Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Federer triumphs as temps soar

MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer kept his cool on a scorching second day at the Australian Open, starting his record 57th consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory in his first match with Stefan Edberg as a coach.

Federer was the second match on Rod Laver Arena early this morning, and the temperature topped 106 degrees during his win over Australian wild-card entry James Duckworth.

Two-time defending women's champion Victoria Azarenka played the previous match on the center court at Melbourne Park and said it felt "pretty hot, like you're dancing in a frying pan or something like that."

After her 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 win over No. 91-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden, Azarenka went back out to practice and said she planned an ice bath as a recovery.

Asked how he handled the heat, Federer said: "I'm here. I'm speaking. Actually, it's not crazy. I'm feeling okay right now."

He now owns the record for playing the most consecutive Grand Slam events, another milestone in a career that has netted 17 major titles.

The Swiss star, 32, kept the points as short as possible and gave No. 133-ranked Duckworth only one look at a break point in the 1-hour, 46-minute match.

He said it was "great fun" to finally play in front of childhood hero Edberg, whom he hired on a part-time basis last month.

"I used to watch his matches and get inspired," Federer said, then added: "He warmed me up. … I won!"

Conscious of the time and the temperature, former No.  1 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 11 Simona Halep raced to straight-sets wins.

Wozniacki said the court was so hot in her 6-0, 6-2 win over Lourdes Dominguez Lino that it seemed to melt her plastic water bottle. In her first Grand Slam match since her New Year's Eve engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy, she did everything she could to keep cool.

"Every time in the changeovers, ice bags, ice towels, everything; and then in the second set I could feel they were starting to heat up even more," Wozniacki said. "I put the bottle down on the court and it started melting a little bit underneath, the plastic, so you knew it was warm."

Halep had a 6-0, 6-1 win over Polish qualifier Katarzyna Piter, while American Christina McHale advanced 7-5, 6-4 over Taiwan's Chang Yung-jan and No. 16 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain beat Vania King of the United States 6-3, 6-2.

Players draped bags of ice over their necks and shoulders and sat under covered seats in the changeovers across Melbourne Park. They retreated into the shade at the back of the courts between points.

A hot, gusty breeze swirled across the venue all day. Spectators on outside courts covered their heads and shoulders with damp towels and queued up to stand in front of large electric fans blasting water at them.

Australia has endured record temperatures this summer after a 2013 that is believed to have been its hottest year ever.

No. 13 John Isner, the only seeded American man in the draw, retired with a nagging right ankle injury after losing the first two sets 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) against Martin Klizan.

CAPRIATI case: Jennifer Capriati won't face battery and stalking charges in Palm Beach stemming from a 2013 confrontation with an ex-boyfriend. Capriati, 37, attended anger management sessions last week and did 30 hours of community service at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute in Tampa.

Comments
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Thunder 111-96 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Michael Beasley tied his season high with 30 ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

BOSTON — Mats Zuccarello scored a power-play goal 1:56 into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday. Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games (9-3-1) overall...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Sports in brief

MLBTRADE SENDS KEMP BACK TO L.A.OF Matt Kemp was reacquired by the Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Braves. The Dodgers sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Brandon McCarthy, INF Charlie Culberson and cash to Atla...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

LAS VEGAS — Cedrick Wilson caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, safety Kekaula Kaniho returned an interception 53 yards for a score and No. 25 Boise State beat Oregon 38-28 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Brett Rypien threw for 362 yard...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Florida State at Texas12:30 p.m.FS1Women: Georgia Tech at Georgia1 p.m.SECStony Brook at Providence2:30 p.m.FS1North Carolina at Tennessee3 p.m.ESPNSavannah State at Baylor3 p.m.Fox SunWomen: USF at Florida International...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Cabreras team up for first-round lead at Father/Son Challenge

ORLANDO — Two-time major winner Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the Father/Son Challenge. Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in the pop...
Updated: 10 hours ago