Sports News Roundup: Tennis-Tsitsipas beats gutsy Khachanov to reach first Australian Open final; Rugby-World Rugby to lower tackle height at elite level: CEO and more
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Top 25 roundup: USC earns upset win over No. 8 UCLA
Boogie Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half, including a 3-point dagger with 1:25 remaining, and Southern California handed visiting crosstown rival and No. 8-ranked UCLA its second consecutive loss in a 77-64 decision Thursday night in Los Angeles. The Trojans (15-6, 7-3 Pac-12 Conference) trailed by 12 points at halftime but opened the second half on a 15-4 run to pull within a point less than six minutes into the second half. USC extended its run to 25-6 over the first 10:12 after intermission, taking a lead it never relinquished down the stretch.
Tennis-Tsitsipas beats gutsy Khachanov to reach first Australian Open final
Stefanos Tsitsipas blazed his way into a first Australian Open final with a 7-6(2) 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 win over Russian 18th seed Karen Khachanov on Friday. Greek third seed Tsitsipas, who had crashed three times at the semi-final stage at Melbourne Park, will play either favourite Novak Djokovic or Tommy Paul for the title.
NBA roundup: Mavs win game but lose Luka Doncic
Spencer Dinwiddie scored a season-high 36 points as the visiting Dallas Mavericks overcame an early injury to star Luka Doncic to beat the Phoenix Suns 99-95 on Thursday night. Dorian Finney-Smith had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Dwight Powell added 15 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 11 and Reggie Bullock had 10 for Dallas, which won for just the third time in 10 games.
Tennis-Rybakina meets Sabalenka in clash of big hitters for Australian Open crown
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina began her Australian Open campaign on the outer courts at Melbourne Park but the 22nd seed is now just one step away from winning her second major, with only fellow big-hitter Aryna Sabalenka standing in her way.
Russian-born Rybakina switched allegiance to Kazakhstan in 2018 to get more financial support and went on to become the country's first major singles champion at the All England Club, where she beat Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the final.
Rugby-World Rugby to lower tackle height at elite level: CEO
World Rugby intends to lower the legal tackling height at elite level worldwide in the coming years to reduce the risk of head injuries in the sport, the governing body's chief executive Alan Gilpin said. Gilpin's comments follow the decision by England's Rugby Football Union to ban tackling above the waist in the community game. Players and coaches have criticised both the decision and what they said was a lack of consultation.
Djokovic's father won't attend semi-final after Russia flag controversy
Novak Djokovic's father Srdjan said on Friday he would not attend his son's Australian Open semi-final and would instead "watch from home", after a video emerged showing him posing at Melbourne Park with fans holding Russian flags. The video caused controversy in Australia, leading to the country's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday reiterating Australian support for Ukraine and criticising supporters of Russia's invasion.
Soccer-Corica sought advice from Socceroos' Arnold during Sydney struggles
Sydney FC's Steve Corica said he turned to Australia coach Graham Arnold for advice amid speculation over his future at the helm of the former A-League champions. Corica led Sydney to the title in 2019 and 2020 but came under pressure after a poor start to the current campaign left them close to the bottom.
NHL roundup: Hot at home, Lightning stop Bruins' road run
Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists, including one on Victor Hedman's game-winning tally, as the Tampa Bay Lightning won for the 11th straight time at home, edging Boston 3-2 and breaking the Bruins' seven-game road winning streak on Thursday night. In a 2-2 game in the third, Hedman potted the go-ahead goal at 13:19 after Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo knocked down Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark (32 saves). Brad Marchand and Pavel Zacha tallied for the Bruins, who lost for the first time in seven games and slid to 10-2-0 in January.
Golf-Immelman expects Woods to be ready for Masters return
Tiger Woods will not be at his favourite hunting ground of Torrey Pines this week but former Masters winner Trevor Immelman expects to see the 15-time major champion back at Augusta National in April. Woods has made few competitive appearances since last July's British Open as the former world number one deals with yet another health issue - plantar fasciitis - that has further slowed his recovery from injuries sustained in a near fatal 2021 car crash.
Cricket-Lara to act as 'performance mentor' for West Indies
Cricket West Indies (CWI) said batting great Brian Lara has agreed to take on the role of "performance mentor" to help players and coaches in all three formats of the game. The 53-year-old, who was part of a review panel formed after West Indies faltered in the first round of last year's T20 World Cup, would support the head coaches "in providing players with tactical advice and improving their game sense", the CWI said in a statement on Thursday.
(With inputs from agencies.)