Novak Djokovic claims 10th Australian Open title, 22nd Slam
MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic climbed up into the stands at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday to celebrate winning his 10th Australian Open and 22nd Grand Slam title. He then fell on his back and started crying.
Djokovic sat on his sideline bench, buried his face in a white towel, and sobbed when he returned to the playing surface.
This trip to Australia was far more successful than the one a year ago when he was deported because he had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, though it was difficult in its way: a hamstring injury, some off-court quarrels with his father. Nonetheless, Djokovic accomplished everything he could have hoped for in his comeback: he resumed his winning ways at Melbourne Park and returned to the top of the tennis world, declaring: “This probably is the biggest victory of my life.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas gave Djokovic a short run for his money in the final, but Djokovic beat him 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6. (5). As a bonus, Djokovic will rise from No. 5 to No. 1 in the ATP rankings, a position he has already held for more weeks than any other player.
“Considering the circumstances, this has been one of the most difficult tournaments I’ve ever played. “I didn’t play last year; I’m back this year,” Djokovic said, wearing a white zip-up jacket with a “22” on the chest. “I also want to thank everyone who made me feel welcome and comfortable in Melbourne and Australia.”
The 35-year-Old Serb Won His 28th Straight Match In Australian Open.
The 35-year-old Serb won his 28th straight match in Melbourne, making it the longest unbeaten streak in Australian Open history (since 1968). He now has ten trophies, including seven from Wimbledon, three from the US Open (where he was also absent last year due to a lack of coronavirus shots), and two from the French Open, matching rival Rafael Nadal for the most by a man.
Only two women are ahead of him: Margaret Court (24) and Serena Williams (23).
This was also Djokovic’s 93rd ATP tour-level title, breaking a tie with Nadal for fourth-most.
“I’d like to thank you for advancing our sport so far,” Tsitsipas said to Djokovic.
“He is the greatest that has ever held a tennis racket,” Tsitsipas said.
Djokovic was competing in his 33rd major final, while Tsitsipas was competing in his second — and the 24-year-old Greek also lost the other, at the 2021 French Open, to Djokovic.
Djokovic was superior throughout, especially in the two tiebreakers, on a cool evening under a cloudy sky, with a soundtrack of chants from both men’s supporters prompting repeated pleas for quiet from the chair umpire.
He took a 4-1 lead in the first quarter and scored the final three points. He led 5-0 in the final tiebreaker, and when it was over, he screamed and pointed to his temple, a precursor to all of the tears.
An Emotional Week For All In Attendance
“It was very emotional for us. “It was very emotional for him,” Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic, said. “It’s a fantastic accomplishment. He had a very difficult three weeks. He was able to triumph over all odds.”
Djokovic admitted that all of the issues were stressful for him.
“It took enormous mental and emotional energy to keep it tight, keep my focus,” Djokovic said.
Keep in mind that, aside from a rash of early miscues that resulted in more tension than anything else, Tsitsipas didn’t play all that poorly. It’s because Djokovic was too rigid. Because he was too careful with his shots, he only made 22 unintentional mistakes, which was 20 less than his opponent. On the run, you need to be more quick and adaptable (other than when, moving to his left, Djokovic took a tumble).
“I tried everything,” said Tsitsipas, who would have moved to No. 1 with a win, replacing Carlos Alcaraz, who missed the Australian Open due to a leg injury.
Perhaps. Djokovic, on the other hand, keeps pushing until his opponent misses or gives him a chance to take advantage.
The Come-Back Kid
That happened when Tsitsipas saved his first break point, also a set point, with Djokovic serving at 30-40 in the second set. Could this be a fulcrum? Could Djokovic give in? Could Tsitsipas make a comeback?
Djokovic finished a 15-stroke point with a cross-court forehand winner that felt like a statement. Tsitsipas then missed two shots: a backhand long and a forehand wide. Those felt like surrender. Even when Tsitsipas broke in the third, Djokovic broke right back.
Over the last two weeks, Djokovic has been thinking about more than just forehands and backhands.
There was also the not-insignificant matter of last year’s legal saga — he has alternately acknowledged the whole thing served as a form of motivation but also said the other day, “I’m over it” — and apprehension about the kind of reception he would receive if he were allowed to enter Australia because pandemic restrictions had been relaxed.
