Game Wrap: Jackie Bradley Jr, Red Sox even ALCS with Astros

Red Sox pull even with Astros in ALCS

David Price went home a winner in a post-season start for the first time in his career. That, he insisted, is all he ever cared about. “This is bigger than David Price,” he said on Sunday night. “This isn’t about me. This is about the Boston Red Sox.” Price was good enough, the Red Sox relievers were even better, and Jackie Bradley Jr. delivered a go-ahead, three-run double off the Green Monster to lead Boston to a 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros and tie the AL Championship Series at one game apiece. Price fell one out short of qualifying

Red Sox ace Chris Sale hospitalized with stomach illness

The Boston Red Sox say ace left-hander Chis Sale has a stomach illness and will spend the night in the hospital. The Red Sox made the announcement Sunday night in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the AL Championship Series against Houston. Boston said Sale reported the illness earlier in the day and was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital. He will be held overnight for observation. The 29-year-old Sale struggled with his control in Boston’s 7-2 loss to the Astros in the series opener Saturday night. He allowed two runs with four walks and a hit batter in four

Canada thrashes Panama to book FIFA Women’s World Cup berth

Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set her sights on the World Cup. Sinclair scored twice and Canada went on to secure a spot in next year’s World Cup in France with a 7-0 victory over Panama on Sunday in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. Watch highlights from Canada’s win: Christine Sinclair and Adriana Leon each scored a brace as Canada thumped Panama 7-0 in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The win gives Canada a berth in the 2019 FIFA World Cup. 1:33 Sinclair now has 177th international goals. She ranks second on the

Del Potro could miss rest of season with fractured kneecap

Juan Martin del Potro received treatment on his knee at the side of the court World number four Juan Martin del Potro could miss the rest of the season after fracturing his right kneecap in a heavy fall at the Shanghai Masters. The 30-year-old Argentine retired from his last-16 match against eventual finalist Borna Coric on Thursday after falling during the first set. Former US Open champion Del Potro, who has his leg in a splint, said: “It’s a very difficult moment. I feel very sad. “It’s a hard blow that leaves me without strength.” Del Potro had been expected

Childhood friends Cavallini, Osorio reunited with Canadian men’s team

Together they rank as Canada’s top soccer players currently playing their trade in North America. And Lucas Cavallini and Jonathan Osorio go way back. “We’ve been buddies since Day 1, since we were 12 years old playing together,” said Cavallini, a forward with Mexico’s Puebla FC. “He’s a very very good friend of mine,” added Osorio, a midfielder having a career year with Toronto FC. Their games extended off the field as youngsters. Cavallini’s father made a soccer pitch of sorts in the family basement in Mississauga, Ont., with Lucas and Osorio often pairing up against their younger brothers. Years

Stephens qualifies for WTA Finals for first time

Stephens won the US Open in 2017 and reached this year’s French Open final World number eight Sloane Stephens has qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals for the first time. The 25-year-old American, who won the US Open last year, is the sixth player to qualify for the event in Singapore, which begins on 22 October. Her place was confirmed after world number five Elina Svitolina said she will not play an event this week. Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens are vying for the final two places in the event. Both Pliskova and Bertens are playing at this week’s

Djokovic extends winning run to 18 to take Shanghai title

Novak Djokovic will replace Roger Federer as the world number two on Monday Novak Djokovic continued his superb form by beating Croatia’s Borna Coric in the final of the Shanghai Masters. The second seed, 31, beat 21-year-old Coric 6-3 6-4 in 97 minutes to claim his fourth Shanghai title. Coric, the 13th seed, upset Roger Federer in Saturday’s semi-finals to reach his first Masters 1000 final. Serb Djokovic has won 18 consecutive matches since losing at the Rogers Cup on 10 August, and will replace Federer as world number two on Monday. The 14-time Grand Slam champion cruised through the

F1 legend Hakkinen would only return to racing to ‘kick some butt’

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Shanghai Masters: Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares lose final to Kubot and Melo

Kubot and Melo also won the Beijing Open earlier this month Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares were beaten in straight sets by Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the Shanghai Masters doubles final. The British-Brazilian duo, who this week qualified for the ATP Finals in November, lost 6-4 6-2 to the Polish-Brazilian team. Kubot and Melo went one better than last year when they were beaten finalists. Murray and Soares have won three titles together this season. BBC Sport

US Open: ‘There’s sexism in tennis but that doesn’t excuse Serena Williams’ behaviour’

Watch: Serena Williams calls umpire ‘liar’ and ‘thief’

Serena Williams has been the victim of misogyny and racism throughout her life, but that does not make her immune from sanction when she steps out of line.

