Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, says he is starting an independent tennis league to have professionals play matches without spectators starting in May at his academy in Nice, France.
The ATP and WTA professional tours have been on hold since March because of the coronavirus pandemic and are suspended at least until mid-July.
Mouratoglou announced his venture Saturday, calling it the Ultimate Tennis Showdown or UTS.
He says the plan is to live-stream 10 matches per weekend for five weekends in May and June.
The competition is slated to start May 16. That is when 10th-ranked David Goffin of Belgium, a three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, is scheduled to face 103rd-ranked Alexei Popyrin of Australia, whose father is the co-founder of the UTS.
The next Grand Slam tournament on the calendar is supposed to be the U.S. Open, which is planning to begin main-draw competition on Aug. 31 in New York.
The French Open’s start was postponed from May until September, while Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since 1945.
Ewing Jr: Father home after hospitalization – TSN
Georgetown basketball coach and former NBA great Patrick Ewing has been released from the hospital and is recovering from COVID-19 at home, his son said Monday.
The 57-year-old Hall of Famer, who played for the Hoyas in college and the New York Knicks in the NBA, announced Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was being treated at a hospital.
Patrick Ewing Jr. said three days later on Twitter that his father was getting better after receiving treatment and thanked the doctors and nurses who looked after him during his hospital stay. He also thanked fans for their thoughts and prayers after his father’s announcement.
“My father is now home and getting better,” Ewing Jr. wrote. “We’ll continue to watch his symptoms and follow the CDC guidelines. I hope everyone continues to stay safe and protect yourselves and your loved ones.”
As a player, the 7-foot Patrick Ewing helped Georgetown win the 1984 NCAA men’s basketball championship and reach two other title games. During his four years playing, Georgetown went 121-23, a winning percentage of .840.
He was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 draft after the Knicks won the NBA’s first lottery. Ewing wound up leading New York to the 1994 NBA Finals, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.
Ewing played 17 seasons in the NBA, 15 with the Knicks.
After retiring as a player, he spent 15 years as an assistant or associate coach with four teams in the pros. In April 2017, he returned to Georgetown for his first job as a head coach at any level.
In his first three seasons at his alma mater, Ewing’s teams went a combined 49-46, with zero trips to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2019-20, Georgetown finished the season with seven consecutive losses and a 15-17 record.
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BKFC to up $20 million offer to Mike Tyson, Wanderlei Silva pitched as potential foe – MMA Fighting
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship will next week issue another offer to Mike Tyson in hopes of bringing the 53-year-old boxing legend out of retirement.
BKFC President David Feldman told MMA Fighting the contract will exceed the $20 million offered to Tyson earlier this month, adding additional sweeteners that include charitable donations. He said he wasn’t able to provide the exact value of the contract because it’s still being finalized.
“I think I know what we need to do to make this thing happen,” Feldman said.
The race to get Tyson back into the ring has heated up ever since the former champ signaled his desire to compete again, potentially in a charity match. Several promoters, including BKFC, have jumped into the mix with million-dollar offers, and fighters from across the combat spectrum have volunteered themselves as opponents.
UFC Hall of Famers Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock were among those who expressed interest in a potential fight, regardless of the medium. On Sunday, Ortiz claimed someone close to Tyson had inquired about a potential matchup; Ortiz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Feldman said matching Tyson with “the right kind of guy” is central to BKFC’s offer, and an opponent like former PRIDE champ Wanderlei Silva, who immediately reached out to BKFC after the offer to Tyson, is right now a more desirable matchup than Ortiz.
“I didn’t offer that (to Ortiz),” Feldman said. “I don’t know that it really draws. I think a Wanderlei Silva, someone of that nature. No matter how old Silva gets, he’s dangerous, and I think that would be an intriguing matchup. Something like that, but I don’t actually have anything in mind right now.”
Ortiz most recently fought this past December, submitting Alberto Del Rio inside one round in Combate America’s inaugural pay-per-view event. The ex-UFC champ has talked up a rematch with Silva, whom he defeated in the octagon in 2000. Silva most recently fought in 2018, losing a second-round TKO to rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“First, I want to see if we can make the Mike thing happen, period, and then we’ll start talking opponents,” Feldman said. “We’re not successful yet in making that Mike thing happen. But I don’t think the door’s shut.
“He did say no immediately. But I think there’s room there.”
Tyson, who retired after quitting on his stool during a 2005 boxing match against McBride, recently talked up a charity rematch with boxing rival Evander Holyfield. Retired boxer Shannon Briggs also has claimed he’s already signed an offer to fight Tyson in an exhibition match.
“There are a lot of people out there that need help, and something like that could help a lot of people, that’s in need for help,” he told TMZ.
Feldman said BKFC will restart its event promotion schedule on June 26 with enhanced safety measures in place to address the threat of the COVID-19 virus. A location has not yet been finalized.
Cejudo retires, vacates bantamweight title – TSN
The UFC confirmed to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday that Henry Cejudo is considered to be retired and has vacated the UFC bantamweight title. His name was removed from the title page and official rankings on the UFC website Sunday.
Henry Cejudo is no longer the UFC bantamweight champion, per the promotion. They have confirmed this news to ESPN. Cejudo is officially “retired” and the title is now vacant. No word yet on when the vacant title fight will take place.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 25, 2020
Cejudo successfully defended the bantamweight belt against Dominik Cruz at UFC 249 earlier this month and announced after the bout he was retiring.
“I really do want to walk away, but money talks,” Cejudo said at the time. “It gets stagnant. I want to leave on top.”
It is unknown if Cejudo has removed himself from the USADA drug-testing pool. If he removes himself, Cejudo would not be able to return to the UFC until he puts himself back in the pool for a period of six months.
With a 16-2 record, Cejudo had not lost since 2016 and is only the fourth person in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes at the same time (bantamweight and flyweight). He is currently on a six-fight winning streak, which includes victories over Cruz, Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw.
The UFC has yet to announce its plan regarding a future bantamweight title fight.
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