired by the sight of younger sister Serena earlier in the week, stepped back onto the court alongside Jamie Murray in the mixed doubles thanks to a wildcard entry and promptly booked a spot in the second round.
NBA-LaVine, Bulls agree on $215M extension in latest free agency blockbuster
The Chicago Bulls and twice All-Star Zach LaVine on Friday agreed to a $215 million contract extension, the latest blockbuster NBA deal after Nikola Jokic's record $270 million extensions with the Denver Nuggets. The five-year deal keeps the guard in Chicago after producing an average of 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game last season, helping the Bulls to the postseason for the first time since 2017.
Soccer-U.S. prepare for the unexpected ahead of World Cup qualifiers
Back-to-back women's world champions the United States take their first step toward the 2023 tournament on Monday, playing Haiti in their CONCACAF W Championship group stage opener. The eight-team tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, will see the top four finishers qualify for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and the overall winner for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner went on trial in a court on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday to hear drug charges that could see her serve up to 10 years in a Russian jail. Griner, 31, was formally told at this first hearing that she was charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia. She spoke to say she understood the charges. The judge set the next hearing for July 7.
Sport-Restrictions on transgender athletes violate Olympic Charter - FIMS chief
Restrictions on athletes who are transgender or with Differences in Sexual Development (DSD) do not respect the principles of the Olympic Charter, International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS) president Fabio Pigozzi said on Friday. A raft of sports governing bodies started reviewing their policy on the involvement of transgender athletes in women's sports following last month's ruling by swimming's top body FINA.
Soccer-Former Netherlands player Pauw reveals sexual abuse
Former Netherlands international Vera Pauw said on Friday she was sexually abused by three men employed within Dutch football when she was a player, which she has recently reported to the police feeling that she got no support from the Dutch FA (KNVB). The 59-year-old Pauw, who is now the Ireland women's national team coach, played for the Netherlands from 1984-1998. She then began her coaching career with Scotland women's team, moving to coach the Netherlands in 2004 for six years.
Tennis-Tsitsipas faces early hurdle in high-flying Kyrgios
Stefanos Tsitsipas' new-found love for grass will face a stern test when the Greek fourth seed faces red-hot Nick Kyrgios in their third-round showdown at Wimbledon on Saturday. Tsitsipas won his maiden grasscourt title in Mallorca last week and has carried that form into Wimbledon, showing glimpses of the quality that has helped him triumph on other surfaces.
Tennis-Alcaraz set for more favourable stats after making fourth round
If Carlos Alcaraz has the time to watch replays of his three Wimbledon matches this year he will see one statistic flash up repeatedly -- the Spaniard is the only player among the men's top eight seeds not to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. On Friday's evidence, it will not be too long before the 19-year-old forces broadcasters to come up with more favorable stats about his career as reached the last 16 by taking care of tricky German Oscar Otte with a 6-3 6-1 6-2 victory.
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner told U.S. Charge d'Affaires Elizabeth Rood at her trial in Moscow that she was "keeping the faith," Rood told reporters after attending the opening session of Griner's trial on narcotics charges. Rood, who attended the session in the Moscow suburb of Xhimki, said she had been able to speak to the WNBA player, who was "as well as can be expected".
(With inputs from agencies.)