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Ostapenko Loses to Krejikova in a Match between Former French Open Champions



Under sunny skies on Wednesday, Barbora Krejcikova advanced to her maiden Wimbledon quarterfinal by defeating Latvian 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 7-6 (4) in a match between former French Open champions.

Ostapenko’s attempt to win a second Grand Slam championship after winning her first in 2017 fell apart on Court One, but the 31st-seeded Czech player maintained her cool from the back of the court to force her opponent into 35 unforced errors throughout the match.

Though Krejcikova’s first Grand Slam victory came at Roland Garros in 2021, she had never before amassed a five-match winning streak on grass.

“There have been many doubts from the inside, but also from outside — from the outside world,” stated Krejcikova, who had a meager 6-9 record when she joined the All England Club in 2024. “But I’m super happy than I never gave up and that I’m standing here right now.”

The 27-year-old Ostapenko had a strong serve but had trouble placing it; in the first set, she landed fewer than half of her first serves. The 2021 French Open winner, Krejcikova, broke in the third game and won the first set.

In the second set, Ostapenko came back to break her opponent and take a 4-1 lead. But errors plagued her once more, and Krejcikova prevailed in four games to take a 5-4 lead.

The match proceeded to a tiebreaker, where Krejcikova’s outstanding crosscourt forehand struck the far line to give her a mini-break. She then used that opportunity to close out the match and earn her first victory against the Latvian in their last four meetings.

In the semifinals, Elena Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon winner, will play Krejcikova.

While Rybakina relished the unusual opportunity to see the sun, she had no desire to stay on Centre Court longer than required, as she defeated Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2 to terminate her quarterfinal challenge.

Rybakina improved to 19-2 at Wimbledon in four visits by using her eighth ace to close out the victory.

“Definitely, I have an aggressive style of game,” Rybakina stated. “I have a huge serve, so it’s a big advantage.”

Her match lasted one hour and one minute, which was less time than Krejcikova’s second set against Ostapenko, during which Ostapenko once told her coach to go out of the stands.

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Gonzales’ Walk-Off Victory Completes the Statement Victory for the Advancing Bucs



Nick Gonzales aimed for a powerful hit as he took the bat to the ball. The second baseman for the Pirates was aware that José Alvarado could hit for three runs, but he also had that cutter, which could tail away from right-handers and hit where he wanted to.

Gonzales remarked, “I was just trying to get something a little away from me, and I just hit it hard.”

In the ninth inning on Friday, Gonzales got a hold of Alvarado’s first-pitch cutter and sent most of the PNC Park crowd home with a base hit through the left side of the infield. Gonzales’ single gave the Pirates their first and only lead of the game after they had been behind for the majority of the game. The Pirates went on to win 8–7 against the Phillies.

There were signs on Friday night that this squad might be taken by surprise after the All-Star break. Martín Pérez, the starter, was removed from the game in the fourth inning after giving up six runs in the game. His poor play continued. The baseball team with the best record was taking on the Pirates. They spent most of the evening performing from behind.

Nevertheless, Gonzales and his colleagues were the ones having fun after the game on the right side of the diamond.

“I think it would’ve been really easy to fold after the first inning, especially going against the Phillies,” Gonzales stated. “But nobody here in the dugout, nobody in this clubhouse, did that. So kudos to them. And kudos to the coaching staff, too.”

Pérez faced the whole Phillies lineup in the first inning, which was maybe his worst, giving up three runs before loading the bases. Oneil Cruz immediately responded for the offense against Aaron Nola, hitting an RBI double with an exit velocity of 120.5 mph, the second-hardest hit ball for him this season in all of Major League Baseball. Later on, he would return home on a sacrifice fly hit by Rowdy Tellez, the first of three that Tellez would hit and set a record for the Pirates in a single game.

With the score tied at six, in the ninth inning, Connor Joe reached base on a single through the left side of the infield, moving Michael A. Taylor to pinch run, setting up the game’s biggest wager. Coach Tarrik Brock of first base saw a chance to run, and with two on and no one out, Andrew McCutchen and Taylor executed a double steal to advance the tying run ninety feet.

“We took a good chance in a situation where we thought we were going to take a chance,” manager Derek Shelton said.

Cruz then hit a ball off home plate for a fielder’s choice that tied the game, and Gonzales won it with a line drive to left on the next pitch.

Shelton remarked, “To come out and play as complete a game as we did and do all the little things we needed to do, yeah, I was really excited about how they responded.”

