Sports News Roundup: Djokovic thanks fans amid Australian visa row; Rallying-Al Attiyah extends its lead in Dakar in a context of reinforced security and more

Here is a summary of current sports news.

Tennis-Djokovic thanks fans amid Australian visa dispute

World number one Novak Djokovic on Friday thanked people around the world for their support amid a COVID-19 vaccine visa dispute that saw him being held in a Melbourne hotel ahead of the Open. Australia this month. “Thank you to people all over the world for your continued support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated,” the Serbian wrote on Instagram.

Tennis-Bautista Agut outlives Hurkacz to guide Spain to ATP Cup final

Former world number nine Roberto Bautista Agut edged Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (6) 2-6 7-6 (5) on Friday in a thrilling game to send Spain back to their second ATP Cup final in three years. Spain, who went to Serbia in the league game in the inaugural edition of the team event in 2020, will meet either defending champions Russia or Canada in Sunday’s final.

Rallying-Al Attiyah extends its lead in Dakar in a context of heightened security

Nasser Al Attiyah extended his Dakar Rally lead to 48 minutes on Friday, with Saudi Yazeed Al Rajhi replacing Sébastien Loeb as Qatari’s closest rival in the automotive category. The seventh stage around the Saudi capital Riyadh, with the event under tight security after an explosion in Jeddah last week, was won by Loeb’s teammate in the Bahrain Raid Xtreme, Argentina’s Orlando Terranova.

NBA summary: Knicks go from 25 to top Celtics to buzzer

RJ Barrett conceded a 3-point buzzer Thursday night to cap a historic comeback for host New York Knicks, who overcame a 25-point deficit to knock out the Boston Celtics 108-105. Evan Fournier fueled the comeback – the biggest for the Knicks since overcoming a 26-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks on March 14, 2004. He scored a career-high 41 points, including the 21-footer. which tied the game for the first time at 96-96 with 4:04 to go and the 3 point that gave New York its first lead, 99-98 with 2:07 to go.

Basketball veteran Brondello named WNBA Liberty head coach

New York Liberty announced the hiring of longtime Phoenix Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello on Friday as the team seeks their first Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) championship. A former WNBA All-Star, Brondello led the Mercury to their third league title in 2014 and the final last year, where they lost to the Chicago Sky, before mutually agreeing to part ways with the. team.

NHL rally: Stars lose late lead, beat Panthers in shootout

Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson scored in the shootout as the Dallas Stars host beat the Florida Panthers 6-5 on Thursday night. Braden Holtby made 37 overtime saves and stopped a shootout for the win. Dallas’ regulation goals were scored by Michael Raffl, Denis Gurianov, Robertson, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn as the Stars erased three leads from the Panthers. Gurianov added two assists.

Defiant Djokovic joined by Czech player at Australian immigration hotel

World tennis number one Novak Djokovic was joined on Friday by Czech player Renata Voracova in custody for Australian immigrants over COVID-19 vaccines that could defeat the Serbian’s shot in a record 21st Grand Slam.

Both players were kept at the modest Park Hotel https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/australian-hotel-where-novak-djokovic-is-being-kept-2022-01-06 in downtown Melbourne, where dozens of asylum seekers https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/visa-limbo-djokovic-housed-with-asylum-seekers-australian-hotel-2022-01-07 are also staying behind gray walls and locked windows.

Tennis-Osaka, Halep reaches semi-finals in Melbourne

Former world number one Naomi Osaka reached the semi-finals of the WTA Melbourne Summer Set 1 event on Friday, beating Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, while two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep defeated sixth seed Viktorija Golubic. Quadruple Grand Slam champion Osaka beat Petkovic 6-1 7-5 as the Japanese player struggled after a breakdown in the second set, sealing the victory in an hour and 14 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

Soccer-Arsenal marks support for anti-knife crime with all-white kit

Arsenal will trade their usual colors for an all-white kit for Sunday’s FA Cup home game against Nottingham Forest in support of the club’s initiative against knife crime. The single stripe will highlight the No More Red initiative between Arsenal and kit supplier Adidas.

Bucs respond to Antonio Brown’s claims, release wide

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Antonio Brown on Thursday afternoon, hours after sharing receipts and even his bank account information which included text strings with head coach Bruce Arians and personal fitness guru Tom Brady’s physique and nutrition. The move comes four days after the Arians declared Brown “no longer a Buc” following the latter’s decision to make an abrupt exit in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

(With contributions from agencies.)

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