Sports News Roundup: Yastremska to meet in Adelaide final; Djokovic the man to beat, again and more
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
WTA roundup: Barty, Yastremska to meet in Adelaide final
No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty fought back from a set down to beat unseeded Danielle Collins 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5) on Friday and advance to the final of the Adelaide International in her native Australia. Barty will meet Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine in the final on Saturday. Yastremska dispatched No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-4, 7-6 (4) to earn her spot in the final.
Djokovic the man to beat, again, at Melbourne Park
Gary Lineker's celebrated quote that soccer is a simple game that "the Germans always win" might well be adapted to tennis and the inescapable dominance of Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. For a tournament that has been thrown into some doubt by bushfire smoke in the leadup, a record-extending eighth Grand Slam title for the defending champion Serbian would hardly be a breath of fresh air for many fans at Melbourne Park.
Iranian chess ref accused of flouting dress code says she won't return home
An Iranian chess referee who has been accused of violating her country's Islamic dress code while adjudicating a women's tournament said that she does not want to return home from Russia out of fear for her safety. Shohreh Bayat, 32, told Reuters she would not travel back to her homeland unless she was given security guarantees in writing from Iran's chess federation.
Barty eyes home party as Serena continues the chase
Ash Barty faces the double burden of being world number one and the focus of an expectant host nation as she seeks to win the Australian Open amid challenges from record-chasing Serena Williams and a host of other Grand Slam winners. The 23-year-old Queenslander Barty spectacularly climbed to the top of the women's rankings in 2019 and will start her Melbourne Park campaign next week having won her maiden Grand Slam at the French Open and the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
NBA roundup: Ingram's 49 leads Pelicans to wild OT win over Jazz
Brandon Ingram scored a career-high 49 points and won a shootout with Donovan Mitchell as the host New Orleans Pelicans ended the Utah Jazz's 10-game winning streak with a 138-132 overtime victory Thursday night. Ingram made five free throws as the Pelicans outscored the Jazz, who lost for the second time in 17 games, 16-10 in overtime despite falling behind by five points midway through the period.
Australian Open organizers on alert for the return of bushfire smoke
Cool temperatures and smoke-free skies gave Australian Open organizers a second day of reprieve on Friday and they will keep their fingers crossed that the haze stays away for the final weekend of preparations for the multi-billion dollar tournament. The year's first Grand Slam begins in earnest on Monday, but organizers have already come in for severe criticism after letting qualifying continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, with noxious smoke shrouding Melbourne Park.
Soccer: U.S. women's team reveals Olympic qualifying tournament roster
The U.S. women's national soccer team revealed its 20-strong Olympic qualifying tournament roster on Friday, as the four-time World Cup winners aim to reach their seventh consecutive Olympic Games. Team co-captain Carli Lloyd will feature in her fourth consecutive Olympic qualifying tournament, alongside national team mainstays Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Becky Sauerbrunn. NFL notebook: Arrest warrant issued for Beckham Jr
New Orleans police issued an arrest warrant for Cleveland Browns wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., on a complaint of simple battery Thursday. The video appears to show Beckham slapping the backside of a police officer while in the LSU locker room at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The incident occurred shortly after the Tigers' 42-25 victory over Clemson on Monday night in the national championship game.
Mexican immigrant dreams of leading first U.S. breakdancing team to Olympic gold
Antonio Castillo discovered the joyful athleticism of breakdancing as a child in Mexico in the 1980s. Now a new generation of young people comes to his Washington studio to learn the finer points of a dance style that has evolved into a sport, hoping one day to bring home Olympic gold. Castillo wants his mostly teenaged students to know that the art form that he prefers to call "breakin'," which was born on the streets of New York City in the 1970s, is not an exercise in nostalgia.
Electric clashes in final stop on road to Super Bowl
The NFL postseason rolls onward on Sunday, with young talent facing off against veteran experience in the NFC conference championship, and an AFC underdog looking to cement a spot in the Super Bowl. The AFC championship will see one of the league's most consistently high-performing teams, the Kansas City Chiefs, take on the post-season's surprise story, the Tennessee Titans.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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