Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Sports in brief: Serena Williams wins in return from four-month layoff

tennis

serena wins in return from layoff

BRISBANE, Australia — After winning the first match she has played since her U.S. Open final defeat in September, Serena Williams admitted she's dreading another season of grueling workouts but still can't live without tennis.

Williams, 30, had her service broken in the opening game Monday before settling in and beating Chanelle Scheepers 6-2, 6-3 at the Brisbane International. Williams needed just 68 minutes to advance, firing seven aces and taking advantage of eight double faults by Scheepers.

She was asked after the match whether her four-month layoff indicated she may have fallen out of love with tennis.

"It's not that I've fallen out of love … I've never really liked sports, I never understood how I became an athlete," Williams said.

She added, laughing, that she has never liked working out and "I don't want anything that has to do with working physically."

"If it involves sitting down or shopping I am excellent at that. I don't love tennis today … but I can't live without it so I am still here."

Top-seeded Tampa resident Samantha Stosur, advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Anastasiya Yakimova and sixth-seeded Jelena Jankovic defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-2. Former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic beat Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-3.

et cetera

Dakar Rally: Defending bike champion Marc Coma won the second stage of the Dakar Rally and took the category lead after the 185-mile leg in San Rafael, Argentina. In cars, defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah captured the stage while Stephane Peterhansel pulled into the overall lead. This year's rally, has claimed three lives. Argentine bike rider Jorge Martinez Boero died in a crash in Sunday's first stage. On the same day, the pilot of an ultralight plane and his son died when the aircraft went down while following the race.

Cycling: Alejandro Valverde will make his comeback from a two-year doping ban at this month's Tour Down Under, the opening event of the 2012 ProTour in Adelaide, Australia. Valverde was stripped of his No. 1 world ranking and banned for two years from January 2010 after being implicated in Operation Puerto, a blood-doping ring involving more than 50 riders. Valverde never tested positive for a banned drug.

Baseball: Hanley Ramirez says he'll accept a position switch to third base so Marlins newcomer Jose Reyes can play shortstop. Reyes signed a $106 million, six-year deal with Miami last month.

Times wires

more tennis

U.S. falls to Denmark in Hopman Cup

The United States lost to Denmark 2-1 at the Hopman Cup, with late-arriving Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen beating Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish 7-5, 6-3 in the deciding mixed doubles match in Perth, Australia.

Fish gave the United States an opening victory in this Australian Open tuneup, defeating Nielsen 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. The top-ranked Wozniacki made it to the tournament only four hours earlier on a flight from Thailand. She beat Mattek-Sands 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to tie the best-of-three series before the Danish pair combined to win mixed doubles.

Comments
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

TAMPA — The beers and the "love ya bros" were flowing Saturday night at the Hooters in Tampa. Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of tonight’s home game against the Falcons, worked the room, greeting family, frien...
Updated: 17 minutes ago

Cabreras win Father-Son Challenge in Orlando

ORLANDO — Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory Sunday in their debut at the Father-Son Challenge. "This is certainly my best week of the year," said Cabrera, 48, who has one of the best nicknames on tou...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
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...
Published: 12/16/17
Updated: 12/17/17

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 ...
Published: 12/16/17
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...
Published: 12/16/17
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 ...
Published: 12/16/17
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...
Published: 12/16/17

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...
Published: 12/16/17