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Coco Gauff Will Play in the U.S. Open as a Wild Card



The United States Open announced its wild-card decisions on Tuesday, confirming that Wimbledon’s breakout star, Coco Gauff, had been chosen for the tournament’s main draw.

Gauff, 15, will be making her second appearance in a Grand Slam main draw when she competes in Queens later this month.

Wild cards allow players who don’t have enough rankings points to gain entry into the main draw of an event without competing in its qualifying tournament. The Grand Slam tournaments distribute their wild cards in a way that promotes players from the host country.

After becoming the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history, Gauff announced her arrival on the tennis scene last month with a first-round victory over Venus Williams, a five-time Wimbledon singles champion. Gauff followed that win with victories over two veterans, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog, before losing in the fourth round to Simona Halep, the eventual champion.

Reciprocal wild cards are the result of agreements among the United States Tennis Association and the Australian and French tennis federations. Each gives two of its Grand Slam wild cards, one for women and one for men, to the others.

On the men’s side at the U.S. Open, wild cards went to several American players: Ernesto Escobedo, Bjorn Fratangelo, Marcos Giron, Christopher Eubanks, Jack Sock and Zachary Svajda, the national junior champion.

Sock, ranked 176th, has not won a match in singles this year. He will be playing for the fourth time since returning from an operation on his right thumb.

The omission of 112th-ranked Tommy Paul, 22, was probably the greatest surprise on the men’s side. Paul, ranked dozens of spots ahead of other Americans who received wild cards, has been one of the country’s most consistent young players this year, climbing more than 200 spots in the rankings over the last 12 months.

The French men’s reciprocal wild card went to Antoine Hoang, 23, who reached the third round at the French Open this year. The men’s reciprocal wild card for Australia has not been selected, possibly a result of turmoil in the ranks of Australian men’s tennis.

Andy Murray, the 2012 U.S. Open singles champion, withdrew from wild-card consideration after the tournament did not extend the timetable for announcing its choices. Murray, 32, who has been making a steady comeback from hip surgery, will compete in men’s doubles and mixed doubles with partners yet to be determined.

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For Decades, Kobe Bryant Defined the Los Angeles Lakers. He Shaped Their Future, Too.




The last time Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant played an N.B.A. game, he went out shooting. It was Apr. 13, 2016, and Bryant scored 60 points, much to the delight of the Staples Center crowd, which included the actor Jack Nicholson and the rapper Snoop Dogg. He was gunning from a distance without a conscience, showing little of the wear and tear that nearly 60,000 professional basketball minutes had put on him.

It was the kind of performance that had become rare for Bryant as he transitioned from being one of the most dynamic players in the history of basketball to an elder statesman ready to pass the torch to the next generation. His résumé, with one Most Valuable Player Award, five N.B.A. championships and 18 All-Star selections, is among the most impressive in league history.

Bryant, who retired after that 2016 game, died Sunday in a helicopter crash near Calabasas, Calif., northwest of Los Angeles, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. The news sent shock waves through the basketball world on a day when more than half of the league’s 30 teams were scheduled to play.

Shortly after the news broke, it was announced that Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who had been close with Bryant, would be out for his team’s Sunday game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Before a game between the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets, a public address announcer informed the crowd of Bryant’s death and called for a moment of silence. After listing several of Bryant’s many N.B.A. accomplishments, the announcer ended his tribute with “Rest in peace, Mamba,” a reference to Bryant’s nickname.

N.B.A. teams, such as the Spurs and Raptors playing in San Antonio, and the Celtics and Pelicans playing in New Orleans, purposely took 24-second shot clock violations at the start of their games in honor of Bryant, who had played under the jersey Nos. 8 and 24. Both have been retired and hang in the rafters at the Lakers’ Staples Center arena, which hosted the Grammy Awards on Sunday. The musician Lizzo dedicated a performance at the awards show to the former player, and fans quickly gathered outside the arena that evening, chanting, “Thank you, Kobe.”

Many players in Sunday night’s N.B.A. games also wore shoes that honored Bryant and his daughter.

The Lakers returned to Los Angeles on Sunday after an extended road trip. Video from the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles appeared to show Lakers forward LeBron James and other teammates embracing and in tears after they exited the team’s plane.

Four seasons after Bryant’s retirement, the Lakers have become title contenders again after signing James in 2018 and trading for forward Anthony Davis before this season. James, who played with Bryant on the 2008 men’s United States Olympic team, passed Bryant for the third spot on the N.B.A. career scoring list in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. Bryant posted a message to Twitter congratulating James.

It’s easy to draw a straight line from the New Age Lakers, led by James, to the team that Bryant left behind. Without Bryant, there likely would have been no James in Los Angeles. Many were critical of the high-dollar contract offered to Bryant near the end of his career, which hamstrung the Lakers from making roster choices that would have propelled the team to a post-Kobe era. However, Bryant’s presence allowed the franchise to retain its historical prestige, even while putting the team temporarily in the N.B.A.’s wilderness.

N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement on Sunday that Bryant had been “one of the most extraordinary players in the history of our game.”

“For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends with an absolute devotion to winning,” Silver said. “But he will be remembered most for inspiring people around the world to pick up a basketball and compete to the very best of their ability.”

Few players saw Bryant’s impact on the Lakers the way Shaquille O’Neal did. O’Neal, now a TNT analyst, formed a Lakers duo with Bryant that was widely acknowledged as one of the top tandems in basketball history.

O’Neal said in a message posted on Twitter that there were “no words to express the pain” he was going through over losing Bryant and Bryant’s daughter, and that he loved Bryant and would miss him. “My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board,” he wrote.

Other Lakers greats expressed their admiration as well. Magic Johnson, arguably the only player who matches Bryant in contributions to the franchise, posted, “Laker Nation, the game of basketball & our city, will never be the same without Kobe.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared in a Twitter video wearing a purple Lakers sweatshirt and wrote: “Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players. But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete.”

During his playing career, Bryant began experimenting with endeavors outside of basketball that he would channel his competitiveness into after retirement. He co-founded an investment firm, Bryant Stibel & Co., that reportedly now manages more than $2 billion. He also collaborated with Spike Lee on the 2009 documentary “Kobe Doin’ Work.”

When Bryant announced his retirement in 2015, he did so not through a statement or an interview, but in a poem titled “Dear Basketball.” It began: “From the moment I started rolling my dad’s tube socks; And shooting imaginary game-winning shots; In the Great Western Forum; I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you.”

Two years later, Bryant turned “Dear Basketball” into an animated short film, which won an Academy Award.

Former President Barack H. Obama referred to Bryant’s career reinvention in a statement on Sunday. “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” he said.

During his Oscar acceptance speech, Bryant said: “As basketball players we’re supposed to shut up and dribble. I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.” It was a reference to comments made by the Fox News conservative pundit Laura Ingraham, who had denounced basketball players, including James, for criticizing President Trump.


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SEMI PRO FOOTBALL UK | Brockenhurst 0 v 2 Horndean



For all the best semi pro football highlights from the sunny south cost of the UK, make sure you subscribe to this channel!

Today’s coverage comes from the Sydenhams Wessex Premier, where Brockenhurst host Horndean.

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For any non UK viewers, semi pro soccer highlights are also known as semi pro football uk or non-league football here in the UK. 2020 will be the year where semi pro football wrestles more and more spectators away from the professional game, as they become disillusioned with VAR.


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GOA FC vs Kerala Blasters – Match 66 Highlights Prediction | Hero ISL 2020 | PES 2019



25th January ISL 6 G. M. C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium Prediction cum Gameplay Video #ISL2019 #ISL6 #LetsFootball


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