Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
‘Incredible, fantastic’ says Rafa after demolishing Goffin
Rafael Nadal has set absurdly high standards at Roland Garros since winning the title on his debut in 2005 and claiming 10 more but even he was excited by his level in beating David Goffin in the third round on Friday. With the temperature soaring and the Spaniard’s forehand at its devastating best, Goffin never really stood a chance, although it is to the Belgian’s immense credit that he became the first person to take a set off Nadal in Paris this year.
Wilder announces rematch with Fury on Twitter
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder said on Friday that contracts had been signed for a rematch with Tyson Fury after he has fought Luis Ortiz. Fury is the only boxer that Wilder has faced and not defeated after the pair battled to a draw in December in Los Angeles. Blues look to ride momentum at home vs. Bruins
In their surprising run to their first Stanley Cup Final in 49 years, the St. Louis Blues often have leaned on the fourth line of Oskar Sundqvist, Alexander Steen and Ivan Barbashev. But as they return home for Game 3 with the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, the Blues will have to play without Sundqvist. Tied for the team lead in plus-minus during the playoffs, Sundqvist has been suspended for a game after the NHL sanctioned his hit on Matt Grzelcyk.
South African federation joins Semenya appeal over CAS verdict
Athletics South Africa (ASA) said on Friday it had joined Caster Semenya’s appeal against the ruling that currently prevents the double Olympic champion from running her preferred distance races unless she takes testosterone-suppressant medication. Semenya announced on Wednesday that she would appeal the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that supported the IAAF’s rule that means XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can race in distances from 400m to a mile only if they take the medication and reach a reduced level.
Federer and Nadal blaze into the fourth round
After a cool first week, the thermostat was turned up at Roland Garros on Friday as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both blazed a trail into the French Open fourth round for the 14th time. They had shared that record with Budge Patty but moved above the American with two more dominant displays, although 11-times champion Nadal did drop his first set of the tournament.
NBA notebook: Kerr says Durant could return for Game 3
Golden State forward Andre Iguodala is expected to play Sunday, despite being hobbled at the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but teammate Kevin Durant won’t. Coach Steve Kerr updated the state of the Warriors’ health Friday, saying Iguodala should play in Game 2 while Durant may return for Game 3 on Wednesday when the series shifts to Oakland, Calif. The Toronto Raptors won Game 1 on Thursday night 118-109 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
NFL notebook: DT McCoy reportedly to pick from 3 teams
After finishing his latest free-agent visit with Carolina on Friday, six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will reportedly decide on his 2019 team among three final suitors: the Panthers, the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star will mull over his final three options this weekend.
Raptors braced for a big response from Warriors in NBA Finals
The Toronto Raptors scored an impressive win over the two-times defending champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals opener and are now preparing for what could be a mighty response. Golden State’s bid for a fourth title in five years did not get off to the start they had hoped and while Toronto may feel good about their chances in the best-of-seven series they know they have plenty to improve on to clinch a maiden championship.
Basketball comes home, Raptors fans hoping trophy follows
When Canadian James Naismith invented basketball back in 1891 it is doubtful that in his wildest dreams he could have imagined his hockey-mad homeland going bonkers over a sport designed to be an “athletic distraction”. Not since Naismith nailed peach baskets to the wall of a gym had basketball ever been a distraction for Canadians until Thursday when it became a national obsession, the country putting aside regional loyalties and jumping on the Toronto Raptors bandwagon.
Tsurenko seeks confidence-boosting French Open win over Halep
Lesia Tsurenko overcame a sudden onset of self-doubt after her 30th birthday with a gritty display to beat Aleksandra Krunic in the French Open second round and the Ukrainian will seek another shot in the arm when she meets Simona Halep on Saturday. Tsurenko sealed the second-round win by taking the deciding third set 11-9 after bad light stopped play on Thursday — her birthday — and said the result had helped her deal with the mental conflict.