Tennis: Serena expecting baby this year

This file photo taken on July 16, 2009 shows tennis star Serena Williams arriving on the red carpet for the premiere of the movie “The Ugly Truth” at the Pacific Cinerama Dome cinema in Hollywood. Tennis great Serena Williams hinted (AFP)
Updated 20 April 2017
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Tennis: Serena expecting baby this year

LOS ANGELES: Serena Williams is expecting a baby this year, her spokesperson confirmed Wednesday, hours after the tennis great hinted at the news in a Snapchat post.
“I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this Fall,” Los Angeles-based publicist Kelly Bush Novak said in a statement e-mailed to AFP.
While Williams won’t play again this year, “she looks forward to returning in 2018,” Bush Novak said.
Williams’ Snapchat post, quickly highlighted in US media, showed the 35-year-old in a yellow swimsuit that revealed an apparent baby bump.
But the post was quickly taken down, lending an air of mystery to its meaning.
“The GOAT herself @serenawilliams took to Snapchat to announce she’s 20 weeks pregnant! Congratulations Serena!” the US Tennis Association, organizers of the US Open — which Williams has won six times — tweeted, using the acronym for “Greatest Of All Time.”
But the Women’s Tennis Association deleted a congratulatory tweet and acknowledged in a statement they had not had confirmation of the news.
It was hours before they could tweet: “It’s official! @SerenaWilliams and @AlexisOhanian are expecting a baby this fall.”
In December, Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, first sharing that news on the Reddit social media site.
If Williams is 20 weeks into her pregnancy, that means she was already expecting when she won her record-setting 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January — where she beat her elder sister Venus in the final.
For fans and friends the announcement underscored Williams’ superwoman status.
Retired ATP Tour player Andy Roddick cheered the news.
“There’s gonna be a baby GOAT ..... We are so happy, and we know @serenawilliams will be a great mother,” the fellow American wrote on his Twitter account.
Williams hasn’t played since her Australian Open triumph, which saw her surpass Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era.
Only Australian Margaret Court has won more, capturing 24. The last of those came in 1973 — the year after Court gave birth to a son.
Williams cited a knee injury in pulling out of tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami in March.
Her inactivity saw her drop to second in the world rankings. But she is set to regain the top spot from Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Monday when the latest standings are published.
Williams wouldn’t be the first top women’s player to return to competition after having a baby, but she would be the oldest.
Belgium’s Kim Clijsters came out of retirement at the age of 26 after having a child and won three Grand Slam titles.
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 27, won the Indian Wells and Miami titles in March of last year before missing the rest of the season as she awaited the birth of her first child in December.
Since the birth of son Leo, Azarenka has returned to training and plans to return to competition at the WTA tournament in Stanford, California, in July.
But Williams has proved herself capable of returning to top form after long absences from competition.
She was sidelined for almost 12 months after her 2010 Wimbledon victory, returning from a potentially life threatening pulmonary embolism.
Over the past year Williams’ schedule has included few tournaments outside the Grand Slams.
Her appearance at the Australian Open tuneup event in Auckland, New Zealand, marked her first tournament since a semifinal exit at Flushing Meadows last September.


Warriors beat Trail Blazers in overtime to reach NBA Finals

Updated 21 May 2019
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Warriors beat Trail Blazers in overtime to reach NBA Finals

  • The two-time defending NBA champions reach the title series for a fifth consecutive season
  • The only other team to reach five straight NBA Finals was the Boston Celtics

LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green both posted triple-doubles to power the Golden State Warriors to a 119-117 overtime victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and into a fifth straight NBA Finals.
The two-time defending NBA champions reached the title series for a fifth consecutive season with the triumph in Portland, sweeping the Blazers in four games in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.
The only other team to reach five straight NBA Finals was the Boston Celtics, when they went to a record 10 in a row from 1957 to 1966.
The Warriors will battle for the title starting on May 30 against either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors, aiming to become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000, 2001 and 2002 to three-peat as champions.
Curry and Green became the first teammates in league history to have triple-doubles in the same post-season game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Curry finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, while Green had his second straight triple-double — posting double digits in three key statistical categories — with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Fittingly, Curry and Green combined on the game-winning basket in overtime, Curry feeding Green for a three-pointer that pushed Golden State to a 119-115 lead with 39.6 seconds left in overtime.
The Trail Blazers had led 69-65 at halftime, and built the lead to 17 in the third quarter.
But Golden State, playing without injured superstar Kevin Durant as well as DeMarcus Cousins and veteran Andre Iguodala, chipped away, scoring the last nine points of the third period to close within 95-87 and knotting the score at 104-104 on Curry’s layup with 4:34 left in regulation.
Both teams had a chance to win in regulation, but Curry traveled before draining a three-pointer that didn’t count and Lillard was unable to get through in traffic as time expired with the score tied 111-111.
Portland star Lillard, playing with painful separated ribs, finished with 28 points while unheralded Meyers Leonard led the Trail Blazers with 30 points and 12 rebounds.
CJ McCollum added 26 for the Trail Blazers, but it wasn’t enough for a team that had fended off elimination twice in their second-round series against the Denver Nuggets.