Novak Djokovic claims ninth Australian Open crown with straight-sets win over Daniil Medvedev in men’s final


Novak Djokovic’s dominance at the Australian Open has continued, with the world number one winning his ninth men’s title — and third straight — by defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Pre-match predictions of a five-set thriller come to nothing, as Djokovic dismantled the fourth-seeded Medvedev in under two hours, triumphing 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic has a perfect record in Australian Open finals and now has won three consecutive championships for the second time in his career.

The victory also gave him an 18th major singles title, just two shy of the men’s record held by his contemporaries Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic, who had been troubled by injury earlier in the tournament, said it was a satisfying feeling to win another Australian Open.

“It has been a roller-coaster ride for me, especially in the last couple of weeks,” Djokovic said during the presentation ceremony.

Djokovic has never lost an Australian Open final.(AP: Andy Brownbill)

Djokovic thanked Australian Open organisers for staging the tournament amid the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australia,” he said.

“But I think when we draw a line in the end, it was a successful tournament for organisers. I want to congratulate the head of Tennis Australia (chief executive) Craig Tiley for making an effort.

“They did make a great effort. It wasn’t easy. It was very challenging on many different levels.”

The presentation ceremony had earlier been interrupted by booing and whistling when Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka addressed the crowd.

Ms Hrdlicka was booed when she spoke about COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as when she thanked the Victorian government for their assistance in holding the tournament.

Medvedev, who was bidding to become the third Russian to win the Australian Open men’s championship, had won three of his past four encounters against Djokovic.

But he was his own worst enemy at times on Sunday night, racking up 30 unforced errors during his defeat.

Tennis player hits a forehand.
Daniil Medvedev struggled to make an impression after losing the first set.(AP: Hamish Blair)

Medvedev paid tribute to Djokovic, who he described as a “great sport”.

“Nine grand slams in Australia, 18 titles, is amazing and probably not your last one,” said Medvedev, who was playing in his second final of a major.

“I have no words to say.”

Djokovic said it was “a matter of time” before Medvedev won a major.

“He’s definitely one of the toughest players that I ever faced in my life,” he said.

Medvedev’s appearance in the Australian Open final will lift him to a career-high ranking of three.

Djokovic takes control early

Djokovic was in cruise control in the early stages of the first set after he established a 3-0 lead.

Despite losing his opening service game, Medvedev was unflustered. He held serve and then broke back in the fifth game when Djokovic mistimed an overhead smash at 15-40 down.

As the set progressed it seemed a tiebreak would be needed to decide its outcome, however Djokovic made sure he had a say in the matter.

Leading 6-5 with Medvedev serving, Djokovic brought up three set points with a brilliant backhand passing shot. Medvedev saved the first two, but Djokovic converted on the third via an unforced error from his opponent.

Medvedev, who had won 20 straight tour-level matches before the final, started the second set on the right note when he clinched a service break in the opening game.

But Djokovic got the break back immediately, robbing Medvedev of the opportunity to build momentum early in the set.

Medvedev’s serve let him down again in the fourth game. Unforced errors on both his backhand and forehand wings cruelled his chances of holding serve, allowing Djokovic to leap out to a 3-1 lead.

Tennis player hits a forehand.
Djokovic only lost four games across the second and third sets.(AP: Andy Brownbill)

A set and a break up, Djokovic could smell blood, while Medvedev was becoming increasingly frustrated. He let his emotions boil over in the seventh game when he smashed his racquet on the court after falling behind 2-5.

His mood only darkened when he dropped serve in the next game, as Djokovic took a two-sets-to-love lead.

When Djokovic broke Medvedev in the second game of the third set, his victory was a mere formality.

He kept his nose in front throughout the set, forcing Medvedev to play catch-up in his attempt to stay in the final.

Djokovic held serve to lead 5-2 and he wrapped up victory in the following game when he broke Medvedev for the seventh time.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our blog.

Live updates

By Andrew Mcgarry

A wild tournament ends with a familiar champion 

Djokovic kisses the trophy after winning his ninth Australian Open title (AP)

At the end of a fortnight that saw some crowds, then no crowds, then the return of the fans –  it was good to see and hear a proper audience at Rod Laver Arena for the tournament’s conclusion.

