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'It's like dating a guy that you know sucks,' says Serena Williams after loss – CNN International

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“I put myself in a bad situation,” Williams told reporters. “It’s like dating a guy that you know sucks. That’s literally what I keep doing out here. It’s like I have to get rid of this guy. It just makes no sense. It’s frustrating.”
Williams has pulled off her share of stunning comebacks in a remarkable 20-plus year career but the American is more used to closing out opponents in fairly routine fashion.
It hasn’t happened, though, since tennis’ resumption last month amid the coronavirus pandemic and didn’t happen Tuesday as Williams fell 5-7 7-6 (5) 6-1 to one of tennis’ brightest young stars, 13th-seed Maria Sakkari.
The result came just a week shy of the US Open, when Williams will once again try for a record 24th grand slam title.
All five of Williams’ matches since her return to the tour have gone the maximum three sets. She was upset in a third-set tiebreak in the quarterfinals in Lexington, Kentucky by Shelby Rogers last week and needed another third-set tiebreak Monday to see off 72nd-ranked Arantxa Rus.
Williams won the opener against Rus, like she did against Rogers, before being taken to a decider and letting slip a 5-2 advantage. Williams, who will turn 39 next month, eventually needed three hours to advance.
Her tussle against Greece’s Sakkari realistically should have been over in two sets. Williams built a 5-3 lead in the second, prior to another wobble.
After Sakkari clinched the second-set tiebreak, Williams — who received a time violation warning in the first — gently flung her racket over her shoulder.

No excuses

She admitted to cramping late in the match and faced a staggering 16 break points in the third, although saved seven match points to delay defeat.
Her extended tussle against Rus wasn’t much of a factor against Sakkari, she insisted.
“There was no excuse,” she said. “Yeah, it was hard, but I had so many opportunities to win, and I have to figure that one out, like how to start winning those matches again.
“I’ve just got to start learning how to win big points. It was literally one point since January. One point I could have won so many more matches, literally. So if I could just focus on how to win that one point, that would be better.”
She admitted her mindset heading into the US Open could be better.
“It’s hard to play the way I have been playing and to stay positive,” said Williams. “And to play nine hours in a week is too much. I don’t usually play like that. It’s all new for me.”
Williams won’t need to travel to Flushing Meadows since the Western & Southern Open, usually held in Cincinnati, is being staged on the grounds of the US Open to make for an extended tennis bubble.
Novak Djokovic remains in the draw at the Western & Southern Open, following up a tough win over Ricardas Berankis with a smoother victory over grand slam quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren 6-2 6-4 to improve to an unblemished 20-0 in 2020.
Sandgren nearly upended Roger Federer at the Australian Open in January but barring late in the second set, didn’t really trouble the Serb.
Djokovic’s fans will be relieved to hear that a lingering neck injury that necessitated a medical timeout Monday is healing fast.

Neck feeling better

“I’m pleasantly surprised with the way I recovered and felt today, just overall physically but also with the neck specifically, because that was a little bit of a concern,” said Djokovic, the heaviest favorite at the US Open in either singles draw.
“Going back four, five days, I did struggle quite a lot. I wasn’t really sure how that’s going to react after a first match. But it did really well. I’m as closest to a painless neck as I can be.”
Djokovic next battles big-serving German Jan-Lennard Struff.
The world No. 1’s rival from his junior days, Andy Murray, was eliminated at the hands of another big server, Milos Raonic, 6-2 6-2 in a rematch of the 2016 Wimbledon finale.
Three-time grand slam winner Murray temporarily switched to football in his post-match press conference when he discussed Lionel Messi.
He would love to see Messi, arguably football’s greatest ever player, join the Premier League after the Argentine’s days at Barcelona seem numbered.
“Be great for the league, for sure,” said the man with surgically repaired hips. “Maybe get the opportunity to go and watch him live a few more times. I watched him a bit when he was much younger.”

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Tonight’s lineup: Zeuch starts – Bluebird Banter

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It looks like there has been a change in starting pitcher for tonight. I thought Matt Shoemaker was to start, but now the Blue Jays are saying T.J. Zeuch gets the start.

I hope there isn’t a injury reason for the switch. Charlie Montoyo is to talk to the media soon so we’ll hear why the change was made.

Bo Bichette and Randal Grichuk both sit today. Joe Panik plays short and Jonathan Davis is in center.

Update:

No injury to Shoemaker:

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Lightning not discouraged after missing first chance to lift Stanley Cup – Sportsnet.ca

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EDMONTON — The job’s not finished.

The core of this Tampa Bay Lightning team has been chasing the Stanley Cup for years, so what’s another two days between friends, right?

That’s not to discredit the Dallas Stars or pronounce this Final over. It’s merely a reflection of the Lighting’s attitude after having the trophy put back in its case with a 3-2 double-overtime loss on Saturday night.

“We’ve got a plan,” said head coach Jon Cooper. “It’s gotten us this far and we fully believe it’ll get us through the end.”

“They get the goal and we don’t, so it’s not a big deal,” added forward Anthony Cirelli.

