Koepka survives Bethpage Black to win PGA Championship
Brooks Koepka poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA
Championship golf tournament, Sunday, May 19, 2019, at Bethpage
Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP) — His place in
PGA Championship history finally secure, Brooks Koepka draped both
arms around the top of the Wanamaker Trophy and let out a deep sigh.
The stress was more than he wanted. The
satisfaction was more than he imagined.
Koepka lost all but one shot of his record
seven-shot lead Sunday. Then he lost the brutal Long Island crowd,
which began chants of "D.J.! D.J.!" as Koepka was on his way to a
fourth straight bogey that allowed Dustin Johnson to pull within one
"It's New York," Koepka said. "What do you
expect when you're half-choking it away?"
He responded like a player capable of piling up
major championships faster than anyone since Tiger Woods.
Motivated by the crowd turning on him, Koepka
delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded
with two straight bogeys. He closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot
victory and joined Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA
Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958.
That gives him four of the last eight majors he
played and makes him the first player to hold two back-to-back
majors at the same time. He won his second straight U.S. Open last
summer 60 miles down the road at Shinnecock Hills before a far less
When his 6-foot par putt fell on the last hole,
Koepka thrust his muscular right arm in the air and hugged his
"Today was definitely the most satisfying out
of all of them for how stressful that round was — how stressful D.J.
made that," Koepka said. "I know for a fact that was the most
excited I've ever been in my life there on 18."
Koepka said at the start of the week that
majors are sometimes the easiest to win.
This one should have been.
And it didn't help that a raging wind that
gusted up to 25 mph turned Bethpage Black into a beast, with Johnson
(69) the only player out of the last 12 groups to shoot par or
better. Koepka's 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion
since Vijay Singh (4-over 76) won in a playoff at Whistling Straits
"I'm just glad I don't have to play any more
holes," Koepka said. "That was a stressful round of golf. I'm glad
to have this thing back in my hands."
Koepka appeared to wrap it up with a gap wedge
from 156 yards to 2 feet on the 10th hole for a birdie, as Johnson
made his first bogey of the round up ahead on the 11th. That
restored the lead to six shots, and the coronation was on.
And then it all changed in a New York minute.
Four holes later, Koepka walked off the 15th
tee with a one-shot lead. He looked over to his left to see Johnson
facing a 7-foot par putt on the 16th hole — the most difficult hole
at Bethpage Black on Sunday because it was into the wind — to stay
within one shot. The groan of the crowd told him Johnson had missed.
"I felt like as long as I had the lead, I was
fine," Koepka said. "As long as I put it in the fairway, I was going
to be all right."
Koepka, who finished at 8-under 272, returned
to No. 1 in the world with a performance that defines his dominance
in golf's biggest events.
He was the first wire-to-wire winner in the PGA
Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983. It was his third
straight year winning a major, a feat achieved by only seven others
since the Masters began in 1934 — Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson,
Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Peter Thomson and Ralph Guldahl.
Winning four of his last eight majors is a
stretch not seen since Woods won seven out of 11 when he captured
the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black.
Next up is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where
Koepka already is the betting favorite as he defends his title for
the second time. No one has won the U.S. Open three straight years
since Willie Anderson in 1905.
No one will doubt whether Koepka is capable the
way he is playing.
Johnson knew he was a long shot going into the
final round — no one had ever lost a seven-shot lead in a major —
and he still managed to make Koepka work for it.
He came undone with a shot he thought would be
perfect — a 5-iron from 194 yards, dead into the wind on the 16. It
one-hopped over the green into thick rough.
"Hit the shot I wanted to right at the flag,"
Johnson said. "I don't know how it flew 200 yards into the wind like
Johnson now has runner-up finishes in all four
of the majors, the wrong kind of career Grand Slam.
"I gave it a run," he said. "That's all you can
It was more than anyone expected, especially
when Koepka was six shots ahead with eight holes to play.
The crowd sensed a collapse and began chanting
Johnson's nickname on the par-3 14th as Koepka went long and was
headed for a fourth straight bogey.
Koepka is a 29-year-old Floridian with an
imposing figure, power off the tee and out of the rough, no obvious
weakness in his game and the kind of mental fortitude that majors
require. He needed all of it to win this one.
"I wasn't nervous," he said. "I was in shock of
what was going on."
Bethpage has a reputation for being over the
top, and it irritated Harold Varner III, who shot 81 playing in the
"I thought it was pretty weird how they were
telling Brooks to choke," Varner said about the 14th hole. "That's
not my cup of tea. I was pulling for him after that."
Koepka held it together at the most crucial
moment. He piped his driver down the 15th fairway and two-putted for
par. And he drilled another one into the 16th for another par. He
kept it interesting to the end, three-putting the 17th as the lead
went back to two shots, and pulling his driver on the 18th into
fescue so thick it left him little choice but to lay up and scramble
for par. Once his medium lob wedge settled 6 feet away, he could
Woods won the Wanamaker Trophy in consecutive
years twice, in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2006 and 2007. Koepka
was starting to draw comparisons with Woods for the way he
obliterated the competition, much like Woods in his 12-shot victory
in the 1997 Masters and 15-shot victory in the 2000 U.S. Open at
Koepka tied the PGA Championship record by
opening with a 63. He broke the major championship record for 36
holes at 128. He set another PGA Championship record with his
In the end, just having his name on the
heaviest championship trophy in golf was all that mattered.
Back on top: Nadal beats Djokovic for 9th Italian Open title
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the
ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their final match at the
Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Sunday, May 19, 2019.
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Rome (AP) — Rafael Nadal is right back
where he wants to be.
After losing in the semifinals of three
straight clay-court tournaments, Nadal dominated for stretches
against his longtime rival, Novak Djokovic, in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win
Sunday for a record-extending ninth Italian Open title.
"You were asking for titles. Finally I have a
title," Nadal told reporters. "Here we are. Important title,
It marked the first time in an Open Era-record
54 meetings, and in their 142nd set against each other, that Nadal
won a set against Djokovic without conceding a game — otherwise
known as a bagel.
In all, Nadal had a career-high four bagel sets
in this tournament.
"I played a great first set in all aspects. No
mistakes. Playing so aggressive, changing directions," Nadal said.
"It's not usual and probably will not happen again."
The timing for Nadal's return to form could not
have been more opportune, as he will seek a record-extending 12th
title at the French Open starting next weekend.
"Winning a title is important but for me the
most important thing is (to) feel myself competitive, feel myself
healthy," Nadal said. "Then with the feeling that I am improving. I
know if I'm able to reach my level you can win, you can lose, but
normally I'm going to have my chances — especially on this surface.
"Now is the moment to keep going," Nadal added.
In the women's final, Karolina Pliskova
captured the biggest clay-court trophy of her career by beating
Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4.
Top-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, appeared
exhausted after spending more than 5 ½ hours on court against Juan
Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman the previous two days.
Djokovic was also coming off the Madrid Open
title last week.
"I don't want to talk about fatigue or things
like that," Djokovic told the crowd during the post-match ceremony.
"Rafa was simply too strong today."
Speaking to reporters later, Djokovic said, "I
was just running out of fuel a little bit today. Just kind of missed
that half a step, especially on the backhand side."
The Foro Italico crowd continually tried to
encourage Djokovic with chants of "Vai Nole!" — Go Nole! — but the
top-ranked Serb struggled with his overhead and drop shots.
Midway through the second set, Nadal chased
down a lob with an over-the-shoulder shot and Djokovic's ensuing
overhead landed in the net to conclude a long point.
Djokovic again netted an overhead in the next
game and then kicked the ball in frustration when he missed a drop
shot attempt late in the second.
But Djokovic hung around in the second and
converted his first set point when a looping forehand from Nadal
sailed wide for his first break of the match. As he walked to his
chair after winning the second set, Djokovic waved his arms to get
the crowd behind him.
However, Djokovic didn't have much left in the
When Nadal pushed Djokovic deep into the corner
in the opening game of the third set and Djokovic's desperation lob
sailed long to hand Nadal a break, Djokovic smashed his racket to
the clay three times in frustration and received a warning from the
Djokovic won only 29 percent of the points on
his second serve and committed 39 unforced errors to Nadal's 17.
Also, Nadal won 23 of the 31 rallies with nine or more shots.
PLISKOVA NO. 2
Pliskova's victory will move her up to No. 2 in
the rankings and makes her one of the contenders for Roland Garros.
