Monday, April 23, 2018
Sports

Venus and Serena: show for all ages

MELBOURNE, Australia — The sibling rivalry, at least on the tennis tour, started at the Australian Open for the Williams sisters.

It was 1998, and older sister Venus beat younger sister Serena 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in a second-round match. Though it would be tempting to label their Australian Open final Saturday (3 a.m., ESPN) as a full-circle moment and to speculate that it might be their last meeting at this late a stage of a Grand Slam tournament, it seems best to resist the temptation.

The Williamses have taught us a lot about the limits of conventional tennis wisdom through the years. And so, even with Serena at 35 and Venus 36, it is wise to avoid fencing them in again after they have run roughshod over so many other preconceptions.

Thursday, Venus, seeded 13th, had to scrap to win 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3 against powerful unseeded American CoCo Vandeweghe, and Serena, seeded second, cruised past unseeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2, 6-1.

Serena goes for her 23rd major singles title, which would break her tie with Steffi Graf for the most in the Open era (from 1968). This is Venus' first major singles final since she lost to Serena at Wimbledon 2009.

"When I'm playing on the court with (Serena), I think I'm playing the best competitor in the game," Venus said. "I don't think I'm chump change either, you know. I can compete against any odds."

Federer stuns himself: Having not played a competitive tournament since Wimbledon last year because of knee surgery, 17th-seeded Roger Federer, 35, completed an improbable run to the final with a 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 win over No. 4 Stan Wawrinka. He faces the winner of the Rafael Nadal-Grigor Dimitrov semifinal. "I never ever in my wildest dreams thought I was coming this far," said Federer, a 17-time major champion who Sunday goes for his first major title since Wimbledon 2012.

Comments
The key to the Lightning’s success

The key to the Lightning’s success

This is quite the run the Lightning is on over the past five years.A playoff appearance in 2014. A trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2015. A return to the Eastern Conference final in 2016. A near-miss of the postseason last season. And now back in the...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin on TODAY show: ‘I’m not limited to nothing’

Shaquem Griffin's ability to play football without a left hand has made him the talk of the NFL draft. But the former Lakewood High and UCF star is determined to silence such talk with his play."It gets tiring," Griffin said today...
Updated: 2 hours ago
HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. Sunlake (22-1)Up next: Wednesday vs. Clearwater-Northeast winner (7A-10 semifinals)The buzz: The Seahawks beat Anclote, Gulf and Zephyrhills last week to extend their win streak to 16, currently the longest in the area. Sunlake has been dominant, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Polly want a sacker: Bucs’ 4th-round draft pick to be delivered by parrot

Late-round NFL draft picks are often made on a wing and a prayer.The Bucs' fourth-round pick Saturday will be no different. The team announced Monday that as part of the NFL draft TV broadcast, the team's fourth-round pick will be delivered to an ann...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

Projecting where USF’s prospects will get drafted

For all the analyses and hypotheses, all the Mels and McShays, all the pro days and private workouts, the NFL draft remains a crap shoot at its core.But just for kicks, we're rolling the dice anyway.As a prelude to what could — could — be...
Updated: 5 hours ago
USF baseball cracks top 25

USF baseball cracks top 25

For the first time this season, USF's baseball team has cracked the national rankings.The Bulls (26-14, 9-6), coming off series wins against UCF and No. 7 East Carolina, are No. 20 in the latest Baseball America weekly poll. USF, winner of five of it...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

Swimmer Michael Phelps to headline Crystal Lagoon grand opening Saturday

WESLEY CHAPEL — Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps will splash down Saturday at the Crystal Lagoon in Wesley Chapel’s Epperson development.Phelps, a global ambassador for Crystal Lagoons, will appear at the grand opening of the first Crystal Lagoon...
Updated: 5 hours ago
How Deon Cain went from lifelong quarterback to NFL-bound receiver

How Deon Cain went from lifelong quarterback to NFL-bound receiver

TAMPA — Ricky Sailor thought his colleague had lost his mind.Sailor's Unsigned Preps 7-on-7 team had one of the area's most promising young quarterbacks, Deon Cain. So why would one of his coaches, Carlos Blake, want to risk injury and burn bri...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Updated: 6 hours ago