Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Sports

Win brings Venus same old query

MELBOURNE, Australia — It was inevitable after such an energetic performance in her second-round win over Stefanie Voegele at the Australian Open that Venus Williams would get asked about transcending the generations in tennis.

The 36-year-old, seven-time major winner played the first of her record 73 Grand Slam tournaments at the French Open in 1997. Back then, she got to play against the likes of Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.

Against the 26-year-old Voegele at the Australian Open today, Williams mixed up her game, clearly not intent on relying only on the kind of power game that helped her make a mark on the sport. She won 6-3, 6-2, hitting 24 winners and getting five service breaks.

"I have to talk about this every interview," Williams said in reply to what has become a regular postmatch question to the oldest player in the women's draw here. "I've played some of the greats. It's an honor and privilege to start that young," she added, laughing, "and play this old."

She is playing her 17th Australian Open but has never won the title. Her best run was to the final in 2003, when she lost to her sister Serena.

After Venus' match, she and Serena pulled out of their scheduled first-round doubles match because of a right elbow injury to Venus.

Kei Nishikori advanced to the third round in a far more straightforward manner than his five-set opener in the first round. The fifth seed defeated Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in just over two hours to reach the third round for the seventh consecutive year.

"(I) was definitely playing much better than first round," Nishikori said. "There were many ups and downs, still too many break points for me. Great to finish in three sets."

Late Tuesday, six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic held off Fernando Verdasco in a 71-minute, momentum-swinging second set before winning 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.

Rafael Nadal, returning from a couple of months on the sideline following the U.S. Open with an injured left wrist, has already improved on 2016.

"I'm happy to do an interview with you. Last year, I didn't have the chance!" Nadal said in his on-court interview after a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Florian Mayer. Nadal lost to Verdasco in the first round last year.

Comments
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cam...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman and the coac...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together.

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together.

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

For the first time in almost two decades, Florida and Florida State will open the men's basketball season against each other.The Seminoles will host UF on Nov. 6, both programs announced Wednesday morning. FSU has won four in a row in the series."Any...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18