"I just hope to take the tennis I was playing
here to Paris," Pliskova said. "For sure there's going to be a
chance for me if I play this way."
The 2016 U.S. Open runner-up, Pliskova also
reached the Australian Open semifinals and the Miami Open final
after opening this season with a title in Brisbane, Australia. But
she lost in the second round of her previous two tournaments on clay
in Stuttgart, Germany, and Madrid.
"Nobody really gave me chance for this
tournament — even me," Pliskova said. "Before the tournament, I was
not super confident, not thinking about the final at all. I was just
happy with every match which I played. So it's little bit like a
miracle for me."
The unseeded Konta appeared nervous at the
start, double faulting then landing a backhand into the net to hand
Pliskova a break in her opening service game.
In the second set, Pliskova used a swinging
forehand volley putaway to break for a 4-3 lead and never looked
"It's always tough playing Karolina," Konta
said. "There's rarely really a rhythm to the match. She plays with
big shots, quite flat, and big serves. It can feel sometimes you're
fighting an uphill battle. That was the case today."
Pliskova attributed a lot of her success to
Conchita Martinez, the four-time Rome champion who she recently
named her head coach.
"She loved clay so she knows exactly what I
should do," Pliskova said of Martinez. "There were small
differences: movement, maybe to put more topspin on the balls, use
drop shots — which I never use, but I start little bit, and to mix
also the serves. ... I know she loved this tournament. I think she
prayed so I could win today."
Wilder KOs Breazeale in 1st round to defend heavyweight belt
Deontay Wilder, right, knocks down Dominic Breazeale during the
first round of their WBC heavyweight championship boxing match
Saturday, May 18, 2019, in New York. Wilder stopped Breazeale in the
first round. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York (AP) — Deontay Wilder believes
they are coming, the mega matchup with Anthony Joshua and the
rematch with Tyson Fury.
Until then, he moved onto some business with
He took care of it quickly and emphatically.
Wilder got back into the win column Saturday
night, knocking out Breazeale with an overpowering right hand in the
first round to defend his heavyweight title.
"There's been a lot of animosity and a lot of
words that were said and it just came out of me tonight," Wilder
Wilder hurt Breazeale with a right to the head
early in their fight at Barclays Center, but the challenger had
recovered from that early onslaught. But there was no coming back
from the right later in the round that immediately dropped Breazeale,
who was trying to get up as referee Harvey Dock counted him out at
2:17 of the round.
"When I hit him with the right hand the first
time, his body language changed," Wilder said.
And with the last one, Breazeale's body
Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) was coming off his draw
against Fury in December, the first fight of his pro career that
wasn't a victory. He wanted a rematch with Fury or a unification
match with fellow champion Joshua, but settled for a mandatory
defense of his WBC title when those couldn't be made.
He ended it quickly, finishing off Breazeale
(20-2) after being pushed hard in each of his last two fights.
Wilder weighed in at a little more than 223
pounds, a gain from the 209 he was at for the Fury fight, but still
well below the 245 he set as a goal after feeling he was too small
in that bout, in which he dropped Fury with a huge combination in
the 12th round but had to settle for the draw when the challenger
was able to get up and finish the fight.
An immediate rematch was expected before Fury
surprisingly went another route.
"I understand what Tyson Fury did. When you get
dropped on the canvas like that, I understand you have to get
yourself back together," Wilder said. "But the rematch will happen,
like all these other fights will happen. The great thing is all
these fights are in discussion. The big fights will happen."
And Wilder won't need any more pounds as long
as he still has one of the most feared right hands in boxing.
Breazeale had downplayed Wilder's power, saying
heavyweights are supposed to hit hard. But he should certainly be a
He was challenging for a heavyweight title for
the second time, having been stopped by Joshua in the seventh round
three years ago in Britain. He said he had learned and grown from
that fight, but there's nothing that could have prepared him for
what faced in landing just two punches before 13,181 fans in
"This was a situation where he landed the big
right hand before I did," Breazeale said. "I thought I was going to
come on in the later rounds. I'll be back and go for the heavyweight
Wilder and Joshua was the fight just about
everyone in boxing would prefer to see, but so far it's been all
talk without seriously moving close to action.
Joshua will be making his U.S. debut at nearby
Madison Square Garden on June 1, so perhaps they could try again
afterward to negotiate a bout.
Wilder easily put aside the letdown of not
fighting Joshua or Fury again because of his anger toward Breazeale
over an altercation involving family members at an Alabama hotel in
2017. He went as far as to tout his ability to kill a man in the
ring, remarks for which WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said would
be addressed by the organization in a hearing.
Wilder was coming off tough tests in his last
two bouts, getting rocked by Luis Ortiz in their March 2018 fight in
this arena before stopping the Cuban in the 10th round, and needing
a knockdown in the final round to secure the draw with Fury.
He looked like a picture of peace as he carried
his young daughter into the arena about three hours earlier, but was
back to making his case as boxing's baddest man once the fighting
In the other title fight on the card, Gary
Russell Jr. (30-1, 18 KOs) defended his piece of the featherweight
title when the referee stopped his bout with Kiko Martinez (39-9-2)
late in the fifth round on the advice of the ringside doctor because
of a bad cut over the challenger's left eye.
Woakes takes 5-54, England beat Pakistan to win series 4-0
Pakistan's Babar Azam, left, is run out by England's Adil Rashid,
right, during the Fifth One Day International cricket match between
England and Pakistan at Emerald Headingley in Leeds, England,
Sunday, May 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Leeds, England (AP) — Pakistan recovered
from a disastrous start to their run chase but still fell short as
England clinched the fifth and final cricket one-day international
by 54 runs on Sunday to win the series 4-0.
England won the toss and chose to bat first at
Headingley, reaching 351-9 with Joe Root (84 runs in 73 balls) and
captain Eoin Morgan (76 in 64) the main run-makers. Morgan hit five
sixes and a dangerous No. 10 Tom Curran gave the innings a late
boost with an undefeated 15-ball 29. Shaheen Afridi took 4-82 in 10
Fast-medium bowler Chris Woakes then claimed
three early wickets to reduce Pakistan to 6-3 in three overs before
Babar Azam (80 in 83) and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed (97 in 80) shared a
146-run partnership to take the visitors to 152-4 in the 27th over.
Both Azam and Ahmed were run out as England
displayed their potent fielding threat in this form of the game.
Azam was dismissed after Adil Rashid and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler
combined to run the batsman out at the bowler's end with a clever
flick behind his back by Rashid.
Pakistan finished on 297 all out in 46.5 overs.
Woakes ended with 5-54 in 10 overs.
The first ODI was rained off.
Top-ranked England host the World Cup, which
starts on May 30. Amid intense competition for places, England will
name their 15-man squad on Tuesday.
"Obviously winning the series 4-0 against a
very strong Pakistan team is good for us going into a crucial World
Cup," Woakes said. "A great few weeks for us but obviously we know
there's some really important cricket coming up."
Maria Sharapova out of French Open, citing right shoulder
In this Saturday June 9, 2012 file
photo, Maria Sharapova of Russia holds the trophy after winning the
women's final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland
Garros stadium in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Rome (AP) - Two-time
French Open champion Maria Sharapova pulled out of the year's second
Grand Slam tournament on Tuesday because of her surgically repaired
Sharapova announced her
withdrawal on Instagram.
"Sometimes the right decisions
aren't always the easiest ones," she wrote.
She said she has returned to
practice and is "slowly building the strength back" in her shoulder.
The former No. 1 and owner of
five major titles hasn't competed anywhere since late January, when
she withdrew from a tournament in Russia after winning her opening
match there. In February, she said she had a "small procedure" on
her shoulder, which was painful since last year because of a fraying
tendon and small labrum tear.
During a recent interview at
the Italian Open, International Tennis Hall of Fame member Nick
Bollettieri said Sharapova is at his academy "right now, training."
Asked whether Sharapova is
contemplating retirement, the coach responded: "Not yet. I think
she's going to give it one more shot."
Play begins at the French Open
on May 26. The 32-year-old Sharapova won the title at Roland Garros
in 2012 to complete a career Grand Slam and collected the trophy at
the clay-court major again in 2014.
That was the last time she won
a Grand Slam tournament.
Since then, the Russian has
been only an occasional participant in the sport's four most
prestigious events: This French Open will mark the eighth time in a
span of 20 majors that she has been absent.
