Wednesday, July 28, 2021

February 12, 2021  MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic said he tore a muscle during a fall in his five-set victory in the Australian Open’s third round and might need to pull out of the tournament. His opponent, American Taylor Fritz, wasn’t so sure. He figured Djokovic definitely will be back out there Sunday to continue his pursuit of a ninth championship at Melbourne Park and 18th Grand Slam title overall.

“If he can play like he played in the fifth, I don’t see why he wouldn’t play,” Fritz said. “He’ll beat pretty much anyone.”

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic seemed to be cruising along with a two-set lead Friday night when his left foot gave out from under him as he tried to change directions and he slipped awkwardly on the white “MELBOURNE” lettering at the back of the blue court. He took a medical timeout for treatment on his side and later was helped more by a trainer. Fritz got back into the match, before Djokovic eventually won 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2.

When it ended, Djokovic puffed his chest, held his arms out wide and bellowed, his voice echoing through an empty and otherwise silent Rod Laver Arena. The match began with spectators present, but they were forced to leave a little past 11:30 p.m. — about an hour before Djokovic wrapped up his win — because a local COVID-19 lockdown began at midnight.

During an on-court interview, he was subdued.

And pessimistic.

“I know it’s a tear, definitely, of the muscle. So I don’t know if I’ll manage to recover from that in less than two days. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to step out onto the court or not,” said Djokovic, who is supposed to face 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic with a quarterfinal berth on the line.

“I am just very proud of this achievement tonight,” Djokovic said. “Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

The only man in the draw with more Grand Slam trophies than Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, has been complaining about a bad back since last week. Nadal’s bid for his men’s-record 21st major title — breaking a tie with Roger Federer — continues Saturday in the third round against Cameron Norrie.

Others in third-round action Saturday include No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 Andrey Rublev, No. 9 Matteo Berrettini and the last American man in the tournament, unseeded McKenzie McDonald.

In addition to Djokovic-Raonic, the fourth-round matchups slated for Sunday are No. 3 Dominic Thiem vs. No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 6 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 23 Dusan Lajovic, and No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Aslan Karatsev, a Russian qualifier who is ranked 114th and making his Grand Slam debut.

On Friday, Djokovic’s match was halted for about 10 minutes while the crowd was cleared out, which bothered Fritz.

“I mean, to be honest — like, completely honest — it’s absolutely ridiculous that at a Grand Slam match, we’re asked to leave the court for 10 minutes in the middle of the match,” said Fritz, a 23-year-old from California who was seeded 27th. “That shouldn’t be a thing at a Grand Slam. ... We shouldn’t have played tonight if we weren’t going to finish the match on time.”

No fans will be allowed at the tournament for at least five days.

“In a way, it’s unfortunate for the crowd that we didn’t finish the match with them seeing the end. They were enjoying it, certainly,” said Djokovic, the champion in Australia each of the past two years. “On the other hand, you know, for me regardless of the crowd in the stands or not, I was just trying to focus on what’s going on with an injury and just praying and hoping that somehow it would get better.”

After his movement and usually strong returns were clearly hampered in the third and fourth sets, Djokovic began to assert himself more in the fifth.

Things swung suddenly back in his favor with a break to 4-2.

“Looked like he was struggling in the third and the fourth, and he didn’t really look like he was struggling in the fifth,” Fritz said. “He looked fine in the fifth. Let’s be honest.”

This setback dropped Fritz’s career record in third-round matches at Grand Slam tournaments to 0-6.

“I make (the) third round literally every single Slam. I just want to make it to the fourth round,” Fritz said. “Like, it’s so tough. I fought so hard and wanted it so bad, and it’s just really tough to go out like that.”

SXM Radio Online


Entertainment

July 22, 2021  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday to four counts of rape and seven other sexual assault counts. Sheriff’s deputies brought the 69-year-old convicted rapist into court in a wheelchair. He was wearing a brown jail jumpsuit and face mask. Attorney Mark Werksman entered the plea for the disgraced movie mogul a day after Weinstein was extradited to California from New York, where he was serving a 23-year prison term. Weinstein spoke only to say “thank you” to Judge Sergio Tapia, who wished him good luck as the hearing ended. He now awaits a second trial on a second coast, and the possibility of another lengthy sentence.