The result is very familiar – nine titles for Novak Djokovic, and 18 grand slam crowns in total, just two behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

From the get-go, Djokovic was fierce and full-on at every point. He took on the man in form, Daniil Medvedev, and he proved far too strong. He out-hit him, out-thought him and outlasted him. The Russian has been very impressive in recent months, but he had no answer tonight.

This is the launching point for a huge 2021 for Djokovic. With Federer close to the end, and Nadal mainly up for the French, the world number one will be eyeing more grand slam titles before the year is out. He wants to be the greatest, and he will give it a red-hot go.

This won’t be Medvedev’s last chance to win a major, but he will need to find a way to play better in the crucial moments.

So that’s where we will leave our live coverage for the Australian Open.

Thank you for joining us on the blog for tonight’s final. There will be more stories on our website tonight and tomorrow in the washup of the Australian Open. In the meantime, this is Andrew McGarry, signing off. 

By Andrew Mcgarry

The men’s singles grand slam table right now:

  • 20: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal
  • 18: Novak Djokovic
  • 14: Pete Sampras
  • 12: Roy Emerson
  • 11: Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg

By Andrew Mcgarry

That winning feeling is all too much for Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open (AP)

By Andrew Mcgarry

So Djokovic takes home the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the ninth time at the House of Novak, AKA Rod Laver Arena.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Djokovic thanks his team, for dedicating so much time to him including Ule his physio.

He then turns to the circumstances of the Open:

Look, there are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australia. But I think when we draw a line in the end it was a successful tournament for organisers.

I want to congratulate the head of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley for making an effort. They did make a great effort. They did make a great effort. Look, it wasn’t easy. It was very challenging on many different levels.

But, you know, I think they should be proud of themselves of what they have put together and allow this to come to Australia and be standing here as Daniil said and the closing ceremony. Thank you guys very much for making it possible.

Last but not least I would like to thank this court. I would like to thank this court. I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. It’s been love affair keeps growing. Thank you so much.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Now the champion:

I would like to return nice words to Daniil. First of all, class act. You’re a great guy. Great person.

You’re not calling me anymore in the last few years. But it’s nice to see that you were thinking good things about me. Thank you so much. I really like Daniil as a person off the court he’s great. Always very friendly. Very out going. On the court, he’s definitely one of the toughest players that I ever faced in my life.

It’s a matter of time when you hold a Grand Slam that’s for sure. If you don’t mind waiting a few – waiting a few more years. I would like everyone just to I think once more appreciate what he has done 20 match winning streak in the last couple of months. Amazing.

By Andrew Mcgarry

More Medvedev

Big thanks to my wife and my coach. Not the best day today. Probably good three last months after some tough circumstances. Thank you guys for being with me in Australia for a long time.

Hopefully we’re going to hold a Grand Slam soon.

last but not least I would like too thank you guys first of all for inviting us, even if it was not easy for some of you as we know. We’re still here. I see your happy to see tennis. I really wanted to make this match longer and more entertaining for you, but today was not the day. But thanks a lot for coming and supporting me. Your energy is very good. Thanks.

By Andrew Mcgarry

It’s Medvedev:

Never easy to speak when you just lost a final or a Grand Slam. But I’ll try to do my best. First of all congrats to Novak and your team. Nine Grand Slams in Australia. 18 title is amazing and probably not your last one. I have no words to say.

Just to tell a small story guys. First our practice with Novak when I was like 500 in the world 600 in the world in Monaco. He was already No.1. Just won Wimbledon.

I thought OK he’s not going to speak to me or something, because the guy was a God for me. I came there. Because I was shy. So I didn’t speak. He was asking the questions, talking to me like a friend. I was really surprised. It never changed since I was 600 in the world or four in the world you’re a great sport, great person. So congratulations.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Triumph for Djokovic (AP)

Audience comment by Charmaine Andrews

Well done to both players for making the finals.well done Novak for another title

By Andrew Mcgarry

There was a cascade of boos from the crowd when Hrdlicka thanked the Victorian Government.