Constant Heckling At The Australian Open
He got a lot of loud support, but he also had to deal with constant heckling, like when people cheered after he made mistakes on Sunday.
There was the sore left hamstring, which had been heavily bandaged for every match — until the final, when only a piece of beige athletic tape could be seen.
After Djokovic’s quarterfinal, his father, Srdjan, was filmed with a group waving Russian flags, one with an image of Vladimir Putin on it. The tournament prohibited spectators from carrying Russian or Belarussian flags, claiming they would disrupt due to Ukraine’s ongoing invasion. According to Djokovic and his father, Srdjan thought he was with Serbian fans.
Srdjan Djokovic, however, did not attend his son’s semifinal or final.
“We both agreed,” said the younger Djokovic, who did meet up with his father for a hug after the match on Sunday, “that it would probably be better if he weren’t there.”
Regardless, Djokovic performed admirably, as he frequently does.
“It’s been a long journey, but it’s been a very special one,” he said.
SOURCE – (AP)
Dan Snyder’s Future In 2023 A Hot Topic At NFL Owners Meetings
PHOENIX — Dan Snyder’s future in the NFL as the owner of the Washington Commanders is uncertain as his peers gathered at a luxurious resort for the league’s annual meetings and waited for word on the likely sale of the team.
Three people familiar with the details told The Associated Press on Monday that a conversation about Snyder is off the formal schedule this week. Despite his absence, Snyder remained a popular topic of discussion, even as quarterback Lamar Jackson’s trade request dominated headlines.
“I believe he has put the team up for sale.” “I believe something is on the verge of happening,” stated New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “I don’t know for sure.” We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Canadian millionaire Steve Apostolopoulos recently entered bids for the Commanders led by Josh Harris and Tilman Fertitta. When Snyder accepts an offer, he must submit the bidder’s name to the NFL for approval. That has yet to happen, according to an AP source.
With various investigations into the team’s working culture, finances, and Snyder himself ongoing, he and his wife Tanya hired a consultancy last fall to “consider possible transactions.” Tanya is still representing the team at league competitions.
There is “merit to remove” Snyder as the owner of the Commanders.
Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, has stated that there is “merit to remove” Snyder as the owner of the Commanders. That would necessitate an extraordinary vote of 24 of the other 31 team owners.
According to the Associated Press, Snyder and his attorneys have demanded that NFL owners and the league cover him against future legal liabilities and costs if he sells the club. Two owners expressed outrage at Snyder’s demand for indemnification but told the Associated Press that they wanted to see the sale process through before taking action.
According to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Snyder’s condition has altered their relationship.
“I think it’s a little more formal,” Jones said, “but that’s because of the various issues involved here.” “It isn’t ‘lovey-dovey,’ but it isn’t strained in any way.”
Snyder and the team are still under investigation by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who was hired by the league to investigate various aspects of the organization following a congressional investigation into workplace misconduct, which included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission for potential business improprieties.
When asked if Snyder had refused to talk with White, a spokeswoman said it was a private matter between the team and the league.
Snyder is the subject of several civil cases and investigations.
The District of Columbia Attorney General filed two civil lawsuits against the Commanders late last year: one for a scheme to defraud fans of ticket money and another accusing Snyder, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the league of conspiring to mislead fans about an investigation into the team’s workplace culture that resulted in a $10 million fine and no written report. The Commanders reached an agreement with the state of Maryland, agreeing to repay security deposits and pay a $250,000 fine.
An inquiry begun in October 2021 by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which included evidence from Snyder, Goodell, and others, concluded that the team produced a poisonous workplace atmosphere.
Other developments from Monday’s discussions included:
The NFL has created The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, a collaboration of numerous groups campaigning to adopt evidence-based policies to prevent high school kids from dying from sudden cardiac arrest.
“The NFL has a history of addressing difficult issues,” league official Anna Isaacson said. “The life of Damar Hamlin was saved.” More lives must be saved.”
The NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NCAA, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Korey Stringer Institute, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and Damar Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation are all part of the coalition.
According to League president Jeff Miller, schools need to have rules in place to provide good CPR and fast access to AEDs.
