Sports News

Latest Sports Headlines

1 hour ago

Cincinnati Bearcats football expected to hire former Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, sources say

The University of Cincinnati is expected to hire former Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, sources told ESPN, marking his return to the city where he spent more than two decades as a high school coach and a school where he began his college coaching career. Coombs is expected to coach cornerbacks and be the special teams coordinator for the Bearcats, working on defense under second-year coordinator Mike Tressel. Coombs was demoted from playcalling duties at Ohio State in September, and his Buckeyes departure sets up a reunion with the school where he'd spent five seasons as an assistant under Brian Kelly and Butch Jones from 2007 to '11. Coombs, 60, worked with Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, then the Ohio State defensive coordinator, for five seasons in Columbus until Fickell took the Cincinnati job in 2017. Coombs brings one of the strongest track records in the country in recruiting and developing corners, in a career that includes two years as the secondary coach...
1 hour ago
2 hours ago

University of Cincinnati Bearcats expected to hire former Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, sources say

The University of Cincinnati is expected to hire former Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, sources told ESPN, marking a return to the city where he spent more than two decades as a high school coach and a school where he began his college coaching career. Coombs is expected to coach cornerbacks and be the special teams coordinator for the Bearcats, working on defense under second-year coordinator Mike Tressel. Coombs got demoted from play calling duties at Ohio State in September this season, and his departure from Ohio State sets up a reunion with a school where he'd spent five seasons as an assistant under Brian Kelly and Butch Jones from 2007-11. Coombs, 60, worked with Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, then the Ohio State defensive coordinator, for five seasons in Columbus until Fickell took the Cincinnati job in 2017. Coombs brings one of the strongest track records in the country in recruiting and developing corners, which includes two years under Mike Vrabel as an...
2 hours ago
January 18

NBA Social Justice Coalition vows to fight for voting rights

The coalition was formed in 2020 after the death of George Floyd.
January 18
John Lewis, Ralph Abernathy, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Bunche, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Fred Shuttlesworth and others lead marchers as begin the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march from Brown's Chapel Church in Selma, Ala., March 21, 1965.
January 18

Novak Djokovic visa saga to be subject of review as Tennis Australia board acknowledges 'distraction,' commends CEO

The board of Tennis Australia issued a statement two days after nine-time champion Novak Djokovic lost a legal challenge against his visa cancellation to say that the entire saga would be subject to a review after the Australian Open.  "We recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone, and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players," the statement, which did not mention Djokovic by name, said in part.  Without naming him, the statement also said the board commended Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley for his work and dedication. The tournament started Monday. Three judges in the Federal Court on Sunday rejected Djokovic's bid to have his visa reinstated, and he was deported later that night, flying back to Serbia via Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Djokovic was approved by Tennis Australia and the state of Victoria for a medical exemption to the country's strict COVID-19 vaccination rules based on the fact he had tested...
January 18
January 18

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker leaves field on stretcher after third-quarter collision

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker was taken off the field on a stretcher after a violent collision late in the third quarter of Monday night's NFC wild-card game against the Los Angeles Rams. He was ruled out of the game with a concussion but did have movement and feeling in his extremities as he was carted off the field.  The Cardinals later said he was taken to the hospital for further evaluation and was alert and communicative. Coach Kliff Kingsbury, speaking after his team's 34-11 loss, said he didn't know if Baker was staying in the hospital overnight.  Baker tweeted early Tuesday morning that he was "doing good." Baker hit Rams running back Cam Akers with 1:51 left in the third quarter around the Cardinals' 5-yard line. He lowered his head and left shoulder before hitting Akers' knee. Baker fell to the ground, and almost instantly Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks was waving to the sideline for help. "It...
January 18
January 18

Daniil Medvedev, aiming for history, cruises to 1st round win at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia -- The Australian Open started well for second-seeded Daniil Medvedev, one of the biggest potential beneficiaries of  Novak Djokovic's deportation. Aiming to be the first man in the Open era to win his second major title on his next Grand Slam appearance, Medvedev had a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Henri Laaksonen on Tuesday in the first round at Melbourne Park.   Defending champion Djokovic was already back in Serbia, two days after losing his legal challenge to stay in Australia despite being unvaccinated against COVID-19, when Medvedev went onto Rod Laver Arena and raced through the first set in 26 minutes. Nobody has dominated on that court like Djokovic, who was unbeaten in the nine finals he reached at the Australian Open. Medvedev was the most recent recipient of one of those beatings, losing last year's championship match. But he avenged that with his breakthrough major title at...
January 18
January 18

US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez upset in first round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Four months later and on the other side of the world, Leylah Fernandez lost to a 133rd-ranked wild-card entry in her first Grand Slam tennis match since her runner-up finish at the US Open. The 19-year-old Canadian lost 6-2, 6-4 to Maddison Inglis in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, marking the third straight year she has failed to progress to the second round at the first tennis major of the year. Fernandez made 30 unforced errors, dropped her serve three times and hit only eight winners on 1573 Arena against Inglis, who converted her third match point to complete her very first win in the main draw of a major. She lost in the first round at last year's Australian Open to then-defending champion Sofia Kenin. "Today was just not a good day. Too many mistakes," Fernandez said. For Fernandez, the venue and the vibe were a long way from her run to the final at Flushing Meadows, where she lost to Emma...
January 18
January 17