Applause however when she thanked the thousands of volunteers who helped make the tournament possible… and to the fans.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka …

What an exceptional finish to two amazing weeks of tennis in Melbourne Park. And tonight, of course, was an opportunity to see a spectacular match and clearly the crowning of the King of Melbourne Park Novak Djokovic.

Novak you demonstrated … tonight what a tenacious competitor you are. You had no intention of leaving the Stadium tonight without the trophy in hand. This is your ninth Australian Open final. 50% of your 18 Grand Slam championships.

Daniil, tonight was not your night. You’re a fierce competitor. You’re the third Russian to make the finals of the Australian Open in our history. You should be very proud of your achievements.

Novak was unbeatable tonight. We’re all sure we’ll see you back here trying to take the crown off of him at some point in the future. Congratulations. 

Both players and frankly all of the players over the course of the last three weeks have been playing under exceptional circumstances. In fact, the last 12 months have been exceptional circumstances for everybody around the world. It’s been a time of heart felt challenge. It’s been a time of deep loss and extraordinary sacrifice for everyone. 

So we hope for those of you at home tonight watching, for those of you in the stands today, and for the many people who have been able to join us over the last couple of weeks that we bought a bit of hope for the hard work that’s ahead in getting back to normal.

By Andrew Mcgarry

Mark another down for the Big Three against the Next Generation…

Who will be the first one to beat one of Federer, Nadal or Thiem in a final?

By Andrew Mcgarry

Medvedev was broken seven times tonight – you can’t beat Djokovic when you can’t hold your own serve.

Medvedev hit 24 winners to Novak’s 20, but 30 unforced errors to Djokovic’s 17.

The most important stat for Djokovic tonight? 18 – the number of singles grand slam titles in his possession.

By Andrew Mcgarry

By Andrew Mcgarry

Just incredible stuff from Djokovic. He climbs to the stands to hug his coach and supporters.

What else can you say!

Nine finals, nine wins. 21 straight wins at Melbourne Park.

Medvedev had almost forgotten how to lose – but Novak reminded him tonight!  

By Andrew Mcgarry

Novak Djokovic wins his ninth Australian Open, beating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. 

By Andrew Mcgarry

Medvedev to stay in the tournament

Second serve – Djokovic jumps on it, takes control and hammers for the corners. he gets the winner and it’s 0-15

Second serve. Djokovic gets the ball back, and Medvedev finds the net again. Two points away!

Some more uncanny deep hitting from Djokovic, but he hits the net with one return and it’s 30-15

Second serve and let. The crowd is being asked for silence by the umpire.

Medvedev produces a wide serve and Novak hits the net. 30-30

first serve too long. Djokovic hitting deep, medvedev pulls it wide, Championship point!

By Andrew Mcgarry

By Andrew Mcgarry

Djokovic serves at 7-5, 6-2, 4-2

Brilliant cross-court drop volley winner from Djokovic to start.

You can’t see where the comeback will come from.

The crowd tries to rev up Medvedev, as he hits a cross-court winner. 15-15

Medvedev winner! The crowd roars as he hits an off-forehand into the corner. It’s now or never. 15-30

And like clockwork, the unplayable serve into the corner. 30-30

That. Was. Too. Good. Medvedev was hitting for the corners, Djokovic drills a return on the line and the Russian can only block it in the net. 40-30

Second serve. Big rally, but Medvedev can’t find the opening, and finally he hits the net.

Djokovic is one game away!

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NFL Hemorrhaging Young Viewers, Under 50 Super Bowl Viewership Declines for Ninth Straight Year



The NFL is losing young viewers by the millions, as ratings for Super Bowl 55 show that the league has lost viewers under the age of 49 for the ninth straight year.

According to Sports Media Watch, Super Bowl 55 saw a decline in the 18 to 49 viewer demographic for the ninth year running. The 2021 Super Bowl lost another 37 percent of viewers in that age demo over last year’s audience.

But this year’s number is just another dip compared to past years. The game lost 43 percent in young viewers four years ago and 51 percent in 2008, the site reported.

Sports Media Watch also posted a graphic showing the decline over the years:

The massive decline in young viewers does not portend well for the longevity of the National Football League. Losing millions of young fans may lead to the NFL’s audience dying off, and if new, young fans do not replace the older fans as they pass on, that leaves the league in a bad spot.

