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Italian teenager Musetti stuns Wawrinka in Rome

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Italian teenager Musetti stuns Wawrinka in Rome

ROME (AP) — Local teenager Lorenzo Musetti stunned Stan Wawrinka 6-0, 7-6 (2) in the first round of the Italian Open on Tuesday for a memorable first win on tour.

Out-hitting Wawrinka’s famed backhand with a one-handed version of his own, the 18-year-old qualifier moved the three-time Grand Slam champion from corner to corner and displayed an all-court game that belied his years.

Musetti became the first player born in 2002 to win on the ATP tour — after fellow Italian Jannik Sinner achieved the feat last year for players born in 2001.

Wawrinka, who chose not to travel to the U.S. Open, appeared rusty and committed a series of errors early on.

”In the first set and the beginning of the second there was no match,” said Musetti, who won the first eight games.

As the match wore on, though, and Wawrinka began to put up more of a fight, Musetti continued hitting winners and delicate drop volleys. He even had more aces than the hard-serving Wawrinka — five to three.

”I kept thinking, ‘I’m up a set and a break against Wawrinka and he’s starting to click now,”’ said the 249th-ranked Musetti, who needed a wild card to get into the qualifying tournament. ”Everything was in place for me to fail. But I’ve been working on the mental aspect of the game the most, and I’ve improved a lot over the last month.

”To get win my first match here in Rome — unfortunately without fans — I don’t have words to describe it,” he added.

Musetti, who came through qualifying, was the runner-up in the 2018 U.S. Open junior final then won the Australian Open junior title in 2019.

He’s one of a record eight Italians to have reached the second round in Rome.

Roman-born Matteo Berrettini, a U.S. Open semifinalist last year, is seeded No. 4 this week. And Marco Cecchinato, the 2018 French Open semifinalist, defeated Kyle Edmund 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, to end a seven-match losing streak.

Wild-card entry Salvatore Caruso, another Italian, defeated American qualifier Tennys Sandgren 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) and will now face Novak Djokovic in the top-ranked Serb’s first match since being defaulted from the U.S. Open.

Caruso saved a match point late in the third set before closing it out after nearly three hours on a steamy 32 degree Celsius (90 degree F) day.

The top-ranked Djokovic, who had a first-round bye, said Monday that he learned ”a big lesson” after he was thrown out of the tournament in New York for unintentionally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball.

Djokovic beat Caruso in straight sets in their only career meeting in the third round of last year’s French Open.

Musetti next faces Kei Nishikori, who is returning from right elbow surgery and missed the U.S. Open after testing positive for COVID-19.

”I’m not afraid of anyone,” Musetti said. ”I’m just having fun.”

In other matches on Rome’s red clay, U.S. Open quarterfinalists Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov both won in straight sets.

Rublev eliminated Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 6-4; then Shapovalov was even more efficient in a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Guido Pella.

Alex de Minaur – another U.S. Open quarterfinalist – was tentative and wasted numerous chances in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6) loss to German qualifier Diminik Koepfer.

Also, Argentine qualifier Federico Coria, the younger brother of 2005 Rome runner-up Guillermo Coria, beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1, 7-6 (5). Coria will next face local favorite Matteo Berrettini, the No. 4 seed.

In the women’s tournament, Katerina Siniakova rolled past three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1; and last year’s French Open finalist, Marketa Vondrousova, held off a comeback from Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Also, Coco Gauff won her first Tour-level match on clay, sliding into her shots like a veteran in beating 34th-ranked Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3.

But the 16-year-old American also hit three consecutive double-faults to hand back an early break in the second set before regaining her composure to seal the victory in 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Gauff said she had good results on clay as a junior and noted that she spends a lot of time on the surface at the French academy run by Patrick Mouratoglu, Serena Williams’ coach.

”I’ve been going there since I was 10,” Gauff said. ”So I’m quite used to the red clay.”

Gauff’s next opponent will be former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who beat Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-3 in a match that was interrupted for more than an hour between sets due to rain.

More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndrewDampf

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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NBA and Doc Rivers Reportedly Offer to Help Delonte West After Photo Surfaces Online

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NBA and Doc Rivers Reportedly Offer to Help Delonte West After Photo Surfaces Online

The NBA, Doc Rivers, Jameer Nelson, and the NBA Players Association have offered to help out former player Delonte West after a disturbing photo of him surfaced online.

A photo of Delonte West looking particularly rough surfaced earlier this week and went viral, with many showing concern for the 37-year-old. Reportedly taken in Dallas, he could be seen in dirty clothes and allegedly had asked for money on the street. TMZ reports that the league, his former coach Doc Rivers, and his former college teammate Jameer Nelson have already attempted to get in touch with him.