Los Angeles Rams blow out Arizona Cardinals, giving QB Matthew Stafford first playoff win

INGLEWOOD, Calif. --  Matthew Stafford entered Monday night's wild-card game against the Arizona Cardinals having never won in the playoffs, losing in all three of his appearances over 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions. If only he had a team around him as talented as the one he now quarterbacks. Stafford combined for three touchdowns, vastly outplaying Cardinals counterpart Kyler Murray, and the Los Angeles Rams got contributions from up and down their star-studded roster en route to a stress-free 34-11 win at SoFi Stadium. It filled the playoff hole in Stafford's résumé and punched the Rams' ticket to the divisional round, where they'll face Tom Brady and the defending champion  Buccaneers on Sunday in Tampa, Florida. Stafford's 323 career touchdown passes in the regular season were the most of any player without a playoff victory, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. "I'm just excited for our team to get...
January 17
January 17

Los Angeles Rams blow out Arizona Cardinals, giving QB Matthew Stafford first playoff win of NFL career

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Matthew Stafford entered Monday night's wild-card game against the Arizona Cardinals having never won in the playoffs, losing in all three of his appearances over 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions. If only he had a team around him as talented as the one he now quarterbacks. Stafford combined for three touchdowns, vastly outplaying Cardinals counterpart Kyler Murray, and the Los Angeles Rams got contributions from up and down their star-studded roster en route to a stress-free 34-11 win at SoFi Stadium. It filled the playoff hole in Stafford's resume and punched the Rams' ticket to the divisional round, where they'll face Tom Brady and the defending champion Buccaneers next Sunday in Tampa Bay. Stafford turned in one of his most efficient performance in several weeks, even if it wasn't his most prolific. He threw touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp and ran for another on...
January 17
January 17

Garbine Muguruza remains 'aggressive,' extends first-round record to 10-0 at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Garbine Muguruza extended her first-round success at Melbourne Park on Monday, and did so in straight sets. The 2020 Australian Open finalist and winner of the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon tournaments has never lost a first-round match in 10 years of competition at the Australian Open, and Clara Burel on Monday felt that experience. "This is about to start," Muguruza wrote on social media Sunday, "and, as always, I feel like at home in Melbourne." She played like it. Muguruza outlasted Burel 6-3, 6-4 to open her tourney run on Rod Laver Arena, and let her guard down a bit after the victory. "I am aware, I am aware," Muguruza said, laughing, when asked if she was aware of her perfect streak in first-round matches. "I am so motivated here ... you are so nervous when everybody can beat everyone, so very happy I managed to finish it off." The 20-year-old Burel is one of eight women from France to start the main draw at Melbourne Park,...
January 17
January 17

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving won't reconsider COVID-19 vaccine stance in wake of Kevin Durant injury: 'I stay rooted in my decision'

CLEVELAND -- Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving made clear Monday that his stance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine will not change in the wake of Kevin Durant's knee injury that is expected to sideline him for four to six weeks. Irving is unvaccinated and therefore ineligible to play at home because of a local mandate that all professional athletes playing in New York City's public venues be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Nets originally decided before the regular season began that they would not accommodate Irving as a part-time member of the roster, but reversed course last month after a COVID-19 outbreak decimated the roster. Irving said that no injury or other circumstance would compel him to change his mind, emphasizing repeatedly that he stands "rooted" in his decision. "That's what I think comes into a lot of this culture and basketball and sport and entertainment,'' Irving said following Brooklyn's 114-107 loss to the Cleveland...
January 17
January 17

Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt off IR, returns in Monday night game vs. Los Angeles Rams

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The Arizona Cardinals activated defensive lineman J.J. Watt off injured reserve on Monday afternoon, just hours before playing the Los Angeles Rams in the last NFC wild-card game of the weekend. It was the next formal step for Watt to play Monday night, completing another fast recovery from a major injury. Watt suffered a shoulder injury on Oct. 24, and after having surgery on Nov. 3 was told he'd be out four to six months. He returned to the field just 13 weeks after suffering the injury. Watt's last step to taking the field Monday came 90 minutes before the game when he wasn't among the inactive players listed by the Cardinals. Watt returned to action when the Cardinals' defense took the field in the first quarter.  Watt had teased the idea that he would return Monday night through various social media posts. On Friday, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph told reporters: "Don't be surprised if he's ready to go." Watt's return was...
January 17
January 17

All-Star Timo Meier scores five goals, 'deserves all the credit' for San Jose Sharks' convincing win

SAN JOSE -- Timo Meier set a San Jose franchise record with five goals on Monday, and the Sharks used a huge first period to beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-2. Meier, a sixth-year winger who made his first All-Star team this season, notched a hat trick before the first period even ended. He then scored his fourth goal less than two minutes into the second period and broke the Sharks' record with his fifth just 27 seconds before the second intermission. "Timo deserves all the credit," San Jose coach Bob Boughner said. Quietly the subject of some offseason trade rumors while San Jose looked to trim payroll and turn the corner on a rebuild, Meier has rewarded the Sharks' loyalty with a great season on a surprisingly contending team. Through 40 games, the Sharks are holding their own in the West at 21-17-2, and have a hold on the conference's final wild-card playoff position at 44 points. There are several teams behind them that have games in hand on San Jose...
January 17
January 17