Sharapova was sidelined for 15
months by a doping suspension after failing a drug test at the
Australian Open in January 2016, then returned to the tour in April
2017 with a ranking too low to get into Grand Slam events. The
French Open denied her a wild-card invitation, then she planned to
try to qualify for Wimbledon before pulling out because of an
injured left leg.
Her right shoulder has been an
issue over the years.
She cut her 2018 season short
in September because of problems with it.
Sharapova originally had
surgery on the shoulder in 2008 and was off the tour for about 10
months. She skipped the 2013 U.S. Open because of that shoulder,
Spieth trying to buck the odds at PGA Championship
Jordan Spieth follows through on an approach shot on the fourth
fairway during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf
tournament, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie
Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP) —
Jordan Spieth needs to win the PGA Championship for the career Grand
Slam. Masters champion Tiger Woods needs to win the next three majors to
capture an unprecedented calendar Grand Slam.
Based on how their seasons have
gone, the question now is who has the better chance.
Spieth smiled at the supposition,
and then tried to play along. He first considered how physics major
Bryson DeChambeau would approach it and figured that winning one major
would be easier than winning three. And then he considered the Wisconsin
man who placed a $100,000 wager on 100-1 odds of Woods winning all four
majors this year, a bet that would return $10 million.
"I would have better odds than
that, right?" Spieth said.
For someone mired in a slump — a
word Spieth himself said Wednesday on the eve of the PGA Championship —
the 25-year-old Texan didn't appear overly concerned about the
opportunity in front of him at Bethpage Black.
Only five other players have won
the career Grand Slam. No one has completed it at the PGA Championship.
Spieth wouldn't appear to be a
candidate at the moment. He is winless since getting the third leg of
the slam in the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale. And while he had
chances on the back nine of two majors last year, he hasn't come close
to winning since then.
In the eight stroke-play events
this year when he played the weekend, Spieth on average has finished
14.5 strokes behind the winner. He has yet to finish in the top 20, with
his best result a tie for 21st at the Masters.
He talks mostly about progress and
consistency, both defined more by what he feels than what anyone else
"I've shot some low rounds, but
piecing together four has been difficult this season so far," Spieth
said. "I think it's gotten more progressively consistent throughout the
year, and out here you're going to need that kind of consistency. You
need your bad rounds to be held at about par to win this tournament, and
you need your good rounds to go deep enough. If I can continue to make
the amount of birdies I've been making and then just limit the mistakes
a little bit, then I should be right in it."
Woods, who won the second leg of
the calendar slam at Bethpage Black in 2002 when it hosted the U.S.
Open, is the betting favorite at 8-1. He is followed by Dustin Johnson
and defending champion Brooks Koepka, two of golf's most powerful
Spieth is listed at 50-1 on a big
golf course that might feel even bigger considering the 2 inches of rain
since Sunday that has left it long and soft.
"This is a completely different
animal out here, Bethpage Black, and it'll wear you out," Xander
Justin Rose says while 156 players
are in the field, he felt there were only 30 or 40 who could win because
of how long the Black course plays. He includes Woods in that group,
mainly from what he saw on the 17th hole at Augusta National, where
Woods had a two-shot lead and piped one down the middle.
"That was the most telling shot
that I saw him play at Augusta this year, and because of that, I think
it gives him an opportunity this week with his driver," Rose said.
Koepka also believes the field —
with 99 of the top 100 in the world — is shorter than it seems. He used
his own brand of math to eliminate most of the field from taking home
the Wanamaker Trophy.
"You figured at least 80 of them
I'm just going to beat," he said. "From there, you figure about half of
them won't play well from there, so you're down to about 35. And then
from 35, some of them just ... pressure is going to get to them. It only
leaves you with a few more, and you've just got to beat those guys.
"I think one of the big things I've
learned over the last few years is you don't need to win it," he said.
"If you hang around, good things are going to happen."
Woods won't be guilty of over
He hasn't competed since winning
his fifth green jacket — and 15th major — at the Masters, and he has
played only 27 holes at Bethpage since he was last here in 2012 for a
PGA Tour event. Woods played 18 holes a week ago and nine holes Monday.
That was followed by a day of light work, but then he chose not to come
to the course Wednesday on the final day of practice.
Spieth, who played the back nine
Wednesday with Steve Stricker, has been frustrated by not finding a
solution sooner, though he seemed upbeat.
During a long question when a
reporter referenced him as among the best in the world, Spieth
interrupted with a quick, "Thank you." Another reporter referenced his
phrase of a "bit of a slump" he is in, and Spieth quickly interjected
with a smile, "Was."
"I don't want to use the word
negativity, but the questioning and the wording that's used to describe
me by media or whatever over the past year has only come up because of
the amount of success that I've had," he said. "So it actually could be
looked at positively, as well, because if I didn't have the success that
I've had, then I wouldn't be in here right now.
"It's just one of those things
where you've got to block out the noise and stay the course and believe
Ackermann wins rainy Giro stage 5, Roglic stays in lead
Germany's Pascal Ackermann celebrates as he sprints ahead of Colombia's
Fernando Gaviria, left, to win the fifth stage of the Giro D'Italia,
tour of Italy cycling race, from Frascati to Terracina, Wednesday, May
15, 2019. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP)
Terracina, Italy (AP) —
Pascal Ackermann of Germany sprinted to victory at the end of the
rain-affected fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday, while
Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic kept the overall lead.
It was Ackermann's second stage win
in his first Grand Tour after the 25-year-old Bora-Hansgrohe rider also
took home Sunday's second leg.
Ackermann edged out Fernando
Gaviria and Arnaud Demare in a bunch sprint at the end of the mainly
flat but wet 140-kilometer route from Frascati to Terracina.
"It was a two-time sprint today. I
had to brake at 250 meters to go but luckily Gaviria became the perfect
lead-out man for me," Ackermann said. "It was scary all day under the
rain. All the stage was scary and sprint was scary because you can't see
much. It was cold all day."
The rain was so relentless that
race organizers decided that times would be taken on the first passage
of the finish line in Terracina before the final nine-kilometer loop in
order to avoid another crash like the one that marred Tuesday's fourth
stage. That crash split the peloton in half inside the final six
kilometers and allowed Roglic to gain precious seconds over his rival.
It also led to 2017 champion Tom
Dumoulin abandoning the race a kilometer into Wednesday's stage as he
was in too much pain after injuring his left leg in the crash.
"I came here for a three-week
adventure and I wanted to finish it and I'm not ready to go home yet,"
Dumoulin said. "I didn't want to be home and in two days time, be able
to ride when the swelling goes down and be sad that I abandoned so I
needed to try and push through with some painkillers today and it
might've been possible.
"I would've always asked myself
that question and now I can ask myself and I know the answer."
Roglic, who has worn the leader's
pink jersey since winning the opening time trial on Saturday, remained
35 seconds ahead of British cyclist Simon Yates and 39 ahead of home
favorite Vincenzo Nibali.
Thursday's sixth stage is a
238-kilometer route from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo, with an
The Giro finishes in Verona on June
Alonso: 'We will be back stronger' after Indy 500 crash
Alonso, of Spain, climbs into his car to practice for the Indianapolis 500
IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in
Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indianapolis (AP) — McLaren's
return to the Indianapolis 500 was slowed at first by electrical problems.
When Fernando Alonso finally got his car up to speed, he hit three walls at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and significantly damaged the celebrated bright
Mechanics labored Wednesday in the
buttoned-down McLaren garage trying to rebuild a car for Alonso to qualify
this weekend for the Indy 500. It will need a new engine because the one in
the car Alonso crashed on the second day of practice had a cracked cam
This return to Indy has so far been
horrific for the proud McLaren group, which on opening day had to replace
the alternator and entire wiring loom on Alonso's car.
Then came his crash Wednesday exiting
the third turn. His car hit the wall, spun through the grass and hit an
interior wall, then spun back across the track for a third hit. It was the
first crash on an oval for the retired Formula One champion. While many a
driver has been rattled by contact at the famous speedway, Alonso was ready
to get back in the car as soon as it was ready.
"I am always positive. We will be back
stronger," Alonso said. "The team is making sure everything is ready for
tomorrow. I am ready for tomorrow. No fear. And we will be fast again."
McLaren is back at Indy as an
independent entrant for the first time since the 1970s, when it won three
Indy 500s in 10 appearances before returning to England with a dedicated
focus on Formula One. But McLaren boss Zak Brown is an American, was a
longtime Indianapolis resident and his background is in U.S.-based
motorsports. Brown is expanding McLaren and has an eye on a full-time
IndyCar entry as early as next season.
