Sunday, June 17, 2018
Sports

Injured wrist forces Nadal to bid adieu

PARIS — For a decade, Rafael Nadal ruled Roland Garros the way no other man has dominated any Grand Slam site.

On Friday, his powerful left wrist wrapped in a blue brace, Nadal delivered the surprising news he was withdrawing before his third-round match at the French Open because of an injury that would prevent him from delivering the whiplike, spin-heavy forehand that carried him to a record nine titles and a 72-2 record on the tournament's red clay.

"To win the tournament, I need five more matches," Nadal said, his face expressionless, his arms crossed in front of him, "and the doctor says that's 100 percent impossible."

"Now is a tough moment," the Spaniard added, "but (it) is not the end."

His announcement, at what he called "one of the toughest news conferences in my career," overshadowed everything else going on at the French on Day 6, from the straight-set victories by defending champion Stan Wawrinka and No. 2 seed Andy Murray, to the out-of-nowhere 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-0 upset of two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova by 108th-ranked Shelby Rogers, a 23-year-old American.

No. 15 John Isner, the last U.S. man in the field, found out about Nadal's abrupt departure about 15 minutes after winning a five-setter to set up a showdown with Murray for a berth in the quarters.

"It was a shock," Isner said. "I had no idea."

It robbed the event of more star power, coming a week after 17-time major champion Roger Federer pulled out because of lingering back problems.

It cleared one potential obstacle from the path of No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is attempting to win a fourth consecutive major title (his first in Paris) and achieve the career Grand Slam; he could have faced Nadal in the semifinals.

And it raised more questions about how long Nadal, who turns 30 in a week, can continue to ply his intensely physical brand of tennis and remain among the sport's best. In the past, he has dealt with problems to both knees and to his right wrist; this is the first time his left wrist has been an issue.

"I mean, it's a bummer for the tournament," Isner said. "I think a lot of people had him playing Novak in the semis on that side of the draw. It's a shame."

Other fourth-rounders established Friday included No. 3 Wawrinka against No. 22 Viktor Troicki, No. 5 Kei Nishikori against No. 9 Richard Gasquet, and No. 8 Milos Raonic against unseeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Women's fourth-round matches will be Rogers against No. 25 Irina-Camelia Begu, No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska against unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova, No. 4 Garbine Muguruza against No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova, and No. 6 Simona Halep against No. 21 Sam Stosur.

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: 6 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