Stephen Jones 'very confident' Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy will return

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones all but ended any speculation about coach Mike McCarthy's job status on Monday. Asked by 105.3 The Fan in Dallas a day after the Cowboys' season ended with a wild-card loss to the San Francisco 49ers whether he was confident McCarthy would continue to lead the team in 2022, Jones said, "Absolutely. Very confident." After the loss, owner and general manager Jerry Jones was not willing to speak about McCarthy's role going forward but acknowledged disappointment in how the team played in the 23-17 loss, particularly at the start. "I'm not going to discuss coaching, the preparation, any of those things," Jerry Jones said. "That's not on the table. The game speaks for itself. Really I thought the score was not indicative of the game, but the way our team fought back and got back in the game gave us a chance to give a shot. I was really proud but this is one of the best groups of players that I've...
January 17
January 17

GM Mike Mayock fired by Las Vegas Raiders after three seasons

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Mike Mayock has been fired as general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders after three tumultuous seasons that produced a combined record of 25-24, the team's first playoff appearance since 2016 (and only its second since 2002) and numerous on- and off-the-field controversies. "We have relieved Mike Mayock of his duties as General Manager of the Las Vegas Raiders," the team said in a statement Monday. "We thank Mike for his contributions over the last three years in helping to form the foundation for the franchise to build upon in its future." The Raiders have already begun the process of finding his replacement, requesting an interview with New England Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Raiders also are beginning their search for a new head coach. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia said Monday he had preliminary conversations with team owner Mark Davis about potentially getting the job full-time. The...
January 17
January 17

Rich Bisaccia, Mark Davis hold talks; Las Vegas Raiders seek permission to interview Jerod Mayo, sources say

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia, who led the team to its first playoff appearance since 2016 and only its second since 2002, said Monday he has had preliminary conversations with team owner Mark Davis about potentially getting the job full-time. But that hasn't stopped the Raiders from potentially looking elsewhere. The team has requested permission to interview New England Patriots inside linebacker coach Jerod Mayo for the head coach position, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. In addition, it's asked to talk with Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler for the general manager job currently held by Mike Mayock, sources said. "There's due process," Bisaccia said Monday in his season-ending video news conference. "[Davis] has to interview some other candidates, as I well know. I'm very respectful of the process, what it's supposed to look like and how it's supposed to work. And I think we'll be in constant conversation...
January 17
January 17

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has 'slightly' sprained throwing shoulder, should be OK for Saturday vs. Green Bay Packers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Already playing through a torn ligament in his right thumb, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered another injury in Sunday's victory over the Dallas Cowboys. This time, Garoppolo is dealing with what coach Kyle Shanahan called Monday a "slightly" sprained right (throwing) shoulder. According to Shanahan, the injury occurred in the second quarter. Garoppolo joins linebacker Fred Warner (sprained right ankle) and defensive end Nick Bosa (concussion) on the list of key Niners nursing injuries to watch this week as the team prepares for Saturday night's NFC divisional-round game against the Green Bay Packers. The good news, according to Shanahan, is that Warner and Garoppolo should be ready to go against Green Bay. In fact, Shanahan believes Garoppolo will be able to practice when the team resumes those sessions on Tuesday. "He should be fine for practice," Shanahan said. "He had to play...
January 17
January 17

QB Chubba Purdy chooses to transfer to Nebraska after leaving Florida State football program

Nebraska's quarterback room has completely transformed through the transfer portal since the end of the season, and it added another new name on Monday with former Florida State quarterback Chubba Purdy. Nebraska starter Adrian Martinez transferred to Kansas State after the end of the season. Martinez threw for 2,863 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in what was an inconsistent year. Once he left, coach Scott Frost brought in former Texas quarterback Casey Thompson as a transfer. Thompson started 10 games last season for the Longhorns and had 2,421 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Frost, a former Nebraska quarterback, then was able to land Purdy, who was also considering Oklahoma, but chose the Huskers after visiting both programs. Purdy was the No. 126 recruit in the 2020 class out of Queen Creek, Arizona, and signed with Florida State. He was one of two quarterbacks in that class for the Seminoles, along with three-star ...
January 17
January 17

Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt activated from IR ahead of Monday night game vs. Los Angeles Rams

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- The Arizona Cardinals activated defensive lineman J.J. Watt off injured reserve on Monday afternoon, just hours before playing the Los Angeles Rams in the last NFC wild-card game of the weekend. It was the next formal step for Watt to play Monday night, completing another fast recovery from a major injury. Watt suffered a shoulder injury on Oct. 24, and after having surgery on Nov. 3 was told he'd be out four to six months. If he plays Monday night, only 13 weeks would have passed since the injury. Watt's last step to taking the field Monday came 90 minutes before the game when he wasn't among the inactive players listed by the Cardinals. Watt returned to action for the first time nearly three months when the Cardinals' defense took the field in the first quarter.  Watt had teased the idea that he would return Monday night through various social media posts. On Friday, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph told reporters: "Don't be...
January 17
January 17