It’s only one victory, but considering the season’s circumstances, it might be greater. The Pirates have a 49-48 record and are once again above 500. They started winning before the All-Star break and have already won five straight. With just nine games remaining before the July 30 trade deadline, the team is looking to add players, but each victory helps to strengthen their argument for being aggressive. This is also the season’s hardest stretch, the first of nine series against winning clubs vying for a postseason berth.

The clubhouse’s objective has been to make the playoffs the entire year. The Pirates believe they are making progress in that direction right now.

“We talk about it a lot,” Tellez stated. “We’ve had a couple guys in here win some World Series. With Milwaukee, we made it to the playoffs every year. Younger players, when they ask questions and want to talk through it, I always say, ‘There’s nothing more driving than getting to the playoffs.’ Once you’re there, that’s all you want the next year, over and over again. For a lot of us, when we talk about that kind of stuff, it resonates with guys. We’re in a good spot. But just talking it game-by-game.”

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Carlos Alcaraz defeats Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon



This time, Carlos Alcaraz was prepared right away. Alcaraz started off slowly, losing the first set against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final a year ago. It took him five sets to win his maiden title at the All England Club.

The game that started Sunday’s rematch felt monumental: 20 points in over 15 minutes hinted at an engaging, back-and-forth contest that would go a long time. Both guys had their moments of genius. However, Alcaraz was superior. And for almost the entire next two hours, too.

Alcaraz won 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (4) against Djokovic to win a second straight Wimbledon title and his fourth Grand Slam overall. Alcaraz applied the skills he acquired from 2023 to 2024. And to consider: He is only 21 years old.

Alcaraz, who won the French Open last month and is now only the sixth man to win on both the red clay at Roland Garros and the grass at the All England Club in the same season, said, “At the end of my career, I want to sit at the same table as the big guys.” Alcaraz received the gold trophy from Wimbledon from Kate, the Prince of Wales. “That’s my main goal. That’s my dream right now.”

Alcaraz raised his record to 4-0 in major finals, including the 2022 U.S. Open; among men, only Roger Federer started his career with a 7-0 record.

The 37-year-old Djokovic, who had knee surgery less than a month ago, said of Federer, “He just was better than me in every aspect of the game.” Djokovic was aiming to become the first player in tennis history to win 25 Grand Slam events and tie Federer’s men’s record of eight Wimbledon victories. “In movement, in the way he was just striking the ball beautifully, serving great. Everything.”

Alcaraz experienced a single, fleeting glitch during a five-point period that nearly brought him to tears. It occurred when he was serving at 5-4, 40-love, and one point away from the championship. But he made a double error. Then a backhand was missed. Next, a volley. Next, a forehand. And one more forehand. All at once, it was five. Alcaraz suddenly seemed unsettled. Djokovic may feel hope suddenly.

There was intrigue all of a sudden.

but just for a little while. Alcaraz pulled together, reached the decisive vote, and ended the dispute.

Djokovic remembered, “We went toe to toe” last year.

He went on, “This year,” “it was nothing like that. It was all about him. He was the dominant force on the court and deserved to win.”

On a gloomy afternoon at Centre Court, Djokovic was not playing at his best, sporting a gray sleeve on his knee. There’s no doubt that Alcaraz had a significant role in this.

It turns out that up until the third set, the first game was the most competitive part of the match.

Not that there weren’t any signs of anticipation along the road. More so, the conclusion never truly appeared in doubt.

“The first game was incredible. One of the longest first games I’ve ever played,” Djokovic remarked. “That set the tone. He was coming out from the blocks ready to battle and ready to play his best level right away, which wasn’t the case last year.”

In the opening set, Djokovic double-failed, giving up a 5-1 lead. He started the second game with a volley into the net, down by a break, and ended it with a double fault. When Djokovic finally got going in the third, he recorded his first break of serve of the day. Fans screamed his two-syllable moniker, “No-le! No-le!” and others answered in unison,  “Let’s go, Carlos! Let’s go!”

However, given that there were real doubts about whether Djokovic would be able to compete at all in Wimbledon, this was not the body-contouring, all-out Djokovic that everyone is used to seeing.

In his matches against Alcaraz, Djokovic would sometimes land awkwardly after serving or take cautious steps in between points, almost like he was barefoot on the warm sand of a beach. When Djokovic got to the net, he only won 27 of the 53 points, missing volleys that he usually makes. Once he closed an early 11-stroke exchange with a volley, Djokovic sighed and made his way to his sideline seat to get a purple-and-green towel to wipe away perspiration. It seemed to be saying, “Come on, Carlitos, pick on someone your own age,” on his face.

