Tuesday Sports in Brief
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Serena Williams’ comeback at Wimbledon ended against 115th-ranked Harmony Tan, who beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion in the first round Tuesday.
The Frenchwoman defeated the seven-time Wimbledon champion 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) on Centre Court in a memorable debut at the All England Club.
For the 40-year-old Williams, it was her first singles match since exiting Wimbledon a year ago in the first round because of an injury.
Williams was leading 5-4 and was two points from victory but Tan broke to even the set. Williams then saved a match point in the 12th game to force a tiebreaker.
The loss was only the third for Williams in the first round of a Grand Slam match.
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Matteo Berrettini, last year’s runner-up at Wimbledon, dropped out of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament hours before he was scheduled to play his first-round match Tuesday, saying that he tested positive for COVID-19.
The eighth-seeded Berrettini became the second high-profile player to pull out of the men’s draw within the first two days because of the illness caused by the coronavirus, joining 2014 U.S. Open champion and 2017 Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic, who was seeded 14th.
Players are not required by the tournament to get checked for COVID-19 this year; both Berrettini and Cilic said they got tested because they wanted to after having symptoms.
The NFL insisted on an indefinite suspension while Deshaun Watson’s legal team argued there’s no basis for that punishment as both sides presented their cases in front of a retired judge in Delaware on Tuesday, two people in attendance told The Associated Press.
The hearing will continue on Wednesday and Watson is scheduled to be there for the duration, according to one person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the hearing isn’t public.
Former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who was jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players’ Association, will determine whether Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Atlanta Braves closer Kenley Jansen was put on the 15-day injured list Tuesday because of an irregular heartbeat, the latest heart-related issue in the veteran right-hander’s career.
The move was made retroactive to Monday when Jansen felt discomfort, manager Brian Snitker said.
In November 2018, Jansen underwent a cardiac ablation, a procedure to restore normal heart rhythm. He was first diagnosed with irregular heartbeat issues in 2011 and had an ablation the next year.
The 34-year-old Jansen signed a one-year, $16 million deal with the Braves in the offseason. He has gone 4-0 with a 3.58 ERA while converting 20 of 24 save opportunities.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will have surgery Wednesday to repair his broken left thumb and the team hopes the 2021 NL MVP can play again this season.
Manager Rob Thomson did not offer a timetable for Harper’s return.
Harper’s thumb was broken when he was hit by a 97 mph pitch from San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old Harper is hitting .318 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .985 OPS, and has helped the Phillies recently surge back into playoff contention.
Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy has accepted an offer to become the coach of the Utah Jazz, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday.
Hardy and the Jazz were in the process of finalizing contract language, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side announced the deal publicly.
Hardy will become an NBA head coach for the first time. He will replace Quin Snyder, who decided to leave the Jazz earlier this month after eight seasons.
ESPN and The Athletic first reported the agreement between Hardy and the Jazz.
— By AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook is exercising his option to play for $47.1 million next season, a person with direct knowledge of the decision said Tuesday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Westbrook — a past NBA MVP and one of the league’s top 75 all-time players — nor the Lakers revealed the decision publicly. ESPN first reported Westbrook’s decision.
It certainly was not a surprise, considering Westbrook would not have commanded anywhere near $47.1 million for this coming season had he chosen to become a free agent. He’ll turn 34 next season, his 15th in the NBA.
Westbrook had until Wednesday to make up his mind on the option, which will make this the fifth and final season of a $207 million contract he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
— By AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.
The PGA Tour is awarding 10 cards to European tour players and bringing back a direct path to the big leagues from Q-school as part of an expanded partnership with Europe that aims to strengthen themselves against the Saudi-funded LIV Golf.
The joint venture with Europe is a 13-year deal that goes through 2035, and the PGA Tour increases its stake in European Tour Productions, the tour’s media and commercial branch, from 15% to 40%.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan last week outlined significant changes to the schedule that will feature a January-to-August season starting in 2024 and create purses of $20 million on average for eight elite events.
The changes outlined in a conference call Tuesday give European tour players immediate access to the PGA Tour. The leading 10 players — excluding those already on the PGA Tour, such as Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm — will have full cards for the following year.
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (AP) — Four months after suggesting those who defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series were sellouts, Brooks Koepka explained Tuesday that he simply changed his mind.
Koepka signed with LIV Golf last week for its first event on American soil, which starts Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge west of Portland.
It was a stunning reversal for the four-time major champion, who was once an outspoken critic of the fledgling series that seeks to challenge the PGA Tour.
“Opinions change. I feel very comfortable with the decision I made. I’m happy, and did what’s best for me,” Koepka said.
SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Storm signed five-time first-team all-WNBA center Tina Charles for the rest of the season on Tuesday, three days after she was let go by Phoenix.
The 33-year-old Charles was averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 16 games this season with the Mercury before the sides settled on a contract divorce last weekend. She’s expected to make her debut with Seattle on Wednesday night against Las Vegas.
The WNBA’s leading scorer last season with Washington, Charles signed with Phoenix in February, a day after the Mercury added Diamond DeShields in a three-team trade with Chicago and New York. The additions were expected to give the Mercury a huge boost to a roster that already had Diana Taurasi, Britney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith.
BOSTON (AP) — Researchers have diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a Major League Soccer player for the first time, saying Tuesday that defender Scott Vermillion suffered from the degenerative brain disease.
The Boston University CTE Center said Vermillion, who died of an accidental drug overdose in December 2020 at the age of 44, had the disease. Although it is not possible to connect any individual case to a cause, CTE has been linked to repeated blows to the head.
CTE has been found in more than 100 former NFL players as well as semi-pro and high school soccer players. Vermillion, who played for the Kansas City Wizards, Colorado Rapids and D.C. United, is the first from MLS.
MILTON KEYNES, England (AP) — Red Bull terminated the contract of Formula One test and reserve driver Jüri Vips on Tuesday for using a racial slur during an online gaming stream.
The 21-year-old Estonian was suspended by Red Bull last week pending an investigation into the language he used. Vips had apologized for his actions.
“Following its investigation into an online incident involving Juri Vips, Oracle Red Bull Racing has terminated Juri’s contract as its test and reserve driver,” Red Bull tweeted. “The team does not condone any form of racism.”
Vips stepped in for Red Bull’s F1 driver Sergio Pérez in the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix last month and finished last.
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