July 21, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — “The View” canceled a planned appearance Wednesday by a woman who settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O’Reilly, after the former Fox News Channel personality sought and received a restraining order against her. O’Reilly accused his former producer, Andrea Mackris, of violating a non-disclosure agreement by talking about her experiences with him nearly two decades ago. ABC’s daytime talk show, in a statement, said that after being notified of the restraining order “we decided to postpone her interview pending further developments. We look forward to welcoming her to ‘The View’ at a later date.” Mackris gave an interview to the Daily Beast earlier this month detailing her experiences with O’Reilly. She had accused him of making repeated lewd telephone calls, while he accused Mackris of an extortion attempt before agreeing to a $9 million settlement in 2004.


July 21, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Kennedy Center Honors will return in December with a class that includes Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, “Saturday Night Live” mastermind Lorne Michaels and actress-singer Bette Midler. Organizers expect to operate at full capacity after last year’s ceremony was delayed for months and later conducted under COVID-19 restrictions. This 44th class of honorees for lifetime achievement in the creative arts is heavy on musical performers. The honorees also include opera singer Justino Diaz and folk music legend Joni Mitchell. All will be honored on Dec. 5 with a trademark program that includes personalized tributes and performances that are kept secret from the honorees. Deborah Rutter, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, said the current plan is to pack the center’s opera house to full capacity and require all attendees to wear masks. But the plans remain fluid and Rutter said they’re ready to adapt to changing circumstances depending on the country’s COVID-19 situation.


July 22, 2021   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kanye West knows how to make a splash even with a listening event. West is expected to unveil his 10th studio album, “Donda” during a listening event Thursday night at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. His album was named after his mother, Donda West, who died at the age of 58 following plastic surgery complications in 2007.  The sold-out event will be live-streamed on Apple Music. West, 44, is mostly known as being associated with Chicago, but he was born in Atlanta - a Georgia city where there are no restrictions against large gatherings. The rapper-producer gifted 5,000 tickets to faculty, staff and students from some Atlanta HBCUs including Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, Morris Brown and the Interdenominational Theological Center. The 22-time Grammy winner revealed in a commercial, featuring U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson, during the NBA Finals on Tuesday that his highly-anticipated album will be released Friday. The commercial, scored and directed by West, featured “No Child Left Behind,” a song from his forthcoming album.

Business News

July 22, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments to drive development for years to come. “This is about real help for communities across the country as they rebuild,” Raimondo said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s about longer-term investments to help communities build themselves back from the bottom up in the ways that work best for them.” The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries. Recipients will be selected on the basis of the anticipated return on investment to taxpayers. Raimondo was set to appear at Thursday’s White House press briefing to promote the new program.

July 21, 2021   DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — For months, anyone who wandered onto a dealer lot to look for a used car could be forgiven for doing a double-take — and then wandering right off the lot. Prices had rocketed more than 40% from their levels just before the viral pandemic struck, to an average of nearly $25,000. The supply of vehicles had shrunk. And any hope of negotiating on price? Good luck with that. But now, a sliver of hope has emerged. The seemingly endless streak of skyrocketing used-vehicle prices appears to be coming to a close. Not that anyone should expect bargains. Though average wholesale prices that dealers pay are gradually dropping, they’ll likely remain near record levels. So will the retail prices for consumers. Supply remains tight. And while demand has eased a bit, a steady flow of buyers could keep prices unusually high for a couple of years more. “It’s a short-term correction,” suggested Paul Sugars, sales manager for pre-owned vehicles at Jack Demmer Lincoln in Dearborn, Michigan. “Buyers are sitting on the fence, waiting to see what happens.”

July 22, 2021  SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric plans to bury 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) of its power lines in an effort to prevent its fraying grid from sparking wildfires when electrical equipment collides with millions of trees and other vegetation across drought-stricken California. The daunting project announced Wednesday aims to bury about 10% of PG&E’s distribution and transmission lines at a projected cost of $15 billion to as much as $30 billion, based on how much the process currently costs. The utility believes it will find ways to keep the final bill at the lower end of those estimates. Most of the costs will likely be shouldered by PG&E customers, whose electricity rates are already among the highest in the U.S. PG&E stepped up its safety commitment just days after informing regulators a 70-foot (23-meter) pine tree that toppled on one of its power lines ignited a major fire in Butte County, the same rural area about 145 miles (233 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco where another fire sparked by its equipment in 2018 killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Fashion News

“Faced With Restrictions, These Are the Designers Who Took Us Somewhere New”—Vogue Editors Weigh In on the Most Innovative Presentations of Spring 2021