From the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to the Stanley Cup Final, livestream every game of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, blackout-free, on Sportsnet NOW.

The Lightning were on the verge of a very big deal after Mikhail Sergachev gave them a 2-1 lead before the third period was four minutes old. They nursed it into the second half of the period before Joe Pavelski found a loose puck at the edge of the crease and did what he’s been doing for years.

Still, Tampa was one shot away from a championship and threw everything it had at Anton Khudobin. Cirelli hit a post while Tyler Johnson put one off the knob of Khudobin’s stick.

It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see them pull out oxygen tanks on the Dallas bench during the first overtime period. This was the difficult end of a back-to-back and the Stars were taking on water while leaning heavily on their top-four defencemen — seeing Tampa out-attempt them 25-7 and outshoot them 7-2.

“I thought we played a good enough game to win,” said Lightning forward Ondrej Palat. “I thought in overtime we really tilted the ice, we had a lot of possession, a lot of chances, we just didn’t score on them.

“So yeah, they’re a good team, they battled back.”

The Stars gave it a push in the second overtime and won it on Corey Perry’s goal-mouth scramble at 9:23. A John Klingberg point shot ricocheted off two Tampa players and stopped at the edge of the crease before Perry slid it around Andrei Vasilevskiy.

“They’re a good team at getting pucks to the net,” said Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman. “It’s one of those things, you block a shot and it just lays behind you. We’ve got to be a little bit harder to help Vasy, but yeah, they made a nice play.

“They went hard to the net and they got a puck there and they put it in. That’s the end of it, we’ll look over it and get better for next game.”

They had an excellent chance to break the NHL bubble and finally get their hands on the Cup, but the tape will reveal that this was not Tampa at its best.

The Lightning appeared to be a step off for much of the night and didn’t create the kind of high-danger chances on Khudobin it had while building a 3-1 series lead. They also got just one first-period power play — Khudobin was the only reason they didn’t cash in there — so the goals were tougher to come by.

This was the sort of style Dallas needed to play with its season on the line.

Tampa will find some comfort from the fact it hasn’t dropped consecutive games yet in these playoffs and it lost Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final under similar circumstances before closing out the New York Islanders in the sixth.

With a little rest, and a refreshed attitude, they’ll look to repeat that script on Monday night.

“We’ve felt this feeling before,” said Cooper. “We have felt this sting and then we’ve rebounded. But the big thing is to get some rest here.

“Just in the end you could see — I don’t know, if that game went any longer, I don’t know if there would have been any goals scored.

“I think both teams were pretty tired.”

They’ve been at this for nine weeks now.

For many of the Lightning, this is the 15th playoff series they’ve gone through since 2015 and it’s the closest they’ve been to lifting the Stanley Cup. They managed to keep their minds in small places with the trophy inside Rogers Place on Saturday night, but they couldn’t quite seal the deal.

“I thought we kept it cool,” said Hedman.

The heat will get turned up quickly if they don’t get the next one.

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Kansas State rallies to stun No. 3 Oklahoma – TSN

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NORMAN, Okla. — Skylar Thompson passed for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns, and Kansas State rallied from 21 points down to beat No. 3 Oklahoma 38-35 on Saturday.

Freshman Deuce Vaughn caught four passes for 129 yards and ran for a touchdown for the Wildcats, who were coming off a season-opening loss to Arkansas State. It was Kansas State’s first-ever road win against a top-three team in the AP poll.

Oklahoma freshman Spencer Rattler passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but he threw three interceptions.

Kansas State upset Oklahoma 48-41 in Manhattan, Kansas, last year.

Kansas State said earlier in the week it was struggling to have enough players available at all position groups to play the game because of COVID-19.

In the opening moments of the second quarter, Rattler threw into traffic and found Drake Stoops for a 32-yard touchdown. It was the first career touchdown for the son of former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, and it gave the Sooners a 14-0 lead.

Thompson’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Chabastin Taylor in the second quarter cut Oklahoma’s lead to 14-7, but the Sooners answered with Marvin Mims’ 9-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the first half.

Rattler’s 53-yard pass to Stoops led to Seth McGowan’s 5-yard touchdown run and a 35-14 late in the third quarter.

Two short rushing touchdowns by Thompson got the Wildcats back in the game. Kansas State’s Nick Allen blocked Reeves Mundschau’s punt, and the Wildcats took over at the Oklahoma 38. Vaughn’s 38-yard touchdown run on the Wildcats’ second offensive play and the extra point tied it at 35 with 8:17 to play.

Kansas State’s Blake Lynch hit a 50-yard field goal with 4:32 remaining. Kansas State’s Jahron McPherson intercepted Rattler in the final minute to help close out the win.

THE TAKEAWAY

Kansas State: The Wildcats didn’t fold when they fell behind and the defense improved in the second half against Rattler.

Oklahoma: The defense fell apart much like it has many times in recent years.

UP NEXT

Kansas State: Hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.

Oklahoma: Travels to Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones beat the Sooners three years ago and nearly upset them last year before falling 42-41.

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

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