Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Golf-McIlroy calls Koepka ‘duplicitous’ for joining LIV
Rory McIlroy described Brooks Koepka as deceitful after the four-times major winner defected to the breakaway LIV Golf Invitational Series on Wednesday, then urged the PGA and European Tours to join forces against the Saudi-backed venture. Koepka, a former world number one, became the latest big name to join the lucrative LIV Series, joining a list that includes six-times major champion Phil Mickelson, former Masters champion Dustin Johnson and former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.
Tennis-No ranking points on offer but Wimbledon has no exhibition
Wimbledon starts on Monday without Russia’s world number one Daniil Medvedev and Belarus’s former top-ranked Victoria Azarenka but the grasscourt Grand Slam will hardly feel like an exhibition event despite no ranking points on offer. The 2022 edition of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament will be held without points after organizers decided to ban Russian and Belarussian players from participating in following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Tennis-Kyrgios poised for major breakthrough at Wimbledon: Evert
Nick Kyrgios could finally be ready to deliver on the promise he has flashed throughout his turbulent career when he brings his powerful game to the grass courts of Wimbledon next week, tennis great Chris Evert said. While the hugely talented Australian often bamboozles opponents with an array of incredible shots, his antics on the court and run-ins with umpires have often dominated the headlines and he has yet to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Tennis-Swiatek seeks to entrench dominance on Wimbledon’s lawns
A key element in the appeal of any sport is the presence of a dominant figure — a benchmark for the rest to aspire to — and in that respect, women’s tennis has been blessed to have Serena Williams as its figurehead. But with the American in her 41st year and back at Wimbledon for a potential farewell after a year out, the worry has been whether any player can fill her shoes.
Argentine courts to try Maradona doctors, and nurses for homicide
Eight people who took care of soccer legend Diego Maradona will be tried in Argentina courts for homicide, according to a ruling released on Wednesday following an investigation into his November 2020 death due to cardiac arrest. In the 236-page document seen by Reuters, the judge in charge of the case questioned “the behaviors – active or by omission – of each of the accused which led to and contributed to the realization of the result.”
Fifty years since Title IX, the world of women’s sports is transformed
Half a century since the passage of the landmark US Title IX law, Olympians and trailblazers say the profoundly transformed global sport for women. The law passed June 23, 1972, requires US education programs that receive federal funding to provide equal opportunities for participation – including for all sports.
Navratilova calls out IOC for lack of leadership on the transgender issue
Tennis great and gay rights trailblazer Martina Navratilova has slammed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its lack of leadership on the issue of the inclusion of transgender athletes in the sport. The issue was brought into focus by last weekend’s decision by swimming’s governing body FINA to ban athletes who have been through any part of male puberty from elite women’s competition.
Rights groups call on Biden to negotiate for WNBA star Griner’s release
A coalition of human rights groups on Wednesday called on US President Joe Biden to “make a deal” to secure the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner who has been detained in Russia for months. Griner was taken into custody at a Moscow airport on Feb. 17 when a search of her luggage allegedly revealed multiple cannabis oil vape cartridges. She could face up to 10 years in prison.
Brittney Griner named honorary starter at ASG
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner has been named an honorary starter for the WNBA All-Star Game next month in Chicago. Griner, 31, was arrested in Russia in February and detained there since is a seven-time All-Star in the league. She has averaged 17.7 points and 7.6 rebounds in her nine-year career since being selected No. 1 overall in the 2013 draft.
Tennis-Nadal’s calendar Slam bid faces Djokovic challenge on grass
Rafa Nadal’s hopes of winning Wimbledon for the first time in over a decade and staying on track for the calendar year Grand Slam will meet a familiar adversary in Novak Djokovic who is bidding to extend his domination at the grasscourt major. For the first time in his career, the Spaniard has won the Australian and the French Open back-to-back and has the chance to become the first man to win all four majors in the same year since Rod Laver achieved the feat in 1969.
(With inputs from agencies.)