 

Earlier this year, a video showed him in handcuffs after he was beaten by an unnamed individual on the street. In the clip, an officer could be heard asking him why he had attacked someone else, to which he replied, “Walkin’ down the street and he approached me with a gun.” Later on in the clip, he could be heard saying, “I’m the real fucking president.”

In January, it was reported that the NBPA had been in contact with West and trying to offer him support. They also said that they would be monitoring him throughout the year, and would assist him if he needed the help. Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge also confirmed that he tried to help West in the past.

“Delonte has obviously some troubles and some trials that he’s trying to deal with in his life, and I just hope that he can fix his life and get back on a good path,” Ainge said in January.

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Buddy Hield fuels 76ers trade rumor

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Buddy Hield fuels 76ers trade rumor

A rumor emerged about the Kings trading Buddy Hield to the 76ers. It didn’t seem particularly credible.

But then Hield himself liked this Instagram post promoting a potential trade and apparently made a pro-Philadelphia comment on Instagram:

Hield previously laid the groundwork for an offseason trade request. He seemed unhappy at times in Sacramento this season, losing his starting job and even riding the bench when the Kings needed a 3-pointer.

The 76ers could use more shooting – especially if they hire Mike D’Antoni. Hield would definitely add value. A lineup where Hield and Josh Richardson defend guards and Ben Simmons plays point guard offensively and defends a frontcourt player is intriguing.

Hield is set to earn $24,931,817 next season in the first year of a four-year extension. That’s in the range of Tobias Harris ($34,358,850) and Al Horford ($27,500,000).

However, Horford’s trade value is at rock bottom. Tobias Harris would add only so much value to Sacramento, which already has Harrison Barnes.

Kings fans can hope for Ben Simmons ($28,750,000) or Joel Embiid ($29,542,010). But those stars are FAR more valuable than Hield. Besides, the 76ers said they wouldn’t trade Simmons or Embiid (though it’s unclear who exactly is running the show in Philadelphia).

Regardless of whether the Kings and 76ers could connect on a trade, Hield making these public gestures is an issue in Sacramento. It’s on new Kings general manager Monte McNair to manage this. After years of supporting Daryl Morey with the Rockets, this is a new challenge – being in charge while a player makes waves – for McNair.

Relatedly, McNair must also handle Bogdan Bogdanovic‘s impending restricted free agency. These look like warning shots from Hield as Sacramento determines its priorities at shooting guard.

Buddy Hield fuels 76ers trade rumor originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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Jeff Wilson Jr., Joshua Kelley lead

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Jeff Wilson Jr., Joshua Kelley lead

We’re now one-eighth of the way through the 2020 fantasy season. With 14 games left to play for each team comes 14 more weeks of overseeing one’s own virtual team. The most dedicated and passionate managers find zeal in exploring the concepts and happenings occurring under the radar. While there are times your roster may allow for snoozing on sleepers, it’s always beneficial to keep tabs on emerging trends and players. This weekly column is for those who understand the satisfaction of digging deep.

All of the listed players are rostered in under 60 percent of Yahoo leagues (at time of writing) and/or are a significant value in our daily game. They’re not the obvious picks, and they’re not without their risks… but that’s what makes them so intriguing. Last week Tre’Quan Smith produced WR3 FF numbers (5 of 7 for 86) and Jordan Akins continued to work as a safety valve for DeShaun Watson (converting all 7 of his targets), but AP didn’t get the volume and both Jimmy G and Parris Campbell left with injuries.

Let’s see what we uncover in Week 3! 

As someone who’s been in a long-standing, on-again, off-again relationship with the Chicago Bears, I’ve developed some quarterback-related trust issues. Mitch has done little to alleviate my anxieties, but the matchup this Sunday is too juicy to ignore. Facing a Falcons defense that’s allowing the highest completion percentage (77.4%) and second-highest YPA (9.2) to opposing signal callers, Mitch is in a spot to produce. 

[Week 3 Fantasy Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Kickers]

For what it’s worth, he’s also not been terrible over the past two weeks, posting two multi-touchdown efforts and committing just two turnovers since the start of the season. He’s additionally padding his stats with rushing yards, as he’s attempted three red zone carries (QB7) and recorded 42 rushing yards (QB11) over his last pair of games. While he’s not Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott, he does have a capable and healthy complement of receiving talent at his disposal as well as the swag necessary to believe he can hang with Matty Ice. Pre-order those lemon pepper wings — I see you, A-Town — because Sunday figures to be a perfect mix of tart and spicy. 

Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (51% rostered – $18) 

A top-25 fantasy producer for two consecutive weeks, the rookie running back has averaged 18.5 touches per contest and even out-toted Austin Ekeler by a margin of 23:16 in Week 2. Well-built and utilizing a compact frame (5’11, 212 lbs), Kelley is a downhill runner with plus balance and power who can push past tacklers. 

Since the start of the season, he’s understandably been used in short-yardage situations. While his YPC last week left a lot to be desired (2.8), it’s worth noting that he’s been tackled for a loss on a total of just two occasions. He’s also in possession of impressive long speed (not much initial burst though), which he demonstrated via a 35-yard gain after the catch on Justin Herbert’s first completion vs. Kansas City. The 1B to Ekeler’s 1A, Kelley’s many gifts figure to be on full display in Week 3 when he takes on a Panthers defense that is allowing opposing runners a YPC of 4.8 and has given up the most rushing scores (6) so far this season. Kelley is the Yahoo consensus RB24 heading into Sunday’s action. 

Jeff Wilson, RB, San Francisco 49ers (3% rostered – $10) 

From start to finish, the 49ers franchise battled with Murphy’s Law last Sunday — they didn’t win. Down several key players on both sides of the ball, San Fran is expected to start Nick Mullens at QB, while Jerick McKinnon leads the backfield in the stead of Raheem Mostert (MCL) and Tevin Coleman (knee). While McKinnon is (or at least was before his own injury woes) an explosive and versatile athlete (100 percentile SPARQ) it’s unlikely that Kyle Shanahan will give him the workhorse treatment. After all, McKinnon has recorded a total of 3 totes since joining the 49ers in 2018. In fact, the last time he carried the ball more than 15 times was Week 6 of the 2017 season when he was still in Minnesota. 

All of this is to say that Jeff Wilson could be a short-yardage hero in Week 3. Undrafted out of North Texas (where he scored 30 TDs over his final two campaigns), Wilson is a power back who isn’t afraid of contact and, in his own words, doesn’t “waste time” and likes to “get downhill.” On the active roster since 2018, Wilson is no stranger to stepping in and stepping up. During Weeks 2 and 3 of last year, while Tevin Coleman was dealing with a high ankle sprain, Wilson logged 18 carries for just 52 yards but FOUR touchdowns. That ability at the goal line (4 scores on 27 carries in 2019) is what gives the 24-year-old such sneaky touchdown appeal, especially in a game that figures to be run-heavy. In Week 3 he’ll take on a Giants defense that has yet to give up a rushing score but is allowing a YPC of 4.6.

Jeff Wilson might not lead the backfield, but he could put up some points regardless. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (46% rostered — $17) 

We have yet to gain full clarity regarding Green Bay’s receiving options behind Davante Adams and Aaron Jones. There’s a good chance that neither Allen Lazard nor Marquez Valdes-Scantling will ever pull ahead, instead remaining matchup-based options for both Aaron Rodgers and fantasy managers. What we do know presently, however, is that Lazard has logged more snaps (85.4% share to MVS’ 58.3%) and run more routes (61 to 50) while Valdes-Scantling has drawn more targets (13 for MVS and 9 for Lazard). 

Of Lazard’s 129 offensive snaps, 96 of them have come via the slot. MVS, on the other hand, has only recorded 66 snaps in the slot. That means if Davante Adams (hamstring) can’t go on Sunday night, Valdes-Scantling will likely move outside. This could result in more opportunities for MVS but also suggests he’ll draw top-end coverage from Marshon Lattimore. Meanwhile, Lazard figures to see the best matchup, as he’s likely to be P.J. Williams’ primary assignment. Last year Williams allowed a passer rating of 118.3 (CB62) and was manhandled by Darren Waller in Week 2 after sitting out the opener with a hamstring injury. With Vegas projecting a point total of over 52, good fantasy fortune figures to be bestowed upon at least one of these wideouts. I’ll give the edge to the guy who’s in a favorable matchup, and on the field more.

Drew Sample, TE, Cincinnati Bengals (1% rostered – $10) 

Sample’s sample size as a receiver is decidedly small. But his opportunity heading into Week 3 is huge. Selected primarily for his blocking experience (he posted a 46-487-5 stat line over his four-year college career at Washington) in the second round of last year’s draft, Sample flashed unexpected athleticism in relief of C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) last Thursday night. 

Second in team targets behind only A.J. Green, the former Huskie converted 7 of 9 balls for 45 yards. With Uzomah done for the year, Sample figures to work as an underneath target for his young QB. This Sunday he’ll face an Eagles defense that has struggled to contain the middle of the field, giving up a score to Logan Thomas in Week 1 and three tubs to Tyler Higbee in Week 3. The stream is real, friends.

Dig deep with Liz on social @LizLoza_FF

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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