The Latest: Thiem: Australian Open was a great distraction

first_img___7:45 p.m.The Australian Open final is underway, with Novak Djokovic bidding for an eighth title at Melbourne Park and Dominic Thiem aiming for his first.Second-seeded Djokovic has never lost a semifinal or final he’s contested at the Australian Open, and is aiming for a 17th Grand Slam title overall. No. 5-seeded Thiem has been runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the last two French Opens, his best performance so far at the majors.Djokovic won the toss and was serving first. 8:40 p.m.Novak Djokovic has taken the first set in the Australian Open final against fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem. Djokovic, who is bidding for an eighth title at Melbourne Park, broke Thiem’s serve in the last game to clinch the set 6-4 in 52 minutes. Thiem served a double-fault on set point. Second-seeded Djokovic has never lost a semifinal or final he’s contested at the Australian Open, and is aiming for a 17th Grand Slam title overall. Thiem has been runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the last two French Opens. ___4:45 p.m.Rajeev Ram’s decision to focus on doubles paid off when he teamed with Joe Salisbury to win the Australian Open men’s doubles title.The No. 11 seeds were in control from early in the opening set to beat Australian wild-card entries Max Purcell and Luke Saville 6-4, 6-2 in 70 minutes.It’s Ram’s second Grand Slam title – he teamed with Barbora Krejcikova to win the Australian Open mixed doubles last year. Krejcikova successfully defended that title with Croatia’s Nikola Mektic on Saturday. Novak Djokovic has won his record-extending eighth Australian Open championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall by beating Dominic Thiem in five sets in the final.Djokovic’s 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory means he will return to No. 1 in the rankings, replacing Rafael Nadal.Djokovic improved to 16-0 in semifinals and finals at Melbourne Park. No other man in the history of tennis has won this tournament more than six times.Djokovic adds his Australian Open haul to his five titles from Wimbledon, three from the U.S. Open and one from the French Open.Only Roger Federer, with 20, and Nadal, with 19, have won more men’s Grand Slam singles trophies. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on the Australian Open (all times local):12:45 p.m.After trading shots for five sets vying for the Australian Open title, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem united to recognize the impact of the deadly wildfires on the tournament’s host country. Associated Press February 2, 2020 Thiem was appearing in his third major final. He has lost them all.___11 p.m.Novak Djokovic has rallied to take the fourth set 6-3 and send the Australian Open final against Dominic Thiem to a fifth set.Seven-time Australian Open champion Djokovic won the first set 6-4, but lost six straight games after being called for a time violation on his serve in the ninth game of the second set. Thiem took the second and third sets 6-4, 6-2.center_img Seven-time Australian Open champion Djokovic won the first set 6-4, but lost six straight games after being called for a time violation on his serve in the ninth game of the second set. Thiem took the second and third sets 6-4, 6-2.Djokovic had only dropped one set in the tournament — in the first round against Jan-Lennard Struff — until the final. He won his previous two finals at Melbourne Park in straight sets.Fifth-seeded Thiem, a 26-year-old Austrian, is aiming for his first major title after losing the last two finals at the French Open to Rafael Nadal.___9:30 p.m. Dominic Thiem has taken the second set to level the Australian Open final against seven-time champion Novak Djokovic.After surrendering the first 6-4 with a double-fault on set point, Thiem broke Djokovic’s serve in the third game and then fended off a break point in the sixth game before dropping serve in the eighth to make it 4-4.Fifth-seeded Thiem broke again in the next game after Djokovic was first warned by chair umpire Damien Dumusois for exceeding the 25-second serve clock at 15-30 and then penalized with a fault on break point for exceeding the time allowance again.At the change over, Djokovic told Dumusois he’d done a “great job, especially in the second one. You made yourself famous.” Thiem held in the next game to take the set 6-4.___ Djokovic had only dropped one set in the tournament — in the first round against Jan-Lennard Struff — until the final. He won his previous two finals at Melbourne Park in straight sets.Djokovic has never lost a final or semifinal at the Australian Open.