Alabama Crimson Tide LB Christian Harris says he's entering NFL draft

Alabama linebacker Christian Harris, a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi awards, announced Monday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. lists Harris as the third-best inside linebacker in the draft. Harris had 79 tackles this season, 12.5 of which were for a loss. He also had 5.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. While Harris won't return, fellow inside linebacker and Alabama's leader in tackles, Henry To'oTo'o, said last week that he would come back for his senior season. Safety Jordan Battle will also return. Cornerback Jaylin Armour-Davis, offensive tackle Evan Neal, defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, running back Brian Robinson Jr. and receivers Jameson Williams, John Metchie III and Slade Bolden all previously announced that they would be turning pro. Alabama has lost several players to the transfer portal as well, including reserve linebacker ...
January 17
January 17

Onetime Clemson football recruit QB Hunter Johnson transfers back to Tigers after career at Northwestern

Dabo Swinney has finally dipped into the transfer portal to bolster his roster, and he did it by bringing back a former Clemson football player. Quarterback Hunter Johnson, a onetime top recruit, will return to Clemson after spending the past four seasons at Northwestern. The move was first reported by 247 Sports. The move adds needed depth to Clemson's QB room a year after D.J. Uiagalelei struggled and the team lost three games, in addition to failing to take home the ACC championship for the first time since 2014. Clemson also signed four-star quarterback Cade Klubnik, who figures to compete for reps this spring. Swinney has long avoided adding transfers and was vocal in his frustrations this season at being asked repeatedly why he didn't use the portal to add depth to a team that lacked experience in several key areas, particularly on offense. "I wouldn't do anything differently," Swinney said in October 2021. "I'm not opposed to the transfer...
January 17
January 17

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash on Kevin Durant injury: 'We can't feel sorry for ourselves'

CLEVELAND -- As the Brooklyn Nets prepare for life without Kevin Durant for at least the next month, coach Steve Nash wants them to do so with as positive an outlook as possible. Durant sprained the MCL in his left knee during Saturday's win over the New Orleans Pelicans. While Nash said Monday that the Nets don't have an exact timeline for when Durant will return, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday that the franchise expects a four- to six-week rehabilitation. No matter how long Durant is out, Nash is hopeful his team can stay afloat until the star forward returns. The Nets' big three of Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have played just two games together this season because of a combination of injuries, COVID-19 protocols, and the fact that Irving is not vaccinated and therefore not allowed to play in home games because of the New York City vaccination mandate. "If they get a bunch of games together, great," Nash...
January 17
January 17

Bruce Arians: Likely to come down to wire whether Tampa Bay Buccaneers RT Tristan Wirfs can play Sunday

TAMPA, Fla. -- Buccaneers All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs, who suffered a right ankle sprain in Sunday's wild-card game against the Philadelphia Eagles, is in a walking boot this week, coach Bruce Arians said Monday. Arians added that "there's a chance" he can play this week in the divisional round, but it will likely come down to the wire. Wirfs suffered the injury on the opening series when he got rolled up on blocking for running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn. Wirfs played one more snap, and as he dropped back to pass block, his foot shot up in pain. The 2020 13th-overall pick had not missed a single snap in the regular or postseason over the past two years. He attempted to return late in the second quarter, playing three snaps before it was determined that he could not finish. "As tough as he is, I think there's a chance," Arians said. "He and [center] Ryan [Jensen] will probably go all the way till Friday before we know anything true, so we'll just...
January 17
January 17

Star pass-rusher Nolan Smith returning to Georgia Bulldogs for senior season

Georgia's top-ranked defense won't look the same next season, but it will feature the return of gifted pass-rusher Nolan Smith, who announced Monday that he plans to come back for his senior season. The former No. 2-ranked player in the Class of 2019, Smith had 55 tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception this past season. Smith's sack of quarterback Bryce Young was the final play of Georgia's win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship earlier this month. Fresh off the program's first national title in 41 years, the Bulldogs have lost several key players from their defense, which ranked first in points per game (10.2), as cornerback Derion Kendrick, safety Lewis Cine, linebacker Nakobe Dean and defensive lineman Travon Walker have declared for the NFL draft. Georgia defensive back Latavious Brini, who started 11 games for the Bulldogs this season, entered the transfer portal on Monday as a graduate....
January 17
January 17

Beijing 2022 Olympics: Tickets won't be sold to public due to COVID-19

Opening ceremonies is set for Friday, Feb. 4.
January 17
The Chinese national flag flies behind the logo of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Jan. 14, 2022.
January 17

Novak Djokovic could be barred from French Open as France passes new vaccine law

Novak Djokovic could be barred from playing in the French Open as things stand now after the Sports Ministry said Monday there would be no exemption from France's new vaccine law. World No. 1 Djokovic arrived in his native Serbia on Monday after being  deported from Australia on Sunday because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has accused the Australian government of "harassing'' the top-ranked tennis star, who lost a legal battle to overturn the decision to revoke his visa. Vucic urged Djokovic to return where he would be welcomed. But even as he flew home, doubts arose over whether Djokovic would be allowed to play at Roland Garros.  France's vaccine pass law, approved by parliament on Sunday, will require people to have a certificate of vaccination to enter public places such as sports venues, restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains. "The rule is simple. The vaccine pass will be imposed, as soon as the law is...
January 17
January 17