“A lot of the most tragic situations that unfortunately happen may be avoided if a school has an emergency action plan in place if they have someone trained in CPR and access to an AED.”
HOSTS OF THE FUTURE
According to league official Peter O’Reilly, a vote on Super Bowl 2026 and NFL draft 2025 host cities will not occur this week. According to O’Reilly, it will likely be on the agenda for the May sessions.
The Super Bowl will be held in Las Vegas next year, with New Orleans hosting the following year. The NFL draft will be held in Kansas City next month, and Detroit will host the following year. O’Reilly stated that the reinvented Pro Bowl, which includes a week of activities and competition culminating in flag football, is here to stay. According to him, 100% of the gamers polled support the new format.
SOURCE – (AP)
Lamar Jackson Says He Has Requested Trade From Ravens
On Monday, Lamar Jackson requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens, saying the team “has not been interested in meeting my value.”
In a series of tweets, the star quarterback stated that he had sought a trade as of March 2. On March 7, the Ravens placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson and stated they were still hopeful of reaching a long-term agreement with him.
“As of March 2, I requested a trade from the Ravens organization, and the Ravens have not been interested in meeting my value,” Jackson tweeted. “Anyone who has met or been around me knows I love football, and my dream is to help a team win the Super Bowl.”
Jackson may not need to be traded to join a new team. He can deal with other teams because he has a nonexclusive franchise tag. It also allows Baltimore to match whatever arrangement he makes. The decision to make the trade request public could be a move to discourage the Ravens from matching another team’s offer — or it could be an attempt to pique the interest of other clubs by proclaiming his desire to leave Baltimore.
If Jackson strikes a deal with another team and the Ravens do not match, the opposing team will owe Baltimore two first-round picks.
Lamar may not need to be traded to join a new team.
On Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh addressed Jackson extensively at the league’s owners’ meetings in Phoenix.
“I didn’t see the tweet.” “That is a continuous process,” Harbaugh added. “Like everyone else here, I’m watching it closely and hoping for a resolution.” I’m excited because I’m constantly thinking about Lamar being our quarterback. That is the foundation of our offense.”
Jackson was named NFL MVP in 2019. His passing and running abilities make him one of the game’s most prominent players. At 25, he is one of just six quarterbacks in NFL history to have accumulated 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 yards rushing.
Lamar has been injured at the end of the previous two seasons, and the Ravens have yet to reach the AFC title game without him. If he stays in Baltimore, he’ll have a new offensive coordinator. The Ravens hired Todd Monken of Georgia for that role at the end of last season.
Harbaugh stated that he expects Lamar to start at quarterback for the Ravens next season.
“However, I’m very excited about Lamar Jackson.
“You’ve got to plan for every contingency,” Harbaugh added. “However, I’m very excited about Lamar Jackson.” Lamar Jackson, for example, is a fantastic player. Last year, Lamar returned to form. He’s pumped to play. That’s the Lamar I’m interested in seeing. I can’t wait to go out on the grass and back to work, which will likely happen.
Harbaugh attempted to remain optimistic about Jackson’s return. If Jackson returns to the field this season on Baltimore’s $32.4 million franchise tag, it will undoubtedly be a difficult situation, and the coach will have his work cut out for him to ease tensions.
“Nothing has changed regarding relationships, how we feel about Lamar, and how we want to build our team,” Harbaugh explained.
An agent does not represent Jackson. The NFL management council stated in a statement given to teams last week and obtained by The Associated Press that a person who is not an NFLPA-certified agent may be contacting clubs and seeking to urge them to talk with Jackson. The message reminded teams that if a player is representing himself, an offer sheet can only be discussed with that player under the collective bargaining agreement.
Jackson stated on Twitter that the individual in question never attempted to negotiate for him.
SOURCE – (AP)
World Baseball Classic Keeps Growing Despite Injury Risks
MIAMI — There will be endless replays of Shohei Ohtani’s strikeout of Mike Trout, Trea Turner’s game-winning grand slam against Venezuela in the eighth inning, Japan’s walk-off semifinal victory, and Mexico’s comeback from a four-run hole against Puerto Rico.
