Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

TENNIS

KERBER STUMBLES, FALLS shy OF NO. 1

MASON, Ohio — The final step up to No. 1 was simply too big for Angelique Kerber — this time, anyway.

The world's second-ranked player wasted a chance to end Serena Williams' long run at the top. She dropped behind at the outset, repeatedly missed routine shots and fell to Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-1 in the championship match Sunday at the Western & Southern Open.

On the men's side, Andy Murray also ran out of steam in the title match. He fell to Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-5, ending his career-best winning streak at 22 matches.

More was at stake on the women's side. Williams will be ranked No. 1 for the 184th straight week, two shy of Steffi Graf's WTA-record run that ended in 1997. Kerber will remain right behind after her frustrating performance, hoping for another chance.

"Everybody's talking about that," Kerber said. "If someday it happens, it happens, but I will not be making too much pressure on this. I've had such a great year so far and it's not over yet."

Pliskova, 24, earned her first title in a premier tournament.

KEYS PULLS OUT: Madison Keys withdrew from the Connecticut Open after injuring her neck during a practice session.

SOCCER

West Ham earns dramatic win in stadium debut

The first Premier League game at the centerpiece stadium of the London Olympics in 2012 served up some late drama, with new tenant West Ham scoring in the 85th minute to earn a 1-0 win over 10-man Bournemouth. Bournemouth was left a man short by Harry Arter's sending-off in the 77th. West Ham took advantage when winger Michail Antonio met an inviting left-wing cross by Gokhan Tore with a header at the far post.

FRANCE: Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain overcame a frustrating first half to beat promoted Metz 3-0 and move level on points with Lyon and Nice.

GERMANY: Third-division side Sportfreunde Lotte knocked six-time champion Werder Bremen out of the German Cup with a 2-1 victory in Berlin, while Bayer Leverkusen progressed from the first round.

ITALY: Carlos Bacca scored a hat trick and 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a penalty in added time as AC Milan opened its season with a 3-2 win over Torino and former coach Sinisa Mihajlovic in Rome.

SPAIN: Gareth Bale scored twice to help Real Madrid make a winning start with a 3-0 victory at Real Sociedad in Barcelona.

MLS: Marcelo Sarvas and Patrick Mullins scored three minutes apart in the second half, and host D.C. United rallied for a 2-2 draw with the New York City Red Bulls in a game delayed 75 minutes because of lightning.

ET CETERA

LITTLE LEAGUE: Play at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., was suspended due to inclement weather. The four winner's bracket games and a consolation game were rescheduled for today. The forecast calls for sunny skies.

MMA: Conor McGregor avenged his only loss in the UFC with a majority decision victory over Nate Diaz late Saturday at UFC 202 in Las Vegas.

Times wires

Comments
Rays Journal: A key step back for Venters, sharp day for Snell, big blast by Cron

Rays Journal: A key step back for Venters, sharp day for Snell, big blast by Cron

FORT MYERS – The big heartwarming story will be when – and thus if – LHP Jonny Venters makes it back to the majors for the first time since 2012, having battled through three elbow surgeries.But Sunday was worth a headline, too, as ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

TAMPA — A week ago, Elkanah Kibet felt his calf tighten while training for the Publix Gasparilla Classic half-marathon. At first, Kibet tried to ignore the injury, hoping the pain would away.Instead, it became sorer.Kibet, 32, had massages, eve...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Meet the aptly named Friend of Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend

Meet the aptly named Friend of Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend

TAMPA — Runners in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic know The Voice. Year after year, it comes back to them like home. They hear her before they see her as they head up or back on Bayshore Boulevard. The Voice makes them feel part of somet...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sara Hall sets course record in women’s Gasparilla half-marathon

Sara Hall sets course record in women’s Gasparilla half-marathon

TAMPA — Stephanie Bruce returned Sunday to defend her title at the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic half-marathon. She ran a blistering pace, shaving 50 seconds off her time from last year to finish well under the course record.Still, it was ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Meet the various people who take in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic race weekend, whether on the sidelines or pounding the pavement.Woman's best friendAt about the one hour, 45-minute mark of Saturday's 15K, an Australian shepherd wearing a se...
Updated: 2 hours ago
On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

Two things were pretty clear in talking to RHP Jake Odorizzi this morning in Fort Myers about being traded from the Rays to Twins.He couldn't be much happier than to be a new that that has legitimate playoff aspirations, and that he feels for those h...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Any deadline move won’t be cure-all for Lightning

Any deadline move won’t be cure-all for Lightning

The Lightning could very well add another defenseman by Monday's trade deadline, whether it's the bigger fish like Erik Karlsson or Ryan McDonagh, or depth piece like Mike Green.But, either way, one addition won't automatically cure some of the team-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

As the Rays head back to Fort Myers today for a game on the other side of I-75 to take on the Twins at 1:05, there are several spring debuts worth noting:First, that LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 201...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Andrew Toles made a two-base error and went 0-for-3, and his team lost. All told, it was still a pretty good day for the Dodgers left fielder.In his first game since a serious knee injury last May, the former Rays prospect ret...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

GAINESVILLE — KeVaughn Allen finally got the message. It took a scoreless game and long chats with coach Mike White and two teammates to sink in.Allen bounced back from his worst game in more than three years with 24 points, including a 60-foot...
Published: 02/24/18
Updated: 02/25/18