Novak Djokovic could be barred from French Open as France pass new vaccine law

Novak Djokovic could be barred from playing in the French Open as things stand now after the Sports Ministry said on Monday there would be no exemption from France's new vaccine pass law. World No. 1 Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against COVID-19, was deported from Australia on Sunday before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year after losing a court case to have the cancellation of his visa overturned. France's vaccine pass law, approved by parliament on Sunday, will require people to have a certificate of vaccination to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains. "The rule is simple. The vaccine pass will be imposed, as soon as the law is promulgated, in establishments that were already subject to the health pass," the ministry said. "This will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. And this until further notice. "Now, as far as Roland Garros is concerned, it's in May. The situation may...
January 17
January 17

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggests Novak Djokovic could return to Australian Open next year 'in the right circumstances'

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has left the door open for Novak Djokovic to compete at next year's Australian Open despite the tennis superstar facing an automatic three-year ban from entering the country. The world No. 1 player left Australia late on Sunday after the Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa, capping days of drama over the country's COVID-19 entry rules and his unvaccinated status. Under immigration law, Djokovic cannot be granted another visa for three years, unless Australia's immigration minister accepts there are compelling or compassionate reasons. "I'm not going to precondition any of that or say anything that would not enable the minister to make the various calls he has to make," Morrison told 2GB radio on Monday as Djokovic was en route to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. "It does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for [a person] to return in the right circumstances, and that will be considered...
January 17
January 17

Naomi Osaka, 'just happy to be here,' posts first-round victory at Australian Open; Coco Gauff upset by Wang Qiang

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Defending champion Naomi Osaka posted a relatively trouble-free 6-3, 6-3 victory on Monday over Camila Osorio in the first round of the Australian Open. Osaka, the four-time Grand Slam singles champion, won at Rod Laver Arena and did so by taking the first five games of the match, before Osorio finally scratched one out herself. Osaka will take on Madison Brengle -- the American player beat Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine 6-1, 0-6, 5-0, ret. -- in the second round as she looks to build some momentum for what could be a lengthy tournament run. The former No. 1 player in the world, Osaka slid down the rankings last year after taking time off following her withdrawal at the French Open. She is seeded 13th at the Australian Open, where she won in 2019 and 2021. "It always feels special to come back here," she said after Sunday's victory. The early success seems promising for Osaka, as Osorio is ranked 50th in the world but was...
January 17
January 17

Australian PM Scott Morrison suggests Novak Djokovic could return to Australian Open next year 'in the right circumstances'

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has left the door open for Novak Djokovic to compete at next year's Australian Open despite the tennis superstar facing an automatic three-year ban from entering the country. The world No. 1 player left Australia late on Sunday after the Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa, capping days of drama over the country's COVID-19 entry rules and his unvaccinated status. Under immigration law, Djokovic cannot be granted another visa for three years unless Australia's immigration minister accepts there are compelling or compassionate reasons. "I'm not going to precondition any of that or say anything that would not enable the minister to make the various calls he has to make," Morrison told 2GB radio on Monday as Djokovic was en route to Dubai. "It does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for [a person] to return in the right circumstances, and that will be considered at the time." The...
January 17
January 17

Rafael Nadal opens quest for 21st Grand Slam with first-round win at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia --  Rafael Nadal has renewed his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam singles title with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over American Marcos Giron at the Australian Open on Monday. "Growing up, I've looked up to him,'' said Giron, a 28-year-old from the U.S. "He's one the absolute legends of the game.'' Nadal is tied with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with 20 major singles titles each, the most in the history of men's tennis. Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009 and is the only past champion in the men's bracket after Djokovic's late withdrawal Sunday because he was forced to fly out of the country when a court upheld the cancellation of his visa. Federer is skipping the tournament to continue recovering from right knee surgery. Monday was Nadal's first appearance at a major since he lost to Djokovic in the semifinals of the French Open. He missed Wimbledon because of fatigue, skipped the US Open because of a painful left foot and, after...
January 17
January 17

QB Ben Roethlisberger reflects on Pittsburgh Steelers legacy, looks forward to next chapter after season ends in wild-card loss to Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't use the word retirement following Pittsburgh's season-ending 42-21 playoff loss to the  Kansas City Chiefs but called his 18-year career with the franchise "an honor'' and said he is "looking forward" to the next chapter.  Roethlisberger and the Steelers did not get to extend their season as they had hoped in Sunday night's AFC wild-card showdown at Arrowhead Stadium, one in which he finished 29-of-44 passing for 215 yards and two second-half touchdowns after the game had long been decided. Afterward, most involved acted, and spoke, as if they had seen Roethlisberger play for the final time for the only team whose uniform he has worn in his NFL career. "Man, he was [No.] 7. It's been an honor and a pleasure, man,'' Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. Describing his emotions coming out of the game and walking off the field, Roethlisberger said, "Yeah it's tough, but I'm proud to play...
January 17
January 16

San Francisco 49ers pull off road upset at Dallas Cowboys in 'roller coaster' matchup between old rivals

