Murray announces plans to retire this year
Andy Murray is still hoping to make it to one more Wimbledon tournament before his problematic hip forces him into retirement. For now, he’s only committing to the Australian Open in Melbourne.
In an emotional news conference Friday (Australia time), when a tearful Murray had to leave the room shortly after his first attempt to get it started, and needed to pause several times to compose himself once it had resumed, he confirmed he’d play his first-round match at the Australian Open on Sunday but wasn’t sure how much longer he could continue beyond that.
The 31-year- old Murray said he trained in the offseason with the main goal of making one last run at Wimbledon, where he ended the 77-year drought for British men with his title in 2013, but now wasn’t sure he’d make it that far after doing everything he could to deal with the pain over the last 20 months.
“I can still play to a level, not a level I’m happy playing at,” he said. “But also, it’s not just that. The pain is too much really.
“I don’t want to continue playing that way. I tried pretty much everything that I could to get it right that hasn’t worked.”
The three- time Grand Slam champion is scheduled to open against No. 22-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut at Melbourne Park, where the seasonopening major begins Sunday.
He has reached the final five times at the Australian Open but never won the title. Getting through the first round will be a major achievement in 2019 for the former No. 1-ranked Murray, who has slumped to No. 230 after playing just 12 matches last year following surgery on his right hip in January. DJOKOVIC, FEDERER ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF AUSSIE DRAW » Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are each aiming for a record seventh men’s Australian Open title, and the draw has ensured they can’t play each other at Melbourne Park until the final.
Serena Williams already has seven Aussie titles, and is a strong contender to add another after skipping her title defense in 2018 while she was on leave after having a baby.
Now seeded 16th, Williams was drawn into the same section as No. 1-ranked Simona Halep, the runner-up here last year. The pair could meet in the fourth round.
STANFORD’S DAVIDSON IS TOP PICK IN WOMEN’S LEAGUE » Former Stanford defender Tierna Davidson is the first overall pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft by the Chicago Red Stars. Stanford had two other top-10 selections — the Washington Spirit took attacking midfielder Jordan DiBiasi third and defender Tegan McGrady (Santa Teresa- San Jose High) seventh.
Davidson, a former Sacred Heart Prep- Atherton star, left Stanford a year early to turn pro. She hopes the NWSL competition helps her earn a place with the top-ranked U. S. team trying to defend its title at the Women’s World Cup in France this summer. Other local NWSL picks: The Red Stars took Santa Clara forward Maria Sanchez at No. 15, and New York Sky Blue picked former Stanford forward Kyra Carusa at 19. Carusa was a graduate transfer who led Georgetown to the College Cup in December. DNA SAMPLE SOUGHT IN RONALDO RAPE ALLEGATION » Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is being asked by police in the U.S. to provide a DNA sample in an ongoing investigation of a Nevada woman’s allegation that he raped her in his Las Vegas hotel penthouse in 2009, the soccer star’s lawyer in Las Vegas said. Attorney Peter S. Christiansen downplayed the development, denied the rape allegation and provided no additional details.
“Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation,” Christiansen said.
DOZIER FILLS HOLE AT SECOND FOR NATIONALS » Brian Dozier found his latest team — and the Washington Nationals found a temporary solution at second base. The free-agent infielder and the Nationals agreed to a $9 million, one-year contract, subject to the successful completion of a physical exam, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Dozier batted a careerlow .215 with 21 homers and 72 RBIs last year. PLAY BALL AT ORACLE PARK » The Giants and Redwood Shores-based Oracle Corp. officially announced a 20year naming rights deal, immediately transforming AT&T Park into Oracle Park. The reported $300$350 million deal appears to be one of the richest of its kind in North American professional sports.
LEBRON TO MISS MORE TIME » The Lakers say LeBron James likely will miss at least three more games after being cleared to increase his on- court activity in his comeback from a groin injury. James was evaluated by the Lakers’ medical staff Thursday.
The Lakers say James’ healing is “progressing,” and he will participate in more functional basketball activities. CAVALIERS LOSE NANCE JR. TO KNEE INJURY » Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. could miss a month with a sprained right knee ligament, another blow to the NBA’s worst team which has lost 11 in a row. Nance got hurt in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s loss to Indiana and didn’t return. The team said an MRI taken Thursday confirmed that he sprained his medial collateral ligament, and that he will be out for a minimum of two weeks.
Women’s college basketball
STANFORD’S TUCKER UP FOR HALL OF FAME » Amy Tucker is one of 12 finalists under consideration for induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The group was announced at halftime during Thursday night’s Louisville at Notre Dame game, and the Class of 2019 will be unveiled during the Baylor-Texas game on Feb. 4 .
Tucker is in her 34th season at Stanford and second as a program administrator after stepping away from the bench following the program’s most recent Final Four run in 2016-17. During Tucker’s 32-year coaching career, Stanford won a pair of NCAA titles, reached 13 Final Fours, 19 Elite Eights and 24 Sweet 16s. At the conference level, the Cardinal claimed 23 Pac-12 regular-season championships, won 12 Pac-12 tournament titles and posted a league record of 486-72 (.871).
CLEMSON LOSES FINAL DEFENSIVE LINE MEMBER TO NFL » Clemson’s last member of its fearsome national championship defensive front four in All-American Clelin Ferrell is joining his linemates in heading to the NFL.
Ferrell announced his intention to declare for the NFL draft and give up his final season in college. His departure makes it a clean sweep of Clemson’s defensive line All-American tackle Christian Wilkins and end Austin Bryant were seniors and tackle Dexter Lawrence entered the NFL draft on Wednesday.
The group helped Clemson lead the country in sacks and was dominant up front in the Tigers’ 44-16 victory over Alabama in the national title game Monday night. OHIO STATE MAY LOSE QUARTERBACK » Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell may be looking to transfer. Martell has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, according to a person with access to the portal. Martell listing his name with the NCAA means schools are now free to talk to him about a potential transfer.
Ohio State lured Georgia transfer Justin Fields to compete for the starting spot. MORE TIME FOR OREGON STATE’S LUTON » Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Luton has started in just nine games for the Beavers since his first season in 2017 because of injuries. That year he missed eight games with a spine injury, then last season he missed all or parts of seven games with an ankle sprain.
REID’S LAWYERS DISPUTE FINDINGS, WANT RETRACTION » Attorneys for Eric Reid dispute a joint statement by the NFL and NFL Players Association that says the Carolina Panthers safety was not singled out with excessive drug tests and they’re demanding the league and the players’ union “immediately issue a retraction,” according to a letter sent to all parties that was obtained by The Associated Press.
The letter obtained Thursday says Reid was indeed tested at least seven times and requests the independent administrator provide all information used to produce the report.
DERBY RAISES PURSE » The Kentucky Derby’s purse will be raised to $3 million this May, an increase of $1 million and the first boost in 14 years. Churchill Downs said the winner of the 145th running will receive $1.86 million.
ROOKIE LEADS IN HAWAII » Adam Svensson of Canada capped off a rookie round to remember with a 10-foot birdie putt for a 9-under 61 to take a one-shot lead in the opening round at the Sony Open in Honolulu. Andrew Putnam set a target in the morning that looked tough to beat with a 62.
Andy Murray wipes tears from his face during a press conference today at the Australian Open. A tearful Murray says the Australian Open could be his last tournament because of a hip injury that has hampered him for almost two years.