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Fendrich on Tennis: Federer's belief in self never wavered

The Washingon Times + 305 other

Even after he went more than four years without a Grand Slam title, even after the first operation of his career led to the first prolonged absence of his career, even after a slide down to 17th in the rankings, Roger Federer never wavered. Which, when you think about it, makes quite a bit of sense when you consider that he is, after all, Roger Federer. And look at where he is now. As of Monday, Federer will return to No. 1, a spot many view as his rightful place in the tennis hierarchy not merely now but in the sport’s history. In the process, he will add a few more superlatives to a lengthy list, most notably: He becomes, at age 36, the oldest man or woman to top computerized rankings. Older than the previously oldest man, Andre Agassi, who was No. 1 at 33. Older than the oldest woman to hold that place in the WTA standings, Serena Williams, who was most recently there at 35. Two other noteworthy achievements by Federer: The 14-plus years that have passed since he first ascended to No. 1 is also the most from initial to most recent stay there, and the five-plus years between stints atop the rankings is the longest such gap. Shortly after Friday turned to Saturday in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where Federer assured himself of rising from No. 2 and surpassing Rafael Nadal in the rankings by reaching the semifinals at an indoor tournament, he spoke via telephone to a couple …

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Tiger Woods proving again that he can work out of trouble

New York Post + 4 other

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Through one fully completed tournament and one round of this week’s Genesis Open, this is what Tiger Woods has been most proficient in: averting scorecard disaster. Woods has proven, through four rounds at the Farmers Insurance Open three weeks ago and Thursday’s opening round at Riviera, where he shot a 1-over 72, he is expert at keeping his rounds from going sideways. That, of course, is not good enough to put him in contention at the moment. But the good news is no one’s running away with the tournament either, with three lesser-knowns, Tom Hoge, Dominic Bozze…

Karlsson gets 30th goal of season, Vegas tops Oilers, 4-1

The Washingon Times + 1 other

LAS VEGAS (AP) - William Karlsson got the 100th point of his career with his 30th goal of the season as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 Thursday night. Ryan Carpenter, Jonathan Marchessault and Erik Haula also scored for Vegas, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots to improve to 18-6-2 and move seven wins shy of 400 for his career. Leon Draisaitl scored Edmonton’s lone goal, his 17th of the season, and Cam Talbot finished with 24 saves. Vegas improved to 14-1-1 against Pacific Division teams in its inaugural season, while avenging its two losses, which both came…

Jaroslav Halak’s 50 saves propel Islanders to an elusive feat

New York Post + 3 other

At long last, the Islanders have their shutout. Jaroslav Halak stonewalled the Rangers, making 50 saves on another standout night and this time finished with the goose egg to show for it in a 3-0 win Thursday night at Barclays Center. The Islanders were the last team in the NHL without a shutout before Thursday. “It’s not the be-all, end-all, but yeah, it feels really good for him,” coach Doug Weight said. “Hopefully we can build on that.” Halak is now 17-7 all-time against the Rangers, with a 2.36 goals against average and .927 save percentage, both better than his career marks. The Isl…

Shields, now a side-armer, hopes to lead White Sox staff

The Washingon Times + 1 other

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - James Shields changed his delivery, and he hopes to be a part of a Chicago White Sox turnaround. “My whole career I’ve been part of rebuilds. In Tampa we were rebuilding every year. When I got traded to Kansas City they were just at the end of the rebuild,” Shields said Thursday. The Rays and Royals each made it to the World Series when Shields was at the top of their rotations. The 36-year-old right-hander, who became a side-armer late last season, isn’t lowering his expectations. “In 2007 we were last in the league,” he said of the …

Rodchenkov to AP: 'Sorry to all clean athletes we cheated'

The Washingon Times + 1 other

An apology for Russia’s doping scheme is now ready to be issued. Not by the state which ordered the systematic cover-up but by the chemist who helped Russian athletes trick the system. “I am very sorry to all the clean athletes we cheated,” former Russian anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov said in response to questions from The Associated Press sent through his lawyer. Similar remorse has not been forthcoming from the Russian authorities, who challenge the legitimacy of Rodchenkov’s confessions and deny any doping was state-sponsored. Rodchenkov, who fle…

Familiar rotation a key as Blue Jays try to rebound

The Washingon Times + 1 other

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - It will be tough for anyone to outslug the Yankees in the AL East - so Toronto’s starting rotation is under pressure to return to form. After reaching the playoffs in back-to-back years, the Blue Jays stumbled to a 76-win season in 2017. An injury-plagued offense finished last in the American League in runs, and now Toronto has to contend with an even more potent New York lineup that includes NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees pose quite a challenge for the Blue Jays as they attempt to rebound, but Toronto has a group of experienced pitchers who may be up to the t…