McLaren's return, along with the wildly
popular Alonso, has been closely followed but the first two days have been
terrible. Half of Wednesday was spent assessing damage to the car McLaren
built at its England factory, then debating if it should be repaired or if
the team should turn to the backup built by technical partner Carlin.
Both cars were being worked on and
McLaren was planning to use the Carlin-provided chassis Thursday. Qualifying
for the 33 spots in the field begins Saturday; Alonso, one of 36 entrants,
has been near the bottom of the speed charts.
The team remained upbeat despite the
"It's something McLaren has to do
because what it's done, it's given them the foundation for the future," said
Bob Fernley, head of the Indy 500 program. "In order for McLaren to take
those next steps, they need the knowledge and foundation of what we've been
doing the past few months. I think what it will show and I'm absolutely sure
we will overcome the obstacles."
Alonso's crash was the
attention-grabbing moment on the second day of prep for the May 26 race.
Rookie Felix Rosenqvist also was in a hard wreck in which his car first spun
into the wall and then deep into a tire barrier.
"This track can bite you pretty quick,"
the Swedish driver said. Chip Ganassi Racing said it would go to a backup
car for Rosenqvist.
Chevrolet found an irregularity in the
engine it provided Sage Karam and proactively pulled it while Josef
Newgarden had the fastest lap of the day to put a Team Penske car on top of
both days at Indy.
"It means nothing," Newgarden said of
his lap at 228.856 mph. Scott Dixon was second-fastest on the day in a
Alonso, spent most of his day in street
clothes. He is making his second appearance in the Indy 500 in his quest to
win motorsports' version of the Triple Crown.
Alonso ran Indy in 2017 for Andretti
Autosport and stepped into a car capable of winning the race. He led laps
and was a contender until his engine failed, bringing a halt to a nearly
flawless month for the Spaniard at Indianapolis.
That Indy 500 was Alonso's only race to
date on an oval and his wreck Wednesday raised questions as to how
crash-tested he is after a career spent racing primarily on road and street
courses. Alonso in 2016 was in a spectacular F1 crash in Australia in which
his car flipped twice and he wound up sidelined for a race with fractured
ribs and a collapsed lung.
He said the Indy wreck was not at all
"I think obviously there is a moment of
stress, and this moment of danger that you feel you are in a single-seater
and you are very fast and you will hit something at very high speed and it
is going to hurt a little bit," Alonso said. "All the accidents feel more or
less the same way, here the difference is the speed you hit the wall is very
high. It's not only one hit, normally. The second is coming or even the
third eventually will come, so you need to get ready for all of them.
"But I have to say I have a bit lucky
enough, this hit was just a brush and it was not a big deceleration, it was
just a continuation. Overall, it was a first experience, hopefully the last.
But not that impressed even with the speeds that high because it was just a
Stone lifts Canada in final seconds, Slovak fans throw coins
Canada's Mark Stone, left, celebrates with Canada's Thomas Chabot,
right, after scoring his side’s sixth goal during the Ice Hockey World
Championships Group A match between Slovakia and Canada at the Steel
Arena in Kosice, Slovakia, Monday, May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David
Kosice, Slovakia (AP) — Mark
Stone scored with 1.8 seconds left to lift Canada over Slovakia 6-5
Monday night at the world hockey championships, prompting furious
supporters of the host country to throw coins and other objects on the
The Canadians rallied to win after
trailing 2-0 in the first period and 4-2 in the second.
Matus Sukel's second goal pulled
the Slovaks into a 5-all tie midway through the third period, but his
teammate, Erik Cernak, was called for tripping with 1:14 left and Stone
took advantage. He scored on a wrist shot from the right circle,
triggering a celebration on his 27th birthday.
Slovakian fans responded with a
chorus of boos, and some emptied their pockets and chucked their spare
change onto the playing surface.
Canada improved to 2-1 and dropped
Slovakia to 1-2 in Group A.
Finland leads Group A with seven
points, but it had its first setback earlier in the day. Dylan Larkin
scored with 1:13 left in overtime and Cory Schneider stopped 24 shots,
lifting the United States to a 3-2 win over the Finns.
Larkin ended the 3-on-3 overtime,
carrying the puck inside the right circle and scoring on a wrist shot
that got past Veini Vehvilainen's blocker. The Finns complained about an
open-ice hit that wasn't ruled a penalty against the U.S. shortly before
Larkin scored the winning goal.
Brady Skjei scored in the opening
minute and Johnny Gaudreau put the Americans up 2-0 midway through the
third period. The Finns rallied to tie it at 2 with Harri Pesonen's goal
in the last minute of the opening period and Niko Ojamaki's goal midway
through the second.
The matchup in Group A featured
American center Jack Hughes and Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko, who are
expected to be picked No. 1 and 2 overall, respectively, in the NHL
draft next month.
Russia stayed undefeated in Group B
and handed the Czech Republic its first loss, winning 3-0 in Bratislava.
Sergei Andronov scored midway
through the first period and Nikita Gusev gave the Russians a 2-0 lead
in the middle of the second. Nikita Zaitsev added an empty-net goal late
in the game and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with a 23-save shutout.
The Russians are 3-0, outscoring
Patric Hornqvist scored twice to
help Sweden rout winless Norway 9-1. The two-time defending champions
improved to 2-1 in Group B.
Serena Williams wins clay opener; sister Venus next in Rome
Serena Williams, of the United States returns the ball to Sweden's
Rebecca Peterson during their match at the Italian Open tennis
tournament, in Rome, Monday, May, 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Rome (AP) — Serena Williams
looked sharper than in her previous match two months ago as she opened
her clay-court season with a routine 6-4, 6-2 win over Swedish qualifier
Rebecca Peterson on Monday.
Next up at the Italian Open: Sister
Venus Williams in the siblings' first meeting on European clay in nearly
Venus, who won her only Rome title
20 years ago, defeated Elise Mertens 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (4) after more than
three hours, requiring nine match points before eliminating her Belgian
The Williams sisters' last match on
red clay came in the 2002 French Open final won by Serena. In their last
match in Rome, Venus won their second career meeting way back in the
"That's crazy," Serena said. "I
vaguely remember that, so I don't really remember. ... We play each
other a lot. Seems like every tournament nowadays we meet early. It is
what it is."
Serena is now a 37-year-old mother
and Venus is 38.
"It doesn't change at all. We're
just as fierce, Venus is just as fierce," Serena said. "We both really
want to get some match play. We'll both do the best that we can.
Serena leads the career series
"I know that she's going to play
really well and compete really well," Venus said. "That's a given."
In March at the Miami Open, Serena
needed three sets to beat Peterson.
"It's been a while. I haven't
played a ton of matches this year," Serena said. "Not my choice, just by
force. I really, really actually desperately wanted to be on the tour
and to be playing. It felt good to finally be back out. Hopefully, I'll
be able to keep it up."
Serena fell behind 3-1 in the first
set but then began to take control with her baseline power on a windy
day at the Foro Italico.
When Serena ran down a passing
attempt from Peterson and replied with a cross-court winner to break for
5-2 in the second set, she let out a scream and bent over as she pumped
both of her fists.
In the final game, Serena served
two aces and saved two break points before closing out the first-round
Serena finished with 28 winners to
Peterson's eight, and committed only two more unforced errors than the
58th-ranked Swede, 22-20.
Serena was playing for the first
time since withdrawing ahead of her third-round match in Miami because
of a left knee injury. The last time Serena played in Rome was in 2016
when she won the last of her four Italian Open trophies.
Serena is playing only her fourth
tournament of the season and was unable to finish her last two due to
"I haven't been able to train or
practice a lot. I was out much longer than I expected," Serena said.
"But I did everything I could to stay fit and to keep my cardio up. I
knew that I love the clay season and I wanted to be a part of it."
In men's action, Italy's top player
Fabio Fognini wore a shirt featuring a design of Rome's skyline during a
6-3, 6-4 win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; and Borna Coric rallied past Felix
Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 in a matchup of two of the top young
players on tour. Auger-Aliassime struggled with his serve, hitting seven
double-faults to Coric's one.
Also, Karen Khachanov overcame a
partisan crowd to beat Italian wild card Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-7 (1),
6-3; while last year's French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato was
inspired by the home fans to beat Alex Di Minaur 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos-Vinolas
eliminated Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-1; and Denis Shapovalov beat Pablo
Carreno Busta 6-3, 7-6 (5).