___10:15 p.m.Dominic Thiem has won the third set to lead the Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic by two sets to one. The Latest: Thiem: Australian Open was a great distraction “We all saw, before the tournament, also during, what we’re doing is by far — there are way more important things in life,” Thiem said after his five-set loss to Djokovic, now an eight-time champion at Melbourne Park. “It’s very tough what this beautiful country has been through, or still going through.”He said he hoped the tournament, where millions of dollars was raised to go toward the bush fire recovery, was “a great distraction” for people affected and that “a disaster like this is never happening again.” Djokovic mentioned the fires among “some devastating things that started 2020.”Fires across southern and eastern Australia have claimed at least 33 lives since September, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and razed more than 10.6 million hectares (26.2 million acres).___11:45 p.m. This was Salisbury’s first Grand Slam final. ___More AP Tennis: and read more

No. 17 Syracuse loses 3-point shootout with No. 1 Oregon, 81-64

first_imgOn the first possession of the second quarter, Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi collected an offensive rebound and kicked a pass out to the top of the key to Kiara Lewis for a wide-open, catch-and-shoot 3. Two more 3-pointers on SU’s next pair of possessions meant Lewis had gone on a personal 9-0 run to give the Orange a 24-15 lead, their biggest of the night. “I just took what they gave me,” Lewis, who scored a career-high 23 points, said. By the time Emily Engstler drilled a 3-pointer from the wing three minutes later, SU had attempted 20 3-pointers compared to six field goals from inside the arc. By halftime, Syracuse had gone 7-for-24 from deep and trailed No. 1 Oregon by one. SU made the game a 3-point contest, and it was working. But in the second half, the Ducks (4-0) took the 3 away from No. 17 Syracuse (3-1). By running shooters off the arc and forcing them to drive, Oregon held SU to three makes on 11 3-point shots in the second half. The Ducks, on the other end, sunk the open looks they missed in the first half. Oregon outscored Syracuse 31-16 in the third quarter, sinking 54% of its second-half 3-pointers on its way to a 81-64 win. “We kind of just played in our flow and kind of forgot about all our shots we had missed earlier,” Oregon senior Sabrina Ionescu said. “I think that really helped us and that third quarter was probably the best that we’ve played offensively in a really long time.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman tells just about everyone on his team to shoot 3-pointers when they’re open. It’s part of his coaching philosophy. But it was clear SU was taking that message to an extreme in the first quarter, when Djaldi-Tabdi shot three 3-pointers in the first quarter alone. Though the backup center has been working to expand her range, Djaldi-Tabdi entered Sunday’s contest with two prior attempts this year. The Orange shot 12 triples in both the first and second quarters, making seven of them. The combination of a high volume of 3s and a defense that held Ionescu scoreless for nearly 15 minutes led fans in the Carrier Dome to give SU a standing ovation as the team ran into the locker room for halftime. To separate from the Orange after halftime, the Ducks relied on their own 3-point barrage. Oregon head coach Kelly Graves called the Ducks’ first-half offense “stagnant,” but Ionescu opened the floor in the second half by attracting SU defenders into the paint like a magnet and dishing to open shooters. Two of the reigning Wooden Award winner’s six assists led to Oregon 3s. Erin Boley (19 points, 5-for-9 from 3) and Satou Sabally (23 points, 4-for-10 from 3) often finished possessions that started with Ionescu, who averages a triple double.“We were just helping too much,” Hillsman said. “We really talked about staying home on penetration. And I give (Ionescu) credit. She did a really good job attacking the paint, drawing our defenders, sucking them in a little bit and making good passes.”  