Williams was fined a total of $17,000 (£13,100) for the three code violations she was issued in the US Open final she lost to Naomi Osaka – a tiny fraction of her winnings, admittedly, but a significant fine nonetheless in the context of the sport.

The accusation of sexism she levelled at umpire Carlos Ramos for docking her a game for verbal abuse – she had called him a “liar” and a “thief” – ensured the story would command headlines for days. The stakes then became even higher when two of the most senior administrators in the sport endorsed Williams’ comments and laid the blame squarely at the umpire’s door.

The chief executive of the Women’s Tennis Association, Steve Simon, issued a statement to say he did not feel Ramos was as tolerant to Williams as he would have been to a man. Earlier in the day, the US Tennis Association president Katrina Adams also accused Ramos, and other umpires, of gender bias in a television interview.

“We watch the guys do this all the time,” she said on the ESPN set at Flushing Meadows.

“They are badgering the umpire on the changeovers, and nothing happens. There’s no equality.”

These comments are made without a moment’s thought for all the umpires who are in the chair this week in Chicago, Quebec City and Hiroshima, and in the weeks and months to come. Their authority is instantly undermined.

Vested interest is rife in tennis. Conflicts of interest abound. Adams has a relationship to protect with Williams. Simon is looking out – in purely business terms – for the WTA’s biggest commercial asset.

He did the same for Maria Sharapova at the time of her positive drugs test. First he offered a glowing character reference before due process had even taken place, and then publicly reprimanded the French Tennis Federation for not offering the Russian a Roland Garros wildcard just after her ban had expired.

There are too many voices, too many governing bodies. The four Grand Slams are the pillars of the sport and they compete for influence along with rule-making body the International Tennis Federation, the WTA, which runs the women’s tour, and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which runs the men’s. Reform would be welcome, but do not hold your breath.

Ramos is an umpire with a reputation for standing up to star players, which is partly why he has been asked to take charge of singles finals at all of the Grand Slams, as well as the Olympic Games. He would have faced criticism had he not taken action against Williams for calling him a liar and a thief.

There is too much sexism in tennis. But that should not be used as a smokescreen to excuse the behaviour of the 23-time Grand Slam champion.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka was in tears during the post-match ceremony

Do umpires show more leniency to men? There is no strong evidence from this US Open, and the Italian Fabio Fognini was fined $96,000 and given a suspended Grand Slam ban for verbal abuse at last year’s event. His offence was far worse, and his language to umpire Louise Engzell unquestionably misogynistic, but at least strong action was taken.

ATP players should think carefully about whether they address female umpires differently to their male counterparts. And if WTA players do feel strongly that umpires treat them more harshly then men, then this needs to be investigated.

The WTA Tour has been fighting discrimination since its inception. Vast progress has been made, and yet there are too many areas where women seem to come off worst. It is only 11 years since the All England Club offered equal prize money, and there are often locker room complaints about the scheduling at Wimbledon.

And here at the US Open, winner Coco Vandeweghe was unhappy the women’s doubles presentation was cut short to allow the men’s singles final to start on time. There was also widespread unhappiness at the warning Alize Cornet received for changing her top on court after realising she had put it on back to front.

Then there is the issue of mid-match coaching, which takes us back to where this story began. On-court coaching is allowed at certain times on the WTA Tour, but secret signals from the players’ box are never permissible. Coaches do it all the time, but it is impossible for umpires to police consistently.

Bring tennis into the 21st century by allowing coaching on every point, says Billie Jean King (and many others).

Tennis is a sport for individuals, who must problem solve themselves, retort traditionalists.

Once again, tennis is torn.

BBC Sport

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