ARLINGTON, Texas -- On a sleepless Thursday night before Sunday's showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan did the only thing that allows him to relax: He watched more football. Shanahan didn't turn on any ordinary game when he awoke this time. Instead, he flipped on coach's footage of the 1995 NFC Championship Game, which just so happened to be the last time these two historic rivals met in the postseason. Motivated by what he saw, Shanahan showed the clips to his players on Friday, hoping to ignite some inspiration and help his young team see just how much it meant to play the Cowboys on such a grand stage. Apparently, it worked. In a finish befitting the rivalry, the 49ers and Cowboys battled to the bitter end of their nostalgic NFC wild-card meeting. But the Niners -- buoyed by a dominant defense, a strong rushing attack and myriad Cowboys mistakes -- emerged with a 23-17 victory that ensured Shanahan sweet dreams for...
January 16
January 16

Dallas Cowboys' Mike McCarthy defends QB draw play: 'Shouldn't have had problem getting ball spotted'

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A once promising season for the Dallas Cowboys ended in chaotic fashion Sunday after a 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC wild-card game at AT&T Stadium. To secure the win, the 49ers had to withstand a final-second comeback that saw the Cowboys reach the San Francisco 41-yard line with 14 seconds to play and at least seemingly in position to throw a final pass to the end zone to conjure up memories of Roger Staubach's Hail Mary to Drew Pearson in the 1975 playoffs. It never happened. With 14 seconds left and no timeouts, Prescott ran 17 yards on a quarterback draw, but the ball was not spotted quickly enough for Dallas to spike it before time expired.   Prescott thought he should have had a chance for a final throw to the end zone. Coach Mike McCarthy thought there would be a review from New York. Both defended the final playcall despite the risk of having the game end the way it did. According to referee Alex Kemp, there...
January 16
January 16

San Francisco 49ers pull off road upset at Dallas Cowboys in 'rollercoaster' matchup between old rivals

ARLINGTON, Texas -- On a sleepless Thursday night before Sunday's showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan did the only thing that allows him to relax: He watched more football. Shanahan didn't turn on any ordinary game when he awoke this time. Instead, he flipped on coach's footage of the 1995 NFC Championship Game, which just so happened to be the last time these two historic rivals met in the postseason. Motivated by what he saw, Shanahan showed the clips to his team on Friday, hoping to ignite some inspiration and help his young team see just how much it meant to play the Cowboys on such a grand stage. Apparently, it worked. In a finish befitting the rivalry, the 49ers and Cowboys battled to the bitter end of their nostalgic NFC wild-card meeting, but the 49ers -- buoyed by a dominant defense, strong rushing attack and myriad Cowboys mistakes -- emerged with a 23-17 victory that ensured Shanahan sweet dreams for at least...
January 16
January 16

San Francisco 49ers pull off stunner on road, hand mistake-prone Dallas Cowboys early playoff exit

ARLINGTON, Texas -- On a sleepless Thursday night before Sunday's showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan did the only thing that allows him to relax: He watched more football. Shanahan didn't turn on any ordinary game when he awoke this time. Instead, he flipped on coach's footage of the 1995 NFC Championship Game, which just so happened to be the last time these two historic rivals met in the postseason. Motivated by what he saw, Shanahan showed the clips to his team on Friday, hoping to ignite some inspiration and help his young team see just how much it meant to play the Cowboys on such a grand stage. Apparently, it worked. In a finish befitting the rivalry, the 49ers and Cowboys battled to the bitter end of their nostalgic NFC wild-card meeting, but the 49ers -- buoyed by a dominant defense, strong rushing attack and myriad Cowboys mistakes -- emerged with a 23-17 victory that ensured Shanahan sweet dreams for at least...
January 16
January 16

Underdog San Francisco 49ers pull off stunner on road, hand mistake-prone Dallas Cowboys early playoff exit

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- As they have so often -- and in a finish befitting their historic rivalry -- the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys battled to the bitter end of Sunday's nostalgic NFC wild-card meeting. Ultimately, a strong Niners defensive effort combined with myriad Dallas mistakes allowed San Francisco to emerge with a 23-17 victory in the first postseason meeting between the teams since 1995, and the first-ever matchup between two franchises with at least five Super Bowl victories apiece. In the process, the 49ers became the first underdog and road team to win in this postseason. It's a victory that comes 40 years and a week after "The Catch" in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, and will hold special meaning for 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, whose father, Mike, was the Niners' offensive coordinator for some of the famous meetings between these teams in the 1990s. The Niners' win moves them to 3-5 all time against Dallas in the playoffs and sets up an...
January 16
January 16

Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni endorses Jalen Hurts after playoff loss, confident quarterback 'grew throughout the year'

TAMPA, Fla. -- Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni gave quarterback Jalen Hurts a strong endorsement following Sunday's 31-15 playoff loss to the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as attention turns to whether the team will address his position this offseason. "He didn't play his best game, as we all know. But you don't take the body of work that he had, 15 weeks, and ... put everything on this game," Sirianni said of Hurts, who went 23-of-43 for 258 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the NFC wild-card loss to Tampa Bay. "I know we're all judged on the last game that we played, I fully get that, but I felt like Jalen grew throughout the year. And he got better as a passer, he got better reading the defense, getting the ball to the right place. He developed so much in his ability to extend plays, not only making plays with his feet but also making plays downfield on the scramble. "I feel really good with what we have in place right here at the...
January 16
January 16

Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (calf) out at least 2 more weeks

Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green will be out at least two more weeks after evaluations indicated that the soreness in his left calf is tied to "the involvement of a disc in his lower back," the team announced prior to Sunday's 119-99 loss to the  Timberwolves. Green left last Sunday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers early because of a sore left calf. He was on the court for the opening tip to honor Klay Thompson's return but exited moments after and has missed the past three games.  The Warriors said Green underwent an MRI the night of that game and has been evaluated by several specialists throughout the week. The Warriors said Green will continue to receive physical therapy in the coming days before being reevaluated in two weeks "The main thing is to be really safe and cautious," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before Sunday's game. "It's a long season. That's my sense, that we're very cautious. We'll just see where it goes from...
January 16
January 16

Tight end Jahleel Billingsley transferring from Alabama Crimson Tide to Texas Longhorns

Former Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley announced on Sunday that he's heading to Texas. The move will reunite him with Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian, who was Alabama's offensive coordinator in 2020 when Billingsley emerged as a playmaker with three touchdowns as a sophomore. Billingsley's former position coach, Jeff Banks, is also an assistant at Texas. A dynamic athlete, Billingsley was named to the preseason All-SEC team in August but struggled to stay in Alabama coach Nick Saban's good graces and wound up starting just one game this past season. Billingsley, who is from Chicago, finished with 17 catches for 256 yards and three touchdowns in 15 appearances. Texas is scheduled to host Alabama on Sept. 10 in Austin. Billingsley is one of many Alabama players who have entered the NCAA transfer portal since the end of the season. Backup quarterback Paul Tyson announced that he will transfer to Arizona State, and linebacker ...
January 16
January 16

Coach Zac Taylor delivers game ball from 'first of many playoff games we win' to frenzied Cincinnati Bengals fans at bar

CINCINNATI -- Bengals coach Zac Taylor wanted to give a game ball to the city of Cincinnati after the franchise won its first playoff game in 31 years. Taylor made sure he delivered that honor personally. On his way home from Saturday's 26-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the third-year coach popped into a local bar and delivered a white and brown honorary football with the team's logo as a symbol of thanks for the city's support. "It was great," Taylor said the day after Cincinnati's historic win. "It was honestly kind of how you picture it when you want it to happen." Taylor said he had thought of the idea from the time he was hired as the team's head coach in 2019. He said that during his work commute to and from Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati, he often thought about the type of gesture he wanted to make after the team's first playoff win since January 1991. The one bar he drives past in particular, Mt. Lookout Tavern, is often populated with...
January 16
January 16

Kirk Ferentz disbands diversity group, says decision unrelated to leader's suggestion to move on from Iowa coach

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz has disbanded an alumni advisory committee that was created after a 2020 investigation found evidence of racial bias against Black players in his program and bullying behavior by some of his assistants. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, reported that Ferentz's decision to end the committee came shortly after its leader, former offensive lineman David Porter, suggested it was time for Iowa to cut ties with its coach. But Ferentz said he had decided to overhaul the committee last fall before Porter made his comment to other committee members in a text message. "I have come to a decision that this is an appropriate time to dissolve our committee as it stands currently," Ferentz wrote in an email to the 10-member committee Tuesday. "As we start a new calendar year and prepare to move forward with our preparation for the 2022 season, I am giving thought to how we restructure the committee/board in a way that best serves our program moving...
January 16
January 16

Philadelphia Eagles DE Josh Sweat misses playoff loss after hospital stay

TAMPA, Fla. -- Philadelphia Eagles starting defensive end Josh Sweat did not play in Sunday's 31-15 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after undergoing a medical procedure to address what the team described as a "life-threatening situation." "On Tuesday night, Josh Sweat was admitted to the hospital. He underwent an emergency procedure due to the severity of the matter. The doctors addressed a life-threatening situation," the Eagles said in a statement. "In the following days, Josh and our medical team did everything possible to help him return to play. He improved every day but it was determined by the doctors today that he was not quite ready. The fact that Josh came so close to playing is a credit to his toughness and our medical staff." Sweat had been listed on the injury report with an illness this week. On Friday, coach Nick Sirianni said Sweat had been dealing with abdominal pain earlier in the week but had since returned to the facility and was...
January 16
January 16

Source: Pete Carroll's job security not a topic in routine meeting with Seattle Seahawks GM, owner

Pete Carroll's job security as Seattle Seahawks head coach was not discussed during a routine end-of-season meeting Thursday with team chair Jody Allen and general manager John Schneider, a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. The meeting reviewed the Seahawks' 2021 season -- their first losing campaign since 2011 -- and looked ahead to 2022, according to the source, who told Mortensen that all systems are go with Carroll, Schneider and quarterback Russell Wilson moving forward. Carroll is under contract through the 2025 season and Schneider through the 2027 draft after both signed extensions within the past year and a half. Both report to Allen, who has been the team's de facto owner since her brother Paul Allen died in 2018. Carroll, 70, expressed his expectation at the end of the season that he would be back in 2022, answering "no" when asked whether there's any question in his mind about his future with the team. That was after the Seahawks beat the ...
January 16
January 16