Others advancing on the women's
side included Madison Keys, Garbine Muguruza, Johanna Konta and Dominika
Justin Thomas withdraws from PGA with wrist injury
Thursday, April 11, 2019, file photo, Justin Thomas hits to the second green
during the first round for the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. (AP
Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP) — Justin Thomas withdrew
from the PGA Championship on Monday, saying he was not willing to risk more
pain in his right wrist by returning before it's fully healed.
Thomas, who won the PGA Championship two years ago at
Quail Hollow, will miss a major for the first time since his rookie season
He is dealing with a bone bruise first suffered in the
Honda Classic when he intentionally struck a tree on his follow-through. He
felt he aggravated it during the final round of the Masters, though he said
it wasn't on any particular shot.
"I've seen too many people come back too early," Thomas
said from his home in Jupiter, Florida. "I plan on doing this successfully
for a long time, and I don't want a dumb decision to set me back."
He said he could have played the PGA Championship this
week at Bethpage Black, but without guaranteeing there wouldn't be a
Thomas, the No. 5 player in the world, was replaced by
Thomas tied for 12th at the Masters, where he made a
hole-in-one on the 16th hole in the final round. He had not hit balls since
then and withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago to give
his wrist every chance to heal.
He started hitting 50 balls a day over the weekend and
was up to a 5-iron on Sunday. His plan was to try to driver on Monday, play
a full 18 holes at home on Tuesday and then fly up to Bethpage on Wednesday.
"It hurt on a couple of shots and I felt like it wasn't
worth it," he said.
Thomas believes if his club had snapped in half when he
hit the tree at Honda that he would have been fine, but that he felt a shock
up his right arm when it didn't break.
"I guess I should have chipped out," he said with a
laugh. "I still made bogey, which is worse."
He did not know when he would return and has not ruled
out Colonial next week, depending on how his wrist reacts to rest and rehab.
He also has the Memorial on his schedule, and the next major is June 13-16
at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open.
In the meantime, he is doing plenty of putting, but not
"I figured out there's not a lot do in South Florida if
you don't play golf," he said.
Gaviria wins Giro stage 3 after Viviani relegated for sprint
Spain's Fernando Gaviria, third from left, and Italy's Elia Viviani
sprint during the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, tour of Italy
cycling race from Vinci to Orbetello, Monday, May 13, 2019. (Alessandro
Di Meo/ANSA via AP)
Orbetello, Italy (AP) — Elia
Viviani was stripped of winning the third stage at the Giro d'Italia on
Viviani was ruled by the race jury
to have deviated from his line in the final sprint in Orbetello, even
touching wheels with Italian compatriot Matteo Moschetti.
Viviani finished second on Sunday
and thought he'd made up for it on Monday at the end of the
220-kilometer (137-mile) route from Vinci.
Instead, Fernando Gaviria of
Colombia was given the win, with Arnaud Demare second and Pascal
"It's difficult to smile or to be
happy when something like this happens to a friend," Gaviria said. "I'm
disappointed for him because for me nothing happened. For me he's the
"The decision is extreme. He never
looked back to see who was behind him so he didn't do it with any
intent. He only wanted to win, not to damage someone. He's always been
correct, a great racer. I'm disappointed for him."
Viviani left the finish zone after
the decision without speaking to journalists and with an angry
expression, in contrast to his joy when he was interviewed immediately
after crossing the line.
He used that interview to apologize
to Moschetti and revealed how much Sunday's disappointment played on his
"Yesterday I made a mistake. I
thought about it all night," Viviani said.
Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic
remained the overall leader.
Roglic, who won the opening time
trial on Saturday, is 19 seconds ahead of British cyclist Simon Yates,
and 23 seconds ahead of home favorite Vincenzo Nibali.
The peloton had a relatively easy
day, which was characterized by strong crosswinds at the finish and a
long solo ride from lone escape Sho Hatsuyama. The Japanese cyclist
raced about 144 kilometers on his own before being caught 75 kilometers
from the finish.
"It was an easy day actually
because only one guy in the front, all day nothing," Roglic said. "But
it was quite windy and then the stress at the end. The team did the
perfect job and we finished without any problems."
The fourth stage on Tuesday is an
undulating 234-kilometer route from Orbetello to Frascati, with an
uphill finish which could see a change in the pink jersey.
The Giro finishes in Verona on June
Man City prolong Liverpool’s drought by retaining EPL title
Manchester City players lift the English Premier League trophy after the
soccer match between Brighton and Manchester City at the AMEX Stadium in
Brighton, England, Sunday, May 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Brighton, England (AP) — Earning 97 points
is almost always enough to win the Premier League. Not for Liverpool,
who had the misfortune of running up against a Manchester City team
setting new standards of excellence.
Only for 21 minutes during Sunday's season finale
was the title in Liverpool's hands.
But by completing the season with a 14th successive
victory — coming from behind to overwhelm Brighton 4-1 — City finished a
point ahead of Liverpool and retained the trophy.
An English title drought that has clocked up 29
years rolls on for Liverpool. It's no consolation that Juergen Klopp's
side combined with City to amass 195 points for the highest Premier
League tally for the top two.
The only comfort for Liverpool is that they didn't
sign off the season on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton.
While City have an FA Cup final to come to try to complete a domestic
treble, Liverpool can win a sixth continental title if they beat
Tottenham in the June 1 Champions League final.
The one major trophy missing in the City trophy
cabinet is the European Cup. It's the target for the Abu Dhabi ownership
and manager Pep Guardiola who has shown he can conquer the Premier
Captain Vincent Kompany has been part of City's
four title triumphs since 2012, having previously won under Roberto
Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini before the Guardiola double.
"It was the hardest and most satisfying Premier
League title win ever," Kompany said. "Liverpool were exceptional, I
don't mean to rub it in, it is what it is, they didn't deserve to lose."
Ten minutes after Liverpool went in front against
Brighton through the first of Sadio Mane's two goals, City fell behind
Although Sergio Aguero leveled 83 seconds after
Glenn Murray's header, it took Aymeric Laporte's header in the 38th
minute to put City back in control of their title destiny.
That goal turned out to be the title-clincher, with
City's anxieties only eased in the second half by record-signing Riyad
Mahrez netting and Ilkay Gündogan scoring from a free kick.
Victory at Brighton completed City's two-season
Premier League journey.
It was on the south-coast exactly 21 months ago
where Guardiola's first title-winning campaign began.
By the time the blue-and-white streamers had rained
down on the City players on Sunday night, 201 goals had been scored and
198 points collected across the two title-winning campaigns.
Long forgotten is the spell four months ago when
Liverpool blew the chance to go 10 points clear of City.
Instead the title hinged on Liverpool's only defeat
of the campaign in January to City, who could afford to lose four times
and still emerge victorious.
"As long as City are around," Klopp said, "with the
quality they have, the power, the financial power and that stuff, then
it's not any other team will pass them easily, that is clear. So we need
to be very, very close to perfection to win the Premier League as long
as this is the case."
TOTTENHAM SEAL FOURTH
Tottenham qualified for a fourth successive season
in the Champions League after an unlikely series of results failed to
materialize, leaving north London rivals Arsenal finishing a point
behind in fifth.
Christian Eriksen's free kick clinched Tottenham's
2-2 draw with Everton and Arsenal beat Burnley 3-1. Arsenal could still
make the Champions League if they beat Chelsea in the Europa League
final on May 29.
Chelsea were already sure of a return to the
Champions League going into the final day and sealed third place — 25
points behind Liverpool — with a 0-0 draw at Leicester.
MAN UNITED MISERY
Manchester United slumped to their first league
loss to Cardiff since 1960 in front of many empty seats as fans left Old
Trafford before the final whistle.
The 2-0 collapse ensured United finished in sixth
place — just where the record 20-time English champions were when Ole
Gunnar Solskjaer replaced the fired Jose Mourinho in January. A bright
start to Solskjaer's interim reign saw him rewarded with a three-year
contract in March, but United have endured a miserable run since then.
There was a three-way split for the Golden Boot as
Liverpool duo Mane and Mohamed Salah finished level on 22 goals with
Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Both Mane and Aubameyang
netted twice on Sunday.
With doubts over his future, Rafael Benitez will
hold talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley after completing the season
with a 4-0 victory over relegated Fulham.