People will talk about Jose Altuve’s fractured finger and Edwin Dáz’s season-ending knee injury all year.
The 47 games played over two weeks during this year’s World Baseball Classic left fans with long-lasting memories and increased the sport’s global presence while restoring Japan’s dominance and reiterating Ohtani’s unrivaled talent.
Even if it is not a worldwide obsession like the World Cup of soccer, the event has expanded throughout its five editions since its debut in 2006.
“In a way, this is like our Olympics. Before the Americans were defeated by Japan 3-2 in Tuesday night’s championship game, Kyle Schwarber remarked, “We don’t have that opportunity to play wherever the Olympics are at. Ohtani fanned Trout to secure Japan’s first championship since 2009 and third overall. When baseball was briefly reinstated at the previous Games, Samurai Japan defeated an American team loaded with minor league players to win the gold medal. Baseball is no longer a permanent Olympic sport.
The star-studded WBC, held in Miami, Phoenix, Tokyo, and Taiwan, is expected to generate between $90 million and $100 million in revenue. The tournament’s top attendance of 1,306,414 was 20% more than the 1,086,720 for 40 games in 2017.
This year’s semifinals on FS1 and Fox Deportes averaged 2.4 million viewers, a 96% increase over the semifinals on MLB Network and ESPN Deportes in 2017.
Fox stepping up to broadcast the games was “one of the things that were important this time around,” according to baseball commissioner Rob Manfred. Nobody supports the MLB Network more than I do, but it’s a big deal when one of the main broadcasters shows interest in covering the event.
Since the start of the tournament, player health has been a source of concern.
Since the start of the tournament, player health has been a source of concern. Since they wanted them to focus on getting ready for the start of the season, many MLB organizations prohibited pitchers from taking part. Dáz and Altuve’s injuries heightened their worries.
However, the likelihood of injury risks slowing the WBC’s expansion seems remote given that MLB generates cash and international attention from the competition and that players are eager to represent their home nations.
Dáz’s teammate on Team Puerto Rico and the New York Mets, Francisco Lindor, told reporters, “We all care for each other, and no one wants to get hurt.” “But we all adore our nations and want to stand up for them. We get the chance to speak on behalf of our nations and gain knowledge from one another. It’s incredible.
Going into the title match, Japan had drawn three of the four most viewed WBC games ever at home, with ratings of 48.7 for the quarterfinal versus Italy, 44.4 for the matchup against South Korea, and 42.5 for the semifinal versus Mexico. The numbers show the proportion of television households that watched a particular broadcast.
Back home, there was a widespread celebration after the team’s victory. The most widely read newspaper in the nation, Yomiuri, published a special Wednesday afternoon edition for commuters. This publication is often saved for important national news, election-related breaking stories, or, as it happened last year, the killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The headline in Japanese read, “Japan, the World’s No. 1.”
Mexico expected that reaching the final four would draw more attention to the sport in a country where soccer is the most popular.
Britain, the Czech Republic, and Nicaragua first made it to the baseball tournament.
Manager Benji Gil predicted that the upcoming two weeks would draw many young players from Mexico and Mexicans who reside overseas.
Britain, the Czech Republic, and Nicaragua first made it to the baseball tournament after it went from 16 to 20 countries. All were unable to get past the group stage.
The mercy rule resulted in the mercy ending two games for China, one for Israel, and one for each Britain and Canada.
Due to a mathematical tiebreaker based on runs allowed divided by outs, Cuba and Italy advanced over the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Panama in Group A despite all five nations finishing tied at two points each in baseball.
Baseball is becoming more and more popular around the world, according to U.S. manager Mark DeRosa. “I figured Colombia, man, the arms they were running out there, they weren’t name guys, but everyone was sitting 92 to 95 (mph) and had pretty decent stuff,” the speaker said.
After striking out All-Stars Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, and Rafael Devers in one spectacular inning baseball, Nicaraguan pitcher Duque Hebbert signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers.
The MLB Players Association and the next World Baseball Classic in March 2026 are committed. Manfred stated it is too early to predict whether the format would change.
If you can participate in an event that mixes nationalism and sport, you must, according to him, since he believes that the combination is potent.
SOURCE – (AP)
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