Shakur Stevenson, Oscar Valdez working to finalize title unification fight, sources say

Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez are in the process of finalizing a deal for a 130-pound title unification fight on April 30 in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN on Sunday. Sources said no financial agreement has been reached for the proposed ESPN main event. After Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) scored a brutal knockout of Miguel Berchelt in February to claim a junior lightweight title, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) publicly lobbied for the title opportunity. Instead, Stevenson settled for a shot at Jamel Herring, another 130-pound titleholder promoted by Top Rank. Stevenson, 24, seized his chance with the best performance of his career, a 10th-round TKO of Herring in October. Long dogged by criticism that he doesn't fight aggressively, the Newark, New Jersey, native applied nonstop pressure during the one-sided beating. Now, Stevenson is on the verge of landing the fight he wanted all along but with two belts on the line. While the Olympic silver medalist enters the potential fight with momentum...
January 16
January 16

Sources: Brooklyn Nets expect Kevin Durant to miss 4-6 weeks with sprained MCL

After the Brooklyn Nets diagnosed All-NBA forward Kevin Durant with a sprained MCL of his left knee, the franchise expects a four- to six-week rehabilitation before his return, sources told ESPN. Durant underwent imaging on Sunday morning after Saturday night's injury, and a realistic benchmark for Durant could be a return following the All-Star break (Feb. 18-23), sources said. Nevertheless, the organization will err on the side of caution when it comes to Durant's return. There was relief around the Nets that the injury wasn't more serious, and hopefulness that he will make a full return to health in plenty of time for the playoffs. Durant left Saturday night's game after teammate Bruce Brown fell into his knee on a play in the second quarter. Brooklyn plays 11 of its next 14 games on the road, and thus it expects to have a Kyrie Irving- James Harden backcourt together for those games. Irving is playing only road games because of his...
January 16
January 16

Philadelphia Eagles DE Josh Sweat out vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers after hospital stay

TAMPA, Fla. -- Philadelphia Eagles starting defensive end Josh Sweat will miss Sunday's playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after undergoing a medical procedure to address what the team described as a "life-threatening situation." "On Tuesday night, Josh Sweat was admitted to the hospital. He underwent an emergency procedure due to the severity of the matter. The doctors addressed a life-threatening situation," the Eagles said in a statement. "In the following days, Josh and our medical team did everything possible to help him return to play. He improved every day but it was determined by the doctors today that he was not quite ready. The fact that Josh came so close to playing is a credit to his toughness and our medical staff." Sweat had been listed on the injury report with an illness this week. On Friday, coach Nick Sirianni said Sweat had been dealing with abdominal pain earlier in the week but had since returned to the facility and was...
January 16
January 16

Brooklyn Nets say Kevin Durant diagnosed with sprained MCL

After having an MRI,  Kevin Durant has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his left knee, the Brooklyn Nets announced Sunday morning. The Nets did not disclose an estimated timetable for their star forward's return, only saying he "is expected to return to full strength following a period of rehabilitation" and that updates would be "provided as appropriate." A source told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, however, that there is optimism within the Nets that it will be a four-to-six-week rehab and return for Durant. The Nets come out of the All-Star break on Feb. 24 and that's a realistic benchmark for a Durant return. Durant suffered the injury in the second quarter of the Nets' 120-105 victory over the Pelicans on Saturday as Pelicans guard Herb Jones drove to the basket and collided with Nets guard Bruce Brown, who fell backward into Durant, who was standing behind the play. The injury overshadows what had been a strong return for the former...
January 16
January 16

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick plans to continue coaching as he approaches 70

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bill Belichick, who turns 70 in April, said he still wants to coach in 2022 and will begin the process of moving forward after his New England Patriots team was rocked by the Buffalo Bills  47-17 in the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs Saturday night. Belichick, the NFL's longest-tenured head coach, notably once said he didn't plan to coach into his 70s like former Bills coach Marv Levy. He later softened those remarks. Asked Sunday morning whether it's safe to say he wants to return next season, he replied: "I'd say that would be accurate." Upon the team's return home from Orchard Park, New York, Belichick held a 30-minute season-ending video conference in which he reflected on the Patriots' 10-8 campaign, his 22nd as head coach. He said he planned to take "a longer view" while noting that the blowout loss was troubling. "You could argue there were elements of last night's game in some other games, but last night's game was the...
January 16
January 16

Jerome Boger, officials from Raiders-Bengals game not expected to work again this NFL postseason

Referee Jerome Boger and the crew that worked the AFC wild-card game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals are not expected to officiate again this postseason after their problematic performance Saturday highlighted by a controversial whistle. The NFL grades officials after each game, and Boger and his crew are not expected to receive high marks for Saturday, when they ruled that a whistle occurred after Cincinnati's Tyler Boyd caught a touchdown from Joe Burrow -- although replays appeared to show otherwise. The league usually takes officials assigned to the divisional round -- not the wild-card round -- to work the Super Bowl. But officials that earn high grades this weekend could and would be under consideration for the Super Bowl. One league source did not express surprise at Boger's performance; others around the league have commented on it during various points of the season, and the NFL has received mixed reviews for...
January 16

Suggested Interests