QUOTE OF THE DAY
“A champion is not defined by their wins, but by how they recover when they fail.”
Osaka Overpowers Serena
(3) Naomi Osaka Knocks Out (10) Serena Williams (6-3, 6-4) to Reach Australian Open Final
The historic 24th Grand Slam will have to wait. Naomi Osaka made quick work of Serena Williams with a straight-set shift (6-3, 6-4) in the Australian Open semifinal Wednesday night. The pair of superstars met for the fifth time ever after splitting the previous head-to-head matches 2-and-2. Serena took a two-game lead in the opening set, but it was all Osaka after a 10-minute warm-up. She looked dominant aside from a short stint in the second set, and she’s only dropped one set during the entire tournament.
Osaka’s Grand Slam Rhythm
At just 23 years old, Osaka is eyeing her fourth Grand Slam title. Oddly enough, there’s a cadence to her slam history.
2018: U.S. Open Winner
2019: Australian Open Winner
2020: U.S. Open Winner
Osaka’s Opponent: (22) Jennifer Brady took down (25) Karolina Muchova (6-4, 3-6, 6-4) early this morning. Brady has never won, let alone reached, a Grand Slam final.
Match Highlights (Women’s Semifinals)
(3) N. Osaka def. (10) S. Williams (6-3, 6-4)
(22) J. Brady def. (25) K. Muchova (6-4, 3-6, 6-4)
Today’s Schedule (Men’s Semifinals)
(1) N. Djokovic vs. A. Karatsev (In Action This Morning)
(4) D. Medvedev vs. (5) S. Tsitsipas (Fri. 3:30 am ET)
ESPN: Serena Williams: “Wouldn’t Tell Anyone” If This Was Last Australian Open
ATP Tour: (5) Stefanos Tsitsipas Completes Epic Comeback, Stuns (2) Rafael Nadal in Men’s Quarterfinal
Tatis Jr. Gets The Bag
Padres Sign Fernando Tatis Jr. to 14-Year, $340 Million Extension
On Day 1 of Spring Training, the San Diego Padres wasted no time securing their franchise star for… well, basically forever. Fernando Tatis Jr. is the new face of the MLB’s youth movement, and he’ll be a Padre through 2035. The 22-year-old shortstop quickly became one of baseball’s premier players in his first two seasons. He signs a 14-year, $340 million contract that gives him the longest deal in baseball history, and the third-largest deal behind Mike Trout ($426 million) and Mookie Betts ($365 million). Both Trout and Betts signed their contracts for 12 years at 27 years old, making the Tatis deal one of the highest dollar-per-age contracts in the modern sports era. A big win for San Diego’s future.
Tatis By The Numbers
Tatis has batted .301 with 39 HRs, 97 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in just two partial MLB seasons. He’s the first player in MLB history to put up 35+ HRs and 25+ stolen bases in his first 150 games.
Padres Putting Pen to Paper
After making the playoffs in 2020 for the first time in 14 years, the Padres acquired Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Jurickson Profar this offseason before securing Tatis for the long haul. Look out, Dodgers. The time is now for the Padres.
CBS Sports: Where Tatis Jr.’s Contract Ranks in MLB History
ESPN: 14 Years & $340 Million?! What to Make of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s Mega-Extension With the Padres
Haaland Makes Champions League History
Erling Haaland Cashes in Double for Dortmund; FC Porto Shock Juventus in Leg 1
Day 2 of Leg 1 in the Champions League was a different story than Day 1. Two games decided by just one goal provided extra drama. One star youngster and a stunning upset in neighboring countries made Wednesday a treat for soccer fans.
Dortmund def. Sevilla (3-2)
Erling Haaland’s brilliance continued with two goals for Borussia Dortmund in an away victory over Sevilla (3-2). Haaland has scored eight goals in his ten matches since the start of 2021. He set a new Champions League record with 18 goals in his first 13 matches.
Porto def. Juventus (2-1)
Next door in Portugal, FC Porto scored a miraculous 2-1 defeat over Juventus as Cristiano Ronaldo was held scoreless in his home country. It was only Juve’s second loss of the tournament, but they’re still in good shape with Leg 2 to play.
Next Matches: Tuesday & Wednesday (Feb. 23-24)
ESPN: Haaland Said Mbappe’s Hat Trick Motivated His Play
CBS Sports: Champions League Takeaways From Wednesday
Goal.com: Haaland Sets Champions League Record for Quickest Scoring Start
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THE (EXTENDED) HIGHLIGHTS
NBA: Jazz Crush Clips for 9th Straight
The Jazz kept their hot streak alive with a win over the short-handed Clippers (114-96) thanks to Rudy Gobert’s 23 points and 20 rebounds. Utah is 19-1 in their last 20 games.
Bradley Beal had a mere 25 points last night, but the biggest two came at the free-throw line with 0.1 seconds left. The Wizards beat the Nuggets (130-128).
NBA: Dame & Zion Put On A Show
Damian Lillard (43 points, 16 assists) hit a go-ahead shot in the final seconds to push the Blazers past Zion Williamson (36 points) and the Pelicans (126-124).
The Hawks’ young sharpshooter delivered a 40-piece in a win over the Celtics (122-116). It was his third 40-point game in the last 30 days.
NHL: McDavid Scores 500th Point
The Oilers beat the Jets (3-2) in Wednesday night’s marquee game as Connor McDavid (two assists) reached his 500th career point. He matched Sidney Crosby (369 games) for eighth-fastest to do it.
NHL: Huberdeau Rallies Panthers
The Panthers fell behind 2-0 to the Hurricanes in the NHL’s first game of the night, but Jonathan Huberdeau scored two goals, including the OT winner (4-3, OT).
NHL: Lankinen Locks Up the Net
The Blackhawks’ new goaltender Kevin Lankinen is 6-2-3 in his first 11 starts. Last night’s 2-0 shutout against the Red Wings featured 29 saves.
The next stop on the PGA Tour is the Riviera Country Club for today’s Genesis Invitational, and most of the sport’s big names are in the field. From McIlroy to DJ, here are the power rankings for another weekend of golf. (PGA)
The NHL Deals With COVID-19 Crisis
The signs that COVID-19 would wreak havoc on the 2021 NHL season were there before the first puck even dropped. Since the season began, 35 games have been postponed and 124 players have hit the COVID-19 list. Is on-ice transmission to blame? (USA Today)
With the G League kicking off, new storylines and scouting opportunities have come up within the 2021 NBA draft discussion. Here’s an updated look at the Top-50 players getting the scouts’ attention this spring. (Bleacher Report)
Carolina Panthers Prepared to Go All-In on Trade for Texans QB Deshaun Watson
Japan Rolls Out COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign With Eye on Olympics Schedule
Tim Tebow Retires From Baseball After 5-Year Career in Mets System
Petition for Tom Brady to Return PPP Loan Surpasses 160,000 Signatures
NBA Stars Reluctant to Participate in PSAs About COVID-19 Vaccine