WAMC Sports Report 7/14/23: Jabeur in second straight Wimbledon final, plays Vondrousova for title
Ons Jabeur has defeated Aryna Sabalenka 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Wimbledon final for the second consecutive year. This will be the third title match for Jabeur in the past five Grand Slam tournaments. She is 0-2 so far after losing to Elena Rybakina at the All England Club last July and to Iga Swiatek at the U.S. Open last September. Sabalenka came into the match with a 17-1 record at majors in 2023. Jabeur's opponent for the championship will be Marketa Vondrousova. Vondrousova became the first unseeded women’s finalist at Wimbledon since Billie Jean King in 1963 by eliminating Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3.
Novak Djokovic will carry winning streaks of 33 matches in a row at Wimbledon and 26 in a row at all Grand Slam tournaments into the semifinals at the All England Club. He faces Jannik Sinner today for a berth in the final. The age gap between the 36-year-old Djokovic and the 21-year-old Sinner is the largest between male semifinalists at Wimbledon in the professional era. It is Djokovic's 46th major semifinal appearance and Sinner's first. Djokovic is seeking a fifth consecutive title at the All England Club and eighth overall. He also is pursuing a 24th major trophy. The other matchup today is No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz against No. 3 Daniil Medvedev.
The PGA Tour deal with Saudi Arabia's wealth fund is dropping a clause in their agreement over poaching. That's after the Justice Department raised antitrust concerns. The agreement is for the PGA Tour, European tour and Public Investment Fund to become partners. A clause in the framework agreement was that neither side would try to poach players from other tours. The tour said Thursday that it believes the clause is lawful. But it says it has removed it because the clause isn't needed as they work together in negotiating the final deal. No more players are likely to join LIV this season.
Rory McIlroy is laughing off a Saudi-backed idea that he and Tiger Woods own LIV Golf teams. McIlroy says he would retire if LIV Golf was the only place left on earth to play though he'd still compete at the majors. Those are part of his first comments since the Senate hearing on the PGA Tour's agreement to partner with Saudi Arabia's national wealth fund. One of the documents Congress obtained contained a series of dreamy proposals for compromise. McIlroy has not hidden his disdain for the rival circuit funded by Saudi Arabia.
A person with knowledge of the deal says All-Pro defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and the New York Jets have agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $96 million. Williams is now the second-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL at $24 million per year behind only the Rams’ Aaron Donald, who is making $31.7 million per year. The deal for Williams includes $66 million in guaranteed salary, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce the terms of the contract.
Major League Baseball returns from the All-Star Break today. Action tonight includes
the Yankees at Colorado at 8:40 p.m., the Dodgers at the Mets at 7:10 p.m., Boston at the Cubs at 8:05 p.m., and San Diego at Philadelphia at 6:05 p.m.
The WNBA All-Star Game will be played before a sold-out crowd Saturday in Las Vegas. The 3-point shooting contest and skills competitions will be today. This has been a busy basketball week in Las Vegas. Highly touted 19-year-old Victor Wembanyama made his NBA debut in the Summer League to sold-out crowds at the nearby Thomas & Mack Center. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke openly about Las Vegas as a potential expansion candidate. And the Las Vegas Aces continued to roll through opponents to move to 19-2 as they seek a second straight WNBA title.
A woman seriously injured in the Jan. 15 car crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and an athletics staffer has sued the school’s athletics association and former Bulldogs defensive tackle Jalen Carter for damages. Victoria S. Bowles was riding in the backseat of the rented Ford Expedition driven by fellow UGA recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy, who died in the crash while racing Carter at more than 104 mph following the Bulldogs’ College Football Playoff championship celebration. Bowles’ lawsuit filed Wednesday in Gwinnett County State Court accuses the UGA Athletics Association of negligent entrustment of LeCroy despite having two “super speeder” violations among four speeding tickets.
The legal headaches could only be starting for ex-Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald and West Virginia's Bob Huggins. Fitzgerald was fired this week following hazing allegations in the program. He originally was suspended for two weeks before the school changed course. West Virginia considers Huggins to have resigned after a drunken-driving arrest last month. Huggins says he never formally stepped down and wants to keep coaching basketball. Industry experts are puzzled by what happened. Marty Greenberg is an attorney specializing in coaching contracts. He says if Fitzgerald and Huggins fight back, it would be in everyone's best interests for a quick resolution.
Christian Pulisic will attempt to revive his sagging club career at American-owned AC Milan leading into a home World Cup in the United States in 2026. Pulisic has signed a four-year deal with Milan. The club also has the option for a further season. The 24-year-old Pulisic has struggled with injuries and never fully lived up to expectations at Chelsea. He has left the London club with a year left on his contract. The midfielder-forward is set to become the third American to play for the Rossoneri after Oguchi Onyewu and Sergiño Dest.
Jaravee Boonchant holed out from 128 yards for eagle on No. 10 on her second shot of the round and had a 7-under 64 for a share of the first-round lead with Linn Grant in the LPGA Tour’s Dana Open. Boonchant also had seven birdies and two bogeys at Highland Meadows. The 24-year-old Thai player is winless on the LPGA Tour after helping Duke take the 2019 NCAA title. She missed the cut last week in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach. Grant had a bogey-free round, opening with six straight pars on the back nine. Also winless on the tour, the 24-year-old Swede birdied Nos. 16-18 and 2, 6, 8 and 9. She played at Arizona State.
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