When SU locked down Oregon’s shooters, Ionescu had more space to score inside. Thirty seconds into the third quarter, Ionescu dribbled into Syracuse’s zone and looked to kick out to a shooter, but the Orange zone extended out. So instead, Ionescu, who finished with 19 points, lofted in a floater. To end the third quarter, Sabally sunk a 3-pointer from the right corner while getting fouled. Though the Ducks junior missed her free throw, she followed the shot and collected it, eventually finding Ionescu for a buzzer-beating 3. Six points, all in one possession, gave the Ducks a 16-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.Ionescu said SU didn’t play Oregon any differently in the second half. Instead, the Ducks simply took their offense “to another level.” In total, Oregon went 7-for-13 from 3 in the second half, while SU’s offense sputtered out. Syracuse’s 35 attempts were slightly more than its season average of 29.6, but the Orange shot a worse percentage (28.6%) than their usual 32.5%. At the end of one possession, Lewis had to force a contested pull-up 3, which she airballed. In transition, Digna Strautmane’s catch-and-shoot triple was too strong. With the game decided late in the fourth, Djaldi-Tabdi jab-stepped then shot a 3-pointer from the corner, which clanked off the iron. In the fourth quarter, SU never got within single digits. The Ducks solved the Orange’s 3-point attack and found an effective recipe for SU’s 2-3 zone with deep-balls of their own. That combination pushed SU to 0-18 all-time versus No. 1-ranked opponents and led Hillsman to open his press conference with a statement about how disappointed he was in his team’s third quarter and how moral victories don’t exist.  “There’s some good things offensively in that first half,” Hillsman said. “But at the end of the day, it just wasn’t enough in the second half to win the game.”  Comments Published on November 24, 2019 at 8:44 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Pat McAfee’s rise in sports media reaches new platform with daily show on DAZN

first_imgBeginning Monday, Sept. 9, McAfee will host his own daily show, “The Pat McAfee Show,” which will stream live on DAZN from 10 a.m.-noon ET Monday through Friday. DAZN is a global subscription video streaming service that expanded to the United States in 2018.MORE: Join DAZN to watch The Pat McAfee Show and more this fallMcAfee’s deal with DAZN extends well beyond the daily show. He will broadcast live from DAZN’s biggest boxing and MMA cards to provide on-site coverage of fight week. Additionally, McAfee will contribute to DAZN’s nightly baseball show “ChangeUp” and create weekly, football-focused segments for DAZN Canada and DAZN Germany, where the platform has rights to NFL games.McAfee is also close to signing a deal with Westwood One, which would deliver his new show via radio in approximately 40 markets at launch.Additionally, DAZN will stream McAfee’s podcast, which will expand to three episodes per week. All of this is on top of McAfee’s new role with ESPN; he will join the network’s broadcast booth as a commentator for Thursday night college football games this season. He also will appear as a personality at WWE events as part of a multi-year deal. “Pat is a sports commentator and entertainer who has charted his own path and built an extremely loyal fanbase,” said Jamie Horowitz, executive VP of content at DAZN. “That success comes from a self-awareness that’s hard to teach, an uncommon work ethic, and an innate understanding of what makes for compelling content.”Compelling content, indeed. The Polamalu reference above is just an example of what McAfee brings to the sports media landscape — real insight that is absolutely drenched in humor.McAfee is entertaining, engaging and, as a person who has dipped his nose in stand-up comedy, hilarious.His forcing Tim Tebow to play beer (water) pong is a good example.When McAfee retired from his playing career and notoriously left a bunch of his NFL salary (almost $3 million) on the table, he was questioned. His meteoric rise in sports media has hushed anybody who doubted his move. Playing football against Troy ​Polamalu did not work out well for Pat McAfee, who retired from his eight-year NFL punting career with the Colts in 2017.Talking about playing football against Troy Polamalu, though, has sparked the career McAfee had in mind when he shed his helmet and pads for good more than two years ago. As great as the two-time Pro Bowler and 2014 All-Pro selection was at “kicking balls,” as he likes to say, the 32-year-old might be even better as a sports media personality. And now his popular schtick has a new platform. (Amanda Westcott/DAZN) “I had a guy who was a pseudo agent for me who reached out to the networks to see if anybody had any interest in me,” McAfee told The Hollywood Reporter. “I probably had about 600,000 followers on Twitter at that point. I had already done a standup tour. I sold some jerseys in Indianapolis, which is absolutely ridiculous for a punter. And that pseudo agent texts me back within like 10 minutes that there is zero interest from any of the TV networks.”It put another chip on my shoulder. Do I hold any grudges against anybody in the past who didn’t hire me? Absolutely. It’s my job to make them look very dumb in five to 10 years. But I’m also very thankful for people who have given me the opportunities.” (Amanda Westcott/DAZN) read more