15-year-old American Coco Gauff qualifies for Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Coco Gauff, a 15-year-old American, has become the youngest player to reach Wimbledon’s main draw for women’s singles via qualifying in the Open era.
Gauff made it into the tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 victory that lasted just 55 minutes in the final round of qualifying Thursday against Greet Minnen, a 21-year-old from Belgium.
Gauff is ranked 301st, Minnen 129th.
Gauff, who was born in Georgia and is now based in Florida, will be the 12th-youngest player to compete in women’s singles at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament since professionals were first admitted in 1968. The 11 who were younger all got spots in the draw via direct entry, rather than qualifying.
The last entrant under 16 was Britain’s Laura Robson, who was 15 in 2009.
Kerber beats Halep at Eastbourne; Pliskova advances
EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — Defending Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber beat Simona Halep for the first time since 2016, winning their quarterfinal at Eastbourne 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday.
Kerber converted five of seven break points to reach the semifinals for the second straight tournament following her first-round elimination at the French Open.
The fourth-seeded Kerber moved to a 5-6 career record against the Romanian.
Kerber will play Ons Jabeur in the semifinals after the Tunisian recovered from a slow start to beat Alize Cornet 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova blasted past Ekaterina Alexandrova in just 54 minutes, firing 22 winners on her way to a 6-2, 6-0 victory. She will meet third-seeded Kiki Bertens who advanced with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over Aryna Sabalenka.
In the men’s draw, third-seeded Kyle Edmund won an all-British quarterfinal against Dan Evans 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. His next opponent is Taylor Fritz, who eliminated Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Sam Querrey beat fifth-seeded Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (4), 6-2 to set up a semifinal with qualifier Thomas Fabbiano, who upset Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-3.
AP Source: Lakers trading 3 to Wizards, clear cap space
(AP) — A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade three players to the Washington Wizards as part of the deal that will land them Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Wizards will get Moritz Wagner, Issac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones as well as a future second-round draft pick from the Lakers, while the Pelicans will get cash from Washington, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the deal cannot be finalized until July 6.
ESPN and The Washington Post first reported elements of the deals.
The move will give the Lakers enough salary cap space to sign a max-contract free agent if they are so inclined.
Hoop dreams: Rims, nets to stay around the clock in Toronto
TORONTO (AP) — Maybe it takes an NBA championship to save the game.
City staff in Toronto will no longer take down public basketball hoops at the end of the day. The decision Thursday comes after a video showing a municipal worker dismantling a rim and net sparked backlash online.
Mayor John Tory says the city should be encouraging kids to play basketball. He writes that he supports “positive, fun, healthy activities for kids” and the practice of removing the hoops at 6 p.m. has been halted immediately.
Two weeks earlier, the Raptors won their first title following an electrifying playoff run that united fans across the city.
The city government says in a statement it has long sought to balance the right to play basketball with right of nearby homeowners to enjoy quiet.
Canada Basketball, the governing body of the sport in the country, responded with the message “No rim. No history,” along with a photo of Kawhi Leonard’s rim-bouncing buzzer beater in the playoffs. The picture of the shot that beat the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round was edited to remove the rim.
“Everyone deserves the chance to play,” Canada Basketball tweeted. “Keep the nets up.”
When asked about the hoops being removed on a nightly basis, Raptors President Masai Ujiri was baffled.
“There’s been complaints about noise from basketball? Really?” Ujiri said. “They tried to take the courts down? Are you guys serious.”
Police: 11 adults, 1 teen cited after youth baseball brawl
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Police say a dozen people have now been cited for disorderly conduct after a brawl during a youth baseball game in Colorado.
Lakewood police had previously announced the citations to six people and provided an updated total on Thursday.
Police received a video of the June 15 fight from a spectator and released it on Facebook, asking for help identifying anyone who participated.
According to a statement, 11 of the people cited are adults and one is 16 years old.
Authorities said the fight at a game between teams of 7-year-olds began when parents and coaches disagreed with a 13-year-old umpire’s decisions.
The Bear Creek Junior Sports Association canceled the remaining games for both teams.
Seaver gets his statue, and Citi Field gets new address
NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Seaver is getting a statue outside the Mets’ home, and the team is getting a new address.
The announcement was made official at a ceremony Thursday. Citi Field will now be listed as 41 Seaver Way in honor of the Hall of Fame pitcher’s number. New York City officials agreed to the team’s request to rename the 126th Street address.
“This is so very appropriate because he made the New York Mets the team that it is,” said Ron Swoboda, who played with Seaver on the 1969 Miracle Mets championship team. “He gave them credibility.”
Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said it might be a year to 18 months before the statue of 9 to 12 feet is in place, allowing liberty for the “artist doing his thing.”
The 74-year-old Seaver has dementia and could not attend. But a number of former teammates were on hand in tribute to the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
“He deserves the recognition,” pitcher Jerry Koosman said. “I’m glad he’s getting it.”
Added outfielder Cleon Jones: “He set an example for all the guys to follow.”
Seaver went 311-205 with a 2.86 ERA and was a five-time 20-game winner across his 20-year career. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992, selected on 425 of 430 ballots for a then-record 98.8 percent.
Now his legend will live on in front of 41 Seaver Way.
“We really do walk together forever,” Swoboda said.
Daughter Sarah Seaver said her parents are honored.
“Very proud to know that that work that he loved so very much will be remembered,” she said.