Sunday, June 17, 2018
Sports

Anticorruption unit to be reviewed

MELBOURNE, Australia — Tennis' governing bodies announced Wednesday they will commission an independent review of their anticorruption Tennis Integrity Unit to restore "public confidence in our sport" following media reports that possible evidence of match-fixing was not properly investigated.

The BBC and BuzzFeed News published reports last week saying tennis authorities failed to thoroughly investigate evidence of match-fixing involving a core group of 16 players who have ranked in the top 50 over the past decade. No players were named.

ATP chairman Chris Kermode said at the Australian Open that the reports contained "very, very serious allegations" that have "caused damage to the sport, which is why we've acted so quickly and made decisions."

The leaders of tennis' multiple governing bodies — often at cross purposes through the years — have been meeting at Melbourne Park, site of the Australian Open, the sport's first Grand Slam of the year and an event that has been overshadowed by the match-fixing reports.

Tennis officials have emphasized that there have been no coverups and that suspicious betting patterns were not sufficient proof on their own of match-fixing.

The New York Times reported Sunday that a mixed doubles match at the tournament raised suspicions of match-fixing when a major sports gambling website suspended betting on the match because of atypically high betting volume and unusual patterns.

Integrity Unit officials have interviewed the players involved.

One proposal expected to be enacted is the use of an external auditor to examine the Integrity Unit and the sport's anticorruption efforts. More resources are also expected to be allocated.

Djokovic sets up semifinal with Federer

Novak Djokovic has a larger than life presence at the Australian Open.

His face smiles at fans from sponsors' billboards. His voice gives inspirational advice over center-court speakers between matches.

There's even a "Novak's World," where fans can slip on virtual reality goggles and feel as if they're walking in Djokovic's shoes as he stretches in the locker room and then walks out onto the court as the crowd roars.

A few years ago, the Australian Open and the other majors could have been called "Roger's World," when Roger Federer was No. 1, still dominating and still the favorite face of sponsors.

Thursday, the two players' worlds collide again.

The top-ranked Djokovic will play No. 3 Federer in a blockbuster semifinal at the Australian Open. It will be the 45th installment in a riveting rivalry that is so equally split that they are tied with 22 wins each.

It will be their 15th matchup at a Grand Slam tournament, more than any other pair of men in tennis' Open era, which dates to 1968.

"It does feel good, I must say, to level the head-to-head," Djokovic said after his 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 quarterfinal win over No. 7 Kei Nishikori on Tuesday. He once trailed Federer by a wide margin.

"I did go through my moments, periods of my career, where I was doubting myself, not knowing really if I can manage to get to No. 1 and achieve the childhood dream. … Under those circumstances and challenges when I was down, I had an opportunity to grow and to get better."

Federer, 34, has used Djokovic, 28, for fuel as well.

"It's part of the reason why I guess I'm still playing," Federer, seeking his 18th major title, said after beating Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4, in the quarterfinals Tuesday. "I feel like I'm competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on tour. … I'm playing good tennis, fun tennis for me, anyway."

Kerber, konta set women's semis: Angelique Kerber won five consecutive games in the second set and saved five set points to beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals today. The seventh seed will play 47th-ranked Johanna Konta, who beat Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-1 to become the first British woman to advance to the last four of a Grand Slam event since 1984. In the other semifinal Thursday, Serena Williams will face Agnieszka Radwanska.

Comments
For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

UPDATE, 11:37: Interesting decision by the Rays to move Adames to 2B today and reinstall Hechavarria at SS as he came off DL following Arroyo injury.Here is the Rays lineup:Duffy 3bBauers 1bRamos cCron dhAdames 2bHechavarria ssGomez rfRefsnyder lfFie...
Published: 06/17/18

Tarpons’ Castillo, North squad notch FSL All-Star Game victory

TAMPA — The Tarpons' Diego Castillo led the North squad to a 5-0 victory in the 57th Florida State League All-Star Game on his home field Saturday night.The game MVP went 2-for-4 with two doubles and started the scoring for the North in the sec...
Published: 06/17/18

Captain’s Corner: Trout bite at its best

The trout bite has been the best I’ve seen all year. Fish up to 26 inches have been common recently. Fish are sitting on the flats’ deeper edges, where the water is deeper and cooler, and moves a little more swiftly. Live sardines and hard plastic ba...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

Peering into the crystal baseball to see what Rays could look like in 2019

The Rays are still talking, as they should, about playing for something this season. The reality is that almost every move they've made, going back to the end of last season, and in some cases further, has been about 2019 and beyond.Clearing out vete...
Published: 06/16/18
Updated: 06/17/18
Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

Rays lose again to Yankees, this time 4-1

NEW YORK — Kevin Cash was not going to go all Lou Piniella on his Rays, raging and ripping and roaring over their latest mess, a 4-1 Saturday loss to the Yankees that didn't feel that close.Which is too bad because Piniella, the volcanic former...
Published: 06/16/18

Sports on TV/radio for Sunday, June 17

TODAYAutosXfinity: Iowa 250 qualifying2:30 p.m.FS2Xfinity: Iowa 2505 p.m.FS1BaseballMarlins at Orioles1 p.m.FSFRays at Yankees2 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMAstros at Royals2 p.m.MLBRed Sox at Mariners (in progress)5 p.m.MLBCubs at Cardinals8 p.m.ESPNCollege b...
Published: 06/16/18
Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

Rays journal: Arroyo on DL, Hechavarria returns

NEW YORK — Just when it seemed like SS Adeiny Hechavarria might not play another game for the Rays, he will rejoin them on Sunday.The Rays announced after Saturday's 4-1 loss that INF Christian Arroyo was placed on the DL due to an oblique stra...
Published: 06/16/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

RHP Ryne Stanek did his job as the opener just fine in getting four outs on Saturday, but for the Rays' unorthodox pitching plan to work it takes a team effort. And LHP Ryan Yarbrough's inability to throw strikes quickly put them in a hole.The experi...
Published: 06/16/18
For starters: Rays at Yankees, trying to break through

For starters: Rays at Yankees, trying to break through

UPDATE, 11:49: Cash said he played Cron at 1B in an effort to get him more involved in the game, indicated he may do so again Sunday (with Bauers off vs. LH Sabathia) and should have done so more as Cron struggled. … Cash reiterated that CF Kev...
Published: 06/16/18
Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

TAMPA — There's always a lot of attention on the rookie class this time of year, rightfully so. There's a reason the Bucs focused on defense, and DT Vita Vea, CBs M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis and S Justin Whitehead all look like they could have ...
Published: 06/16/18