Nadal to face Thiem in Barcelona semis
Rafael Nadal will meet Dominic Thiem in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open after the defending champion brushed off a challenge from German Jan-Lennard Struff to win 7-5, 7-5 on Friday. The top-seeded Nadal broke Struff’s serve in the final game of each set to stay on course for a recordextending 12th title on the outdoor clay courts at Barcelona. The thirdseeded Thiem beat Guido Pella 7-5, 6-2.
Top-ranked Naomi Osaka came from behind in the final set to beat Donna Vekic 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) and reach the semifinals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Germany. Osaka easily won the first set before Vekic looked to have seized control of the match by winning the second and building up a 5-1 lead in the third. But Osaka, who twice was two points from defeat, regrouped to win five straight games and force the tiebreaker.
Vols’ Barnes gets raise: Tennessee coach Rick Barnes will make $26 million over the next five seasons as part of a hefty raise he will receive after speaking with UCLA about its coaching vacancy earlier this month. Contract details obtained through a public records request show that Barnes will earn $4.7 million in the 2019-20 season and will get a $250,000 raise each of the next four seasons after that.
Ex-Tennessee OT transferring to Southern Cal: Former Tennessee offensive tackle Drew Richmond indicated he’s transferring to Southern California. Richmond announced on The Players’ Tribune that he would be going to Southern Cal for his final season of eligibility.
Jamaica bobsled pilot banned: The Jamaica bobsled team’s pilot was banned in a doping case, but avoided disqualification from last year’s Winter Olympics. The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation said it agreed with Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian to issue a one-year ban which was immediately canceled out by time she served on provisional suspension before the case was heard.
Kazakhstan said six of its athletes have failed to return their Olympic medals after being stripped of the honors for doping. The Kazakh Olympic Committee said three weightlifters and two wrestlers are refusing to return their medals and weightlifter Svetlana Podobedova claims to have lost her gold medal. The KOC says “the search for the medal continues.”