Alcaraz excelled in almost every aspect, ranging from simple shots to those that others would never attempt. Although Djokovic did put an overhead shot away to earn that point, he once jumped and wrapped his racket all the way around his back to get the ball over the net. Forehand winners, Alcaraz missed the doubles alley by a considerable margin. points obtained with drop shots. Serves with a maximum velocity of 136 mph (219 kph). 14 break points total—five of which were converted—while facing just three.

Alcaraz received a lot of praise from Djokovic two days prior to the championship match when he said, “I see a lot of similarities between me and him.”

Indeed. And keep in mind that Alcaraz is only getting started.

Alcaraz declared, “I want to keep going.”

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Angel Reese Establishes a WNBA Record for the Most Double-Doubles in a Row



In her team’s 84-71 loss against the Seattle Storm on Sunday, freshman phenom Angel Reese of the Chicago Sky created WNBA history by recording her 13th consecutive double-double, a new league record.

Reese broke the W’s previous milestone of 12 straight double-doubles, set by all-time great Candace Parker in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the game.

“I’m just trying to be consistent for my teammates, doing whatever I can to help my team,” Reese replied. “I think I didn’t do enough tonight, but just being able to be there for my teammates and knowing that I have a job to do every day no matter if I’m a rookie or a vet.”

First-year head coach Teresa Weatherspoon described Reese’s accomplishment as “absolutely amazing to see.” “She might be surprising herself, but she’s not surprising me. It’s something that she can do because it’s something that she puts the work in to be able to do. And it’s a will and want-to… it’s awesome to see the work that you have to put in to be able to do this.”

In just 20 games, Reese also hit the 275-point, 225-rebound, and 30-steal milestones. Yolanda Griffith (1999) was the only player to record such figures in less games.

At this point in the season, Reese has 14 double-doubles, which ties him for seventh most in rookie history. Tina Charles has the first-year double-double record with twenty-two.

“It’s great for me to be able to know where I’m at right now, and obviously I’m not satisfied with where I’m at,” Reese stated. “I have coaches and teammates around me that believe in me and trust me and I just continue to trust the process of everything. I’m grateful. I’m blessed and lucky to be named with these amazing players. They’ve always been super nice to me. They’ve always been helpful and inspiring to me. I’ve watched them all my life and finally to be here in this moment and break their records and being able to be up there with them is really cool.”

The rookie has long looked up to Parker, a star who played two seasons with Reese’s Sky and led them to the franchise’s lone championship in 2021. Reese mentioned that she had also grown close to Parker’s mother.

“To continue to be named with her, I want to win, and being able to come out and come to Chicago and represent her city and bring a championship home is going to be what’s important for me and what I look forward to,” Reese said regarding Parker.

Reese, who has battled with efficiency at times this season, went 8 of 15 from the field on Sunday. In six of Chicago’s last 11 games, Reese has shot at least 50% from the field.

Regarding Reese’s in-season progress, Weatherspoon remarked, “It’s a level of confidence to do way more than what people think she can.” “She’s able to trust herself, trust her training, and shoot the ball when she’s open, believing and trusting that she can make those shots because when you put the work in, there’s no reason not to trust your training. And she’s doing that.

“She has gotten really, really good at finishing around the rim, getting our offensive rebounds and putbacks, or just simply getting positioned in our offensive sets and just finishing and finishing with power around the rim. So it’s really, really good to see. She’s only going to get better as we move forward.”

Reese, the No. 7 overall pick who had an outstanding career at Maryland and LSU (where she won the national title in 2023), was one of just two rookies to be chosen a 2024 All-Star, along with Caitlin Clark last week. Leading candidates for Rookie of the Year, the two will play together on Team WNBA when they face the American Olympic team in the WNBA All-Star Game later this month.

Reese’s teammate Marina Mabrey described him as “a joy to watch.” “She’s so consistent. She comes in every day and battles and fights and she’s super physical for a rookie, which is really hard to do. That’s usually one of the biggest transitions and she kind of just jumped in there and did all the dirty work, and now it’s all paying off for her. And this is just the beginning, so I’m excited to see where it goes.”

The Sky lost on Sunday, dropping to ninth in the rankings but still having a chance to make the playoffs.

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