Crystal Palace's club doctor has said he and his
family were racially abused by a young child near Selhurst Park ahead of
the team's 5-3 home victory over Bournemouth.
Hamilton beats Bottas at Spanish GP for 5th Mercedes 1-2
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after
winning the Spanish Formula One race at the Barcelona Catalunya
racetrack in Montmelo, just outside Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, May 12,
2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Montmelo, Spain (AP) — Lewis
Hamilton wasn't going to be kind to his teammate this time.
Hamilton blasted past pole-sitter
Valtteri Bottas at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix, kept his nerve
when things got tight at the first corner, and then raced away to
reclaim the overall Formula One lead on Sunday.
Two weeks ago, five-time and
defending champion Hamilton said he was maybe "too friendly" when Bottas
stayed in front after a similar grid start for the Mercedes drivers in
Hamilton hinted that he wouldn't
make that mistake again in Spain, and he got some help from a poor
getaway by Bottas to overtake him in the opening meters en route to
winning the race at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit for a third
The Mercedes pair strengthened
their grip on F1 with their record-extending fifth one-two finish in as
many races in 2019.
"This is history in the making to
have five one-twos," Hamilton said after his 76th career win, second
only to Michael Schumacher's 91.
"It is incredible what we are
achieving together ... And I plan on working with this team to help it
become the most successful team of all time. That is my sole goal and my
Hamilton added a bonus point for
the fastest lap to take a seven-point advantage over Bottas.
Max Verstappen was third in his Red
Bull, in front of Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton got the jump on Bottas off
the line when Vettel surged forward and made it three abreast going
through the first corner. Vettel locked up on the turn, and Bottas,
sandwiched in the middle, had to blink to avoid a possible collision as
Hamilton sped clear.
Verstappen took advantage of the
jousting to slip by Vettel.
Verstappen is 46 points adrift of
Hamilton in the standings. Vettel fell to fourth at 48 points back.
Bottas had shown more speed in
practice and in qualifying than Hamilton, when Bottas set a scorching
track record that was 0.6 seconds faster than Hamilton's best effort.
But Bottas' chances for victory
were sunk by his poor start, when his wheels appeared to spin while
Hamilton immediately made up the difference.
"It was pretty tight (at the first
curve), but I lost it at the start," Bottas said. "I felt some strange
behavior with the clutch. I lost it there.
"It is really annoying. All the
hard work went out down to that."
Except for the race in Bahrain,
when Hamilton won thanks to an implosion by Ferrari, the other four
races this season have been decided in their opening seconds. Bottas
surged past Hamilton from the line before winning the season-opening
Australia GP. Hamilton did likewise to get past pole-sitting Bottas at
the first turn to win in China, and Bottas defended his pole position
from Hamilton in his victory at Azerbaijan last round.
"It wasn't a replay of Baku at
least," Hamilton said stepping onto the winner's podium.
Hamilton experienced firsthand what
an overzealous rivalry between teammates can lead to when he and former
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg knocked each other out on the first lap at
the 2016 Spanish GP.
Three years later Hamilton says
that he has matured and that the mild-mannered Bottas is as close as it
comes to having an ideal driving partner.
"(Our competition) is respectful
and balanced as always," the British driver said. "I think we have the
best balance of any team."
Pierre Gasly of Red Bull, Kevin
Magnussen (Haas), Carlos Sainz (McLaren), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and
Romain Grosjean (Haas) completed the top 10.
Lando Norris of McLaren and Lance
Stroll of Racing Point failed to finish after colliding two-thirds
through the race.
Renault's Nico Hulkenberg had to
start from the pit lane because of a penalty incurred after a
replacement front wing did not meet specifications. Hulkenberg finished
13th, right behind Renault partner Daniel Ricciardo.
Antonio Giovinazzi started from
last place after he incurred a five-place grid penalty for an
unscheduled gearbox change to his Alfa Romeo. Giovinazzi finished 16th,
in front of Williams pair George Russell and Robert Kubica.
Mercedes' struggling rivals will
now have two weeks to try to improve before the Monaco GP on May 26.
Djokovic beats Tsitsipas to win his 3rd Madrid Open title
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning
in two sets, 6-3, 6-4, against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final
of the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, May 12,
2019. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Madrid (AP) — Novak Djokovic
celebrated a lot more than a record-tying 33rd Masters 1000 title at the
Djokovic left the Spanish capital
feeling pretty good about his game, too, carrying a lot of confidence
into the rest of the clay-court season.
The top-ranked Djokovic earned a
comfortable 6-3, 6-4 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday to join Nadal
as the most successful players in Masters 1000 tournaments, moving five
ahead of Roger Federer, who is third in the all-time list.
It was Djokovic's second title of
the season, adding to his triumph in the Australian Open.
"I feel like this tournament win
was very important for my level of confidence because after the
Australian Open I wasn't playing my best, I wasn't finding the right
game and the consistency on the court in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte
Carlo," Djokovic said. "(It's a) very important time for me in the
season, because this gives me a lot of confidence prior to Rome and, of
course, Roland Garros, where I definitely want to play my best."
Djokovic will be seeking his second
French Open title in June. He now has three Madrid Open trophies, adding
to the ones he won in 2011 and 2016.
"These are the best tournaments,
biggest tournaments we have in our sport, in the ATP, of course
alongside the Grand Slams," Djokovic said. "This is as important and as
good as it gets."
Djokovic was in control from the
start against his 20-year-old Greek opponent, who had defeated Nadal in
the Madrid semifinals and was trying to become the first player to win
three tour titles this season.
The Serb broke Tsitsipas early in
the first set and late in the second to comfortably close out the match
at the Magic Box center court, securing his 14th clay title — and 74th
overall — without dropping a set.
The eighth-seeded Tsitsipas, the
tour's winningest player in 2019 with 27 victories, lacked the intensity
and aggressiveness that he showed against second-ranked Nadal and was
overpowered by Djokovic. He had beaten Djokovic in Toronto last year in
the first meeting between the two players.
"He deserved the victory, he played
unbelievable. I couldn't do much," Tsitsipas said. "Physically I was not
there. My legs were not coping with my mind. Completely I could feel the
fatigue and this soreness, not just in my legs, but everywhere in my
body. I had a tough match last night, so he took advantage of that. I
just didn't have solutions."
Djokovic didn't concede a break
point on Sunday, earning a crucial one for himself at 4-4 in the second
set by returning Tsitsipas' overhead shot with a backhand winner down
the line. He then served out to win the match.
The 31-year-old Djokovic, who now
has 200 wins against top 10 opponents, had struggled after winning the
Australian Open, with his best result since then having been a
quarterfinal appearance in Monte Carlo at the start of the clay-court
He was coming off another
confidence-boosting win over an in-form Dominic Thiem to make it to the
final in Madrid.
Tsitsipas, who will reach a
career-high No. 7 ranking this week, won titles in Estoril and
Marseille, and reached the final in Dubai, where he lost to Federer. He
was beaten by Nadal in the Australian Open semifinals for his best-ever
showing in a Grand Slam. The Toronto final, when he lost to Nadal, was
his first in a Masters 1000 event.
In the doubles final, Jean-Julien
Rojer and Horia Tecau defeated Thiem and Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-3 for
their second Madrid Open title, adding to their 2016 victory.
Kiki Bertens won the women's title
Kang rallies again at Byron Nelson for 1st PGA Tour victory
Sung Kang reacts after winning the Byron Nelson golf tournament on
Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
Dallas (AP) — Sung Kang was a teenager when
his father started sending him from South Korea to North Texas in the
winters and summers to work on his golf game.
The 31-year-old Kang, who now lives in the area
while playing on the PGA Tour, got to call his father Sunday to tell
him, "I did it," after his getting his first victory in his 159th career
Kang closed the Byron Nelson with a 4-under 67 to
finish at 23 under and beat Matt Every and Scott Piercy by two strokes.
With three consecutive birdies late, including a
23-footer on the 15th hole, Kang finally regained the lead for good on a
27-hole Mother's Day Sunday at Trinity Forest — about 30 minutes from
his home in Coppell, where he has lived since his PGA Tour debut in
"It just feels amazing. I was thinking about
winning on the PGA Tour when I was real young and watching Tiger
dominating," Kang said. "My dad gave me a lot of support when I was
Kang pumped his fist when the birdie dropped in at
No. 15, making for a two-stroke swing. Every, who started that 431-yard
par 4 tied for the lead, was in the middle of the fairway before what he
called "just a terrible shot" on his approach that set up a three-putt
"I watched him for 72 holes. He didn't miss. Hard
to beat," Every said.
