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January 17, 2020
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Australian Open draw envisions epic women’s matches and more of the Big Three

ESPN
The 2020 Australian Open draws were unveiled Thursday in Melbourne, answering several questions surrounding the first Grand Slam of the tennis season. On the men’s side, the towering question going in was, “Which quarter of the draw would be without one of the Big Three, (Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger......
ESPN

Australian Open FAQ – How fires could impact tennis’ first Grand Slam of 2020

ESPN
As the Australian Open prepares to begin play Monday, tournament officials face a potential environmental crisis as a result of Australia’s ongoing bushfires. Smoke continued to blanket the city of Melbourne on Wednesday, delaying the first two days of qualifying. Tennis Australia boss and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley......
ESPN

Aaron Stewart connects with golf through LPGA’s season-opening event

ESPN
When Aaron Stewart was 10 years old, he and his 13-year-old sister, Chelsea, were called to the principal’s office one October day in 1999. It wasn’t the usual scenario of facing the principal for doing something wrong. Rather, their lives were about to be forever altered, and they were being......
ESPN

What the new CBA means for the WNBA and its players

ESPN
10:07 AM ET Mechelle VoepelespnW.com Close Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996. The WNBA and the players’ union announced Tuesday that they have come to tentative terms on......
ESPN

Serena Williams, Karolina Pliskova and Novak Djokovic make compelling opening statements in Australian Open tuneups

ESPN
The new decade got off to a rousing start with something new from the men — the ATP Cup — and something familiar, if not in recent times, from the WTA: Serena Williams hoisting a singles trophy. The win in Auckland was Williams’ the first in three years. Also familiar:......
ESPN

Australian Open qualifier forced to retire after coughing fit

ESPN
Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic feared she would pass out during Australian Open qualifying, with the smoky conditions the worst she has experienced. The world No. 180 was forced to retire midmatch at Melbourne Park on Tuesday due to the hazardous smoke lingering from bushfires in the east of the state of......
ESPN

Claressa Shields beats Ivana Habazin for junior middleweight title

ESPN
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Claressa Shields, who has already unified two women’s world titles at super middleweight and then collected all four major belts to become the undisputed middleweight champion, made history on Friday night at the Ocean Casino Resort. Shields, moving down in weight yet again, thoroughly dominated Ivana......
ESPN

What Walt Hopkins’ hire means for the New York Liberty and the WNBA

ESPN
6:20 PM ET Mechelle VoepelespnW.com Close Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996. Walt Hopkins officially was named the New York Liberty’s new head coach on Wednesday, so all......
ESPN

Ex-‘Bachelor’ contestant’s $1 million DFS win probed

ESPN
Jade Roper-Tolbert, a past contestant on the reality TV series “The Bachelor,” won a $1 million fantasy football contest over the weekend, but controversy ensued shortly after and an investigation has been launched. Tolbert, who is in her first season regularly playing fantasy sports, entered the maximum 150 lineups into......
ESPN

In ranking the WTA’s young stars, Bianca Andreescu and Coco Gauff lead the charge

ESPN
The WTA season begins in earnest Monday, with 14 women 21-and-under ranked in the Top 100. They are such fresh faces and so good that even the most expert commentators have trouble keeping up with their development and progress. We’ve whittled the group down to an elite eight — some......
ESPN

Ragan Smith is finally healthy — and excited for her first season at Oklahoma

ESPN
NORMAN, Oklahoma — Ragan Smith walked into the Sam Viersen Center on a warm July day last year and realized she had no idea what she was doing. A former world and national champion and 2016 Olympic alternate, she thought she had experienced it all in the sport, but this......
ESPN

Kayla Harrison headlines six $1M PFL championship winners

ESPN
NEW YORK — Kayla Harrison entered the 2019 Professional Fighters League season as the face of the organization, and ended the year with $1 million and the PFL women’s lightweight championship in hand on New Year’s Eve. Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was one of six fighters to win......
ESPN

Tennis cups runneth over with new ATP team event in Australia

ESPN
The inaugural ATP Cup launches Friday in Australia in three locations, although “fronts” might be a better word to describe the roles Sydney, Brisbane and Perth will play in what is shaping up as a potential clash of the Cups. In three short years, tennis has gone from having just......
ESPN

The night before Christmas 2019 — Sarah Spain’s ode to the year in sports

ESPN
It’s the night before Christmas, the moon lights the lawn,Stars twinkle to welcome a new decade’s dawn.Time to pack up ’19 and say “Hello” to ’20,Fond memories abound. And regrets? We’ve got plenty. Double doinkin’ it? Yeah, that tops the list.AB’s feet made us armchair podiatrists.Magic quit on the Lakers......
ESPN

College sports continue to fall short when it comes to hiring diversely

ESPN
It has been an unprecedented year for college sports and the NCAA. Several legal battles are erupting at powerhouse athletic universities, including one at Kansas over alleged recruiting violations. High-profile professional athletes such as LeBron James are calling for support on the debate that would allow college athletes to be......
ESPN

Volkanovski kicks down the door, enters pound-for-pound rankings

ESPN
Max Holloway might be the greatest featherweight mixed martial artist of all time. Or maybe Jose Aldo is the GOAT. Which one is it? One person who is fully qualified to weigh in with an educated opinion on the matter is Alexander Volkanovski. He has beaten both MMA legends. Volkanovski......
ESPN

Forget Nunes, Shields-Harrison is the fight

ESPN
Two-time Olympic gold-medalist Claressa Shields was at UFC 245 Saturday night campaigning for a fight against Amanda Nunes. Not since James Toney started on his path to taking on Randy Couture almost a decade ago have we seen a boxer at a UFC event so open about their desire to......

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