Marcus LoVett’s roller coaster career at St. John’s is over

New York Post + 1 other

The strange, circuitous Marcus LoVett era has come to a close at St. John’s. He was on campus for parts of three years, played just one full season, and is now headed home to California to prepare for a professional career. St. John’s announced Saturday morning the 6-foot guard is leaving the program to focus on rehabbing the injured left knee that has kept him out since Thanksgiving weekend. A source said LoVett, a redshirt sophomore, didn’t enroll for the spring semester, so his departure won’t negatively impact the school’s Academic Progress Rate (APR). “Right now I feel it is best for m…

Top Yankees prospect was shot during botched robbery

New York Post + 1 other

TAMPA — One of the Yankees’ top prospects, Thairo Estrada, was shot in his right hip late last month in his native Venezuela, and although Estrada remains sidelined, Aaron Boone believes the infielder will be available for the “bulk of the season.” Estrada said he was approached by two people while ordering food in his hometown of Bejuma. The pair, who Estrada said appeared to be 15 or 16 years old, demanded cash and his cellphone, but he had neither, and he was then shot in his right hip. His wife, who was with him, was unharmed in the incident. After initially not realizing he’d been shot…

Vigneault ends up playing Kevin Hayes after hinting he wouldn’t

New York Post + 1 other

Pavel Buchnevich rejoined the lineup after he missed the previous seven games following a concussion suffered Feb. 1. Buchnevich bumped Cody McLeod from the lineup and started on a line with Grabner and J.T. Miller, collecting an assist on Grabner’s first-period goal. But Buchnevich finished where he had left off before the injury — on the top line next to Rick Nash and Mika Zibanejad. “Thought he had some good energy,” Vigneault said. “Had a couple real good looks, and hopefully he can bring that [Sunday].” Vigneault was distinctly disappointed with the line of Jimmy Vesey, David De…

Bishop stops 27 shots as Blues holds off Stars, 2-1

The Washingon Times + 1 other

DALLAS (AP) - Ben Bishop stopped 27 shots and the Dallas Stars held on to beat St. Louis 2-1 on Friday night, moving past the Blues into third place in the Central Division. Mattias Janmark and Stephen Johns scored for Dallas, which had a season-low 16 shots on goal while winning for the sixth time in seven games. The Stars, who had not been this high in the standings since Nov. 5, are tied with the Blues with 72 points, but have two games in hand. Brayden Schenn spoiled Bishop’s shutout bid with a power-play goal with 1:14 remaining, and Jake Allen finished with 14 saves for St. Louis. …

A's hope patience pays off with arrival of young core talent

The Washingon Times + 1 other

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - The often-rebuilding Oakland Athletics are leaning on young talent again in 2018, maintaining a philosophy of developing prospects from within their organization and acquiring them from other teams for more expensive veterans. It’s become the norm for manager Bob Melvin and his staff, and while the process has yielded three straight last-place finishes in the AL West, Melvin feels his team turned a corner with a strong finish to the 2017 regular season, giving him optimism for 2018. The patience might also have produced a core group of players that could be with the cl…

Red Bulls land their biggest signing of the offseason

New York Post + 1 other

#KaKuWatch is finally over. After nearly two months of rumors, including a spotting at JFK Airport, the Red Bulls finally made its biggest splash of the offseason, announcing they had completed the transfer of Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra from Argentina’s Atletico Huracan on Friday. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder will be the club’s first Young Designated Player signing in club history and will also occupy an international spot on its roster. “When we identified Kaku, he quickly became our top offseason target,” Red Bulls sporting director Dennis Hamle…

Swiss Olympic athletes come down with norovirus

New York Post + 1 other

The Swiss Olympic team says norovirus was detected in two of its athletes in recent days at the Pyeongchang Games. The Swiss team did not identify the athletes Friday but said they haven’t been staying in the main Olympic village. The team says they no longer have symptoms of the virus and should compete in their events. The athletes were immediately taken to single rooms and treated by team doctors. They have not had contact with other competitors. …

LeBron James: Donald Trump doesn't 'give a f--- about the people'

The Washingon Times + 1 other

NBA legends LeBron James and Kevin Durant railed against President Trump in a video released Thursday, saying the president doesn’t care about the American people and doesn’t know the first thing about effective leadership. The video released by UNINTERRUPTED was filmed last month as journalist Cari Champion drove the basketball duo around Mr. James‘ hometown of Akron, Ohio. In the wide-ranging discussion, Ms. Champion asked the Cavaliers star about the political climate in America, referring to his tweet in September that called Mr. Trump a “bum.” U bum @StephenC…

Figure Skating Live Results: Yuzuru Hanyu Aims for Repeat Gold

The New York Times + 1 other

The leader going into the free skate is the defending Olympic champion, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. In the short program, he skated for the first time since October, giving an elegant, unhurried performance with two successful quadruple jumps. Stay here for updates and analysis: Continue reading the main story …