Every finished with a 66. Piercy, also in the final
threesome, ended a bogey-free tournament with a 64.
Twice over the last two days, Every overcame
deficits of at least four strokes and went ahead of Kang. They played
together all four rounds.
"First two rounds, we're not playing to win. We're
just making birdies back and forth, and back and forth. Just getting
great momentum," said Kang, who matched the course record with a 61 in
the second round Friday. "Then Saturday and Sunday, it's going. ... He
played great on the front nine. I played great on the back nine."
Brooks Koepka, the world's No. 3-ranked player who
now goes to Bethpage to defend his PGA Championship title, finished
fourth at the Nelson at 20 under after a 68.
"Sometimes you just get beat. That happened this
week," Koepka said. "Played good. I like my chances next week. I feel
like I'm striking it well, putting it really well. ... It was important
going into next week."
Koepka has also won the last two U.S. Opens since
his last previous appearance at the Nelson, in 2017 when the tournament
was last played TPC Four Seasons.
Jordan Spieth, a member at the links-style course
south of downtown Dallas, shot a 71 to tie for 29th at 11 under. His
best Nelson finish is still a tie for 16th in 2010 when he played in the
tournament for the first time as a 16-year-old amateur on a sponsor
Spieth is still without a top-20 finish in his 13
starts this season. He last won at the 2017 British Open, his third
"I putted really well this week, drove the ball a
little better," Spieth said. "Just trying to tighten everything up a
little bit. Today's round wasn't great, but overall pretty solid week."
Every and Kang had an extended day on the course
Sunday after the third round was delayed six hours by rain and they got
in only nine holes before play was suspended by darkness.
Kang started the third round with a four-stroke
lead, but trailed Every by one when play was stopped midway through that
round Saturday night. When they resumed Sunday morning, Kang regained
the lead with three birdies on the back nine, while Every had four
A third-round 68 put Kang at 19 under, three
strokes ahead of Every (67) going into the fourth round.
Every, whose only two PGA Tour wins were
back-to-back Arnold Palmer Invitational titles in 2014 and 2015, started
the final round with three consecutive birdies and was tied for the lead
because Kang bogeyed the par-3 second hole.
Five birdies and a bogey on the first six holes got
Every to 20 under, and a stroke ahead when he rebounded from that bogey
at No. 4 with consecutive birdies.
Kang also had three consecutive birdies in the
middle of the round to go back ahead before his tee shot at the par-3
12th hole missed the green. His ball settled in some nasty rough well
below the hole, and his shot from there got to the top of the hill
before rolling back into a bunker.
"I was mentally really tired, especially on the
back nine," Kang said. "I was telling my caddie I'm really tired. I told
him, just keep telling me about the funny things and that I can laugh
and forget about the golf for a while. As soon as we get to the ball,
just concentrate again."
The bogey at 12 put him at 21 under, tied again
with Every at the same time Koepka made a short birdie putt at No. 13 to
get him within two strokes of the lead, though he had only one more
birdie after that. He was 4 under in his first five holes with a 36-foot
eagle putt after driving the green at the 301-yard par-4 fifth hole, but
then had seven consecutive pars.
Liverpool oust Barca in historic Champions League comeback
Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum, right,
celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game during the
Champions League Semi Final, second leg soccer match between Liverpool
and Barcelona at Anfield, Liverpool, England, Tuesday, May 7, 2019.
(Peter Byrne/PA via AP)
Liverpool, England (AP) —
Liverpool's players had their hands on their heads, seemingly unable to
comprehend their achievement. One of them, James Milner, was in tears.
When he wasn't punching the air, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp stood
in front of The Kop in full voice and just took it all in.
Just when Liverpool fans thought
they had seen it all — the so-called "Miracle of Istanbul" in
particular, but also those storied comebacks at Anfield against
Saint-Etienne, Olympiakos and Borussia Dortmund down the years — along
came another European night that just might top them all.
The Liverpool players faced a 3-0
deficit against Barcelona from the first leg of the Champions League
semifinals. They faced the great Lionel Messi, perhaps in the best form
of his life. They faced fatigue from a grueling Premier League title
race with Manchester City and the absence of two of the team's key
forwards, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
How to explain, then, a remarkable
4-0 win that sent Liverpool into a second straight Champions League
final, 4-3 on aggregate?
"We know this club is a mix of
atmosphere, emotion, desire and footballing quality," Klopp said. "For
me, this club has a big heart and tonight the heart was pounding like
crazy. You could feel it all over the world."
It took a goal of breathtaking
quality — but also extraordinary cheek — to complete the greatest in a
long line of famous comebacks by Liverpool, who are one win away from
becoming European champions for a sixth time.
Euphoria had already engulfed
Anfield when Liverpool, leading 3-0 and smothering Barcelona with their
intensity, were awarded a corner in the 79th minute. Trent
Alexander-Arnold, a 20-year-old right back, put the ball down in the
quadrant and then turned around as if he was about to leave the kick to
In an instant, he spun round again
and whipped in a low cross that Barcelona's players weren't prepared
for. Divock Origi was ready, though, and he swept home a finish from
eight yards into the top corner for his second goal of the game.
Klopp was full of praise for the
lucid thinking of Alexander-Arnold, the youngest player on the Liverpool
team, and said he hadn't even seen the corner being taken.
"Incredibly smart," Klopp said,
shaking his head. "Genius."
It was only the third time in the
history of the competition that a team rallied from three goals down
after the first leg of a semifinal and progressed to the final, after
Panathinaikos in 1970-71 and Barcelona in 1985-86. No team had done it
in the Champions League era.
"When you have a collapse of this
nature," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said, "we will have a few
horrible days ahead."
For Barcelona, it was the second
straight year that the team let a three-goal lead slip, having beaten
Roma 4-1 at home in the quarterfinals in 2018 before losing the return
leg 3-0 to go out.
As for Liverpool, given the
opposition this display rivaled the comeback from three goals down
against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final.
There was also the 3-1 win over
Saint-Etienne in the 1977 European Cup and the 4-3 win from 2-0 down
against Borussia Dortmund in the 2016 Europa League quarterfinals. The
last-gasp 3-1 win over Olympiakos, sealed by Steven Gerrard's late
long-range goal, in the 2004-05 group stage also lingers long in the
"The people from outside, they
doubted us and thought we couldn't do it," said Georginio Wijnaldum, a
halftime substitute who scored two of the goals. "But once again we
showed that everything is possible."
Klopp had delivered a stirring
speech on the eve of the game, telling his players to "fail in a
beautiful way" if they were to get eliminated.
They took that to heart.
Salah, Liverpool's top scorer who
missed the game as he followed protocols after a concussion, entered the
stadium before kickoff wearing a T-shirt bearing the message: "Never
Then teammate Andrew Robertson set
the tone on the field, pushing Messi's head with two hands while the
Barcelona forward was on the ground after an early challenge. Fabinho
followed that up with a crunching tackle on Luis Suarez, who was jeered
and goaded relentlessly by Liverpool fans at the ground he graced for 3½
A goal was needed to really give
Barca the jitters and it arrived after seven minutes, with Origi tapping
into an empty net after goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen parried a shot
by Jordan Henderson.
Barcelona already appeared rattled,
with Suarez living up to his role as the player opposition fans love to
hate. In one incident, the striker flicked his boot back into the right
knee of Robertson as they ran along together. Robertson needed treatment
and was substituted at halftime, with his injury later confirmed to be a
calf muscle problem.
Wijnaldum, who replaced Robertson,
made an almost instant impact, making it 2-0 by sweeping home a low
cross from Alexander-Arnold. Two minutes later, the Dutch midfielder
made another run into the area and met a cross from Xherdan Shaqiri with
a firm header into the corner past a flat-footed Ter Stegen.
The goals came in the 54th and 56th
minutes — the times of Liverpool's first two goals in that 2005 final in
Philippe Coutinho, another former
Liverpool player, was substituted for Nelson Semedo after an ineffective
display and Barca quickly improved, exerting more control. Liverpool's
players might also have wondered how to approach the game with the score
tied on aggregate.
Then came the coup de grace after
the cheeky play by Alexander-Arnold at a corner. Barcelona had no
answer, with Messi — the star of the first leg with two goals — largely
Tottenham or Ajax await in the June
1 final in Madrid. Ajax lead 1-0 from the first leg.
Rask comes up big as Boston Bruins advance to face 'Canes
Boston Bruins' David Krejci, of the Czech
Republic, celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the
third period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series
Monday, May 6, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Columbus, Ohio (AP) — The Boston Bruins got
some timely goals in their tight Eastern Conference semifinal series
with Columbus, and when the goals weren't coming, Tuukka Rask stood
The Finn turned in his best playoff performance so
far in Monday night's 3-0 win over the Blue Jackets in Game 6, leading
the Bruins into the conference final against Carolina.
The Blue Jackets played hard and forechecked well
enough to win every game, but were 0 for 10 on power-play chances in the
final three games of the series, all won by Boston. Much of that was due
to Rask, who had 39 saves in the clinching game.
"We are halfway to our goal," said forward David
Backes, who scored Boston's final goal in the third period. "You need to
relish the plateaus along the way. We are certainly at one of those to
be among the final four teams. We've had to sacrifice to win some games
against some really good teams.
"Now we can enjoy this for a day then have a happy
flight home (Tuesday), then get ready for Carolina, who is well rested
and ready for us," he said.
The Bruins will be without Charlie McAvoy for the
series opener against the Hurricanes on Thursday night after the
21-year-old defenseman was suspended for one game for an illegal check
on Columbus' Josh Anderson.
David Krejci and Marcus Johansson also scored for
the Bruins in Game 6. David Pastrnak led the Bruins with four goals in
the six games against Columbus.
"It was tight until the end," Krejci said. "We
learned from it and closed it out tonight the way we wanted to."
Boston won the first game of the series in
overtime, then fell to the Blue Jackets in OT in Game 2 and lost Game 3
by a goal before ripping off the final three victories. The Bruins are
into the conference final for the first time since the 2012-13 season,
when they lost in the Stanley Cup Final.
Carolina swept the New York Islanders in their
"If you're playing this time of year, you're doing
something right," Rask said. "You've built something great as a team.
We're super happy that we're in the position. Trying to keep the train
Boston and the Carolina franchise will face each
other in the postseason for the fifth time. The Bruins won three of the
previous series, but Carolina won the most recent meeting in the 2009
conference semifinals when Scott Walker scored in overtime in Game 7.
Boston won the season series against Carolina 2-1,
including an overtime victory.
Boston coach Bruce Sullivan said Carolina is like a
mix of hard-hitting Columbus and speedy Toronto, which the Bruins beat
in the opening round.
"I think they're a little bit of both," Cassidy
said. "Young team. (Defensemen) get up the ice. Flip goaltenders and
didn't miss a beat. But we'll look at it a little closer starting
(Tuesday). Obviously they've made it this far, they're a very good
hockey club. I don't think you get this far by accident. So we'll have
our hands full. But we're looking forward to it."
Suryakumar Yadav's 71 propels Mumbai to fifth IPL final
Kumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya of Mumbai Indians celebrate as they defeat
Chennai Super Kings to enter the final of the VIVO IPL T20 in Chennai,
India, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (AP Photo/R.Parthibhan)
Chennai, India (AP) —
Suryakumar Yadav smashed an unbeaten half century and lifted Mumbai
Indians to their fifth Indian Premier League final with a convincing
six-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday.
Yadav hit an unbeaten 71 off 54
balls with 10 boundaries as Mumbai reached 132-4 in 18.3 overs after
Chennai struggled against the spinners and were restricted to 131-4.
Chennai, led by MS Dhoni, had their
moments but Murali Vijay couldn't hold on to a tough catch at mid on
when Yadav was on 11 before Mumbai's No. 3 batsman controlled the
run-chase by dominating both spin and seam.
"You need to know the pitch at
home, whether it's tacky, that is something we didn't do well," Dhoni
said. "The batting needs to do slightly better. The top order has been
on and off. They're the best we've got. You have to bank on experience.
They have to use that experience slightly more. Hopefully, we crack the
code next game."
Together with Ishan Kishan (28),
Yadav shared an 80-run match-winning third-wicket stand after Mumbai
lost their captain Rohit Sharma in the first over. Quinton de Kock left
Mumbai struggling at 21-2 in the fourth over when he scooped a simple
catch at wide long off.
But Yadav and Kishan batted
resolutely before leg spinner Imran Tahir (2-33) plucked two wickets in
two balls by having Kishan clean and then Krunal Pandya offered a tame
Earlier, after winning the toss and
electing to bat, Chennai were pinned down by Mumbai's spinners.
Leg spinner Rahul Chahar (2-14) and
left arm spinner Krunal Pandya (1-21) bowled economically up front and
Jayant Yadav had Suresh Raina caught and bowled cheaply to restrict
Chennai to 65-4 in 12 overs.
Ambati Rayudu (42 not out) Dhoni
(37 not out) added 66 runs off 47 balls but the total always looked
below par against a strong Mumbai batting lineup.
"It was a great effort and it's a
great feeling to know we will be in the final. Three good days to switch
off, it's a much-need break for us," Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma
said. "When you restrict a team like that to less than 140, plans have
to fall in place. Suryakumar is one of our best batsmen against spin ...
this was the perfect pitch for him."
Chennai will have another chance to
qualify for Sunday's final when they meet the winners of Wednesday's
Eliminator between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday.
Federer returns to clay-court swing with easy win in Madrid
Roger Federer, from Switzerland, celebrates after beating Richard Gasquet,
from France, during the Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Tuesday,
May 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Madrid (AP) — Roger Federer
looked as comfortable as ever on his return to clay.
Showing no signs of rust after skipping
clay-court tournaments the last two seasons, Federer cruised to a 6-2, 6-3
win over Richard Gasquet at the Madrid Open on Tuesday.
The fourth-seeded Federer needed less
than an hour to win his first match on clay since 2016 and reach the third
round in the Spanish capital.
"It feels good to be back on the clay,"
Federer said. "I enjoyed it. Some of these rallies, where you get pushed to
the side, you slide. You can play in a different manner than you do on the
hard courts or the grass."
The 37-year-old Federer skipped the
clay season the last two years to make sure he was fit for the rest of the
year. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is preparing to make his first French
Open appearance since 2015. He has won two hard-court titles this season, in
Dubai and Miami. He is a three-time winner in Madrid, with his last title in
The fourth-seeded Swiss converted his
three break points and didn't concede any to the 39th-ranked Gasquet at the
"Magic Box" center court.
Gasquet was playing in his first
tournament after enduring a going injury early in the year.
"I think Richard was also maybe a
little bit hurt from his match yesterday, so it was nice seeing him back
after so many months being away from the tour with injury," Federer said. "I
think for both of us it was a special match being back here in Madrid."
Earlier, top-ranked Novak Djokovic
started with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Taylor Fritz. He broke the American's serve
once in the first set and twice in the second, conceding only one break
opportunity. The top-seeded Serb had seven aces and lost only two service
points in the second set.
"I don't think he was playing at his
best today," Djokovic said. "But I think it was a solid opening match for me
in the tournament."
Djokovic is seeking his second title of
the year, and third overall in Madrid. He began the year by winning the
David Ferrer extended his career with a
6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Roberto Bautista Agut, setting up a second-round
meeting with defending champion Alexander Zverev. The 37-year-old Ferrer is
retiring after the tournament.
"I want to be with my family and try to
enjoy as much as possible the time that I have to play in this center
court," the Spaniard said. "And tomorrow I have another opportunity and I'll
go out there to try to enjoy every single feeling that I might experience
Stan Wawrinka ended a three-match
losing streak in Madrid by defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-3.
"I felt good. It was a great match, a
first great match," Wawrinka said. "I have been playing good on the practice
court, feeling really good, so it was important to start well today and I'm
happy with the first match."
Brazil Open champion Guido Pella upset
12th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, while Fabio Fognini beat Kyle
Edmund 6-4, 6-3.
On the women's side, top-ranked Naomi
Osaka defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0 in the second round.
"I feel like in the first set, I got a
bit lucky there," Osaka said. "In the third set, I just, like, went zombie
mode and then just thought of everything that I had to do to win and not
necessarily the outcome."
Third-seeded Simona Halep defeated
Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-1, while Caroline Garcia got past Sorana Cirstea 6-4,
Fourth-seeded Angelique Kerber withdrew
ahead of her second-round match against Petra Martic because of a right