TV ratings are not the only bad sign for the longevity of the NFL. According to Forbes, fewer kids are playing football. Last year, Forbes noted that the decline of young people playing football is accelerating.

According to data from the Aspen Institute and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), from 2008-19 to 2018-19 the total number of youths aged 6 to 18 playing tackle football fell by more than 620,000, from about 2.5 million to less than 1.9 million. It seems almost certain that 2020 or 2021 will see overall high school participation in tackle football drop to below 1 million players, a level of participation not seen since 1998. Over that same decade, season attendance at top-level college games (Football Bowl Subdivision) declined by almost 10% (per school).

The NFL faces another problem of its own making. The league has allowed itself to be turned into a platform for social justice activism. With an audience consisting more and more of older fans, the political activism from the league and players is bound to alienate those older viewers.

The numbers seem to show that football may soon become a part of U.S. history, but not the future.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.



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Saints make a ninth list change


St Kilda has delisted versatile utility Jonathon Marsh.

Marsh played 26 career games, six in 2020 for the Saints after being drafted with pick 77 back in 2013 by Collingwood.

“We’re really sad to see Marshy go,” Head of List Management James Gallagher said.

“Despite tough circumstances this year, which saw him regularly in and out of the team, Marshy was the first to congratulate his teammates after a win and also the first to get around them after a loss.

“We thank him and Elena for their commitment to the club and wish them all the best for this next chapter.”

Marsh joins Ed Phillips, Matty Parker, Doulton Langlands, Ryan Abbott, Jack Bell, Jack Mayo, Logan Austin and Nathan Brown in departing the Saints this year.







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Victoria records zero new coronavirus cases and no deaths for ninth day in a row


Victoria’s Chief Health Officer says it is possible Victoria could effectively eradicate coronavirus, but it would be better to assume there are more cases out there and keep testing for them.

For the ninth consecutive day, Victoria has recorded zero coronavirus cases and no further deaths.

The 14-day average of new cases has fallen from 0.9 to 0.4 in Melbourne and remains at zero in regional Victoria.

The ninth “double doughnut” day in row means just six new infections have been recorded in the two weeks to November 7, the Department of Health and Human Services says.

Just four active cases remain in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

A total of 16,865 coronavirus test results have been processed since Saturday.

The number of “mystery” cases of an unknown source in a fortnight remains at two in Melbourne.

One of the cases with an unknown source was recorded on October 29.

The other was recorded on October 24.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was “unlikely” there was still a significant number of cases in the community.

He said a person who was sick with coronavirus would ultimately turn up at a hospital for treatment, unless they were asymptomatic.

“There might be younger healthier, individuals who might have very mild symptomatic illness or virtually no symptoms who don’t require healthcare intervention that allow transmission to continue,” he said.

He said testing remained the most important tool for understanding the spread of the virus in the community.

Professor Sutton said it was “possible” to effectively eradicate the virus but it would be better not to work on that assumption.

“Because that would change the way we behave, that would change the way we go about testing, and the testing’s a real critical element at the moment,” Professor Sutton said.

“So the best assumption to make is that there are more cases out there and we need to continue testing to find them.”

Coronavirus is still showing up in sewage testing in metropolitan Melbourne.

But when the last remaining active cases are closed out, sewage testing can act as an early warning system.

“If anything pings positively then we’ll absolutely be investigating … and prompting people to get tested,” Professor Sutton said.

Businesses fined in compliance blitz

All healthcare workers who had coronavirus have now recovered, Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“[Sunday] marks the first day since early March that there are no active healthcare worker infections,” he said.

“During the course of the pandemic, 3,574 coronavirus cases were reported in healthcare workers.

“By the time you multiply out the number of close contacts that were furloughed, there are many, many, many tens of thousands of healthcare workers who have sacrificed a lot, together with their families and co-workers on all of our behalf.”

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Mr Foley said a compliance “blitz” targeting businesses yesterday resulted in 36 infringements, 14 warnings, and 47 matters being followed up today.

The main compliance issues were density quotas, lack of signage, incomplete contact registers, and inadequate hygiene measures, Mr Foley said.

“I am very pleased to confirm that the overwhelming majority of businesses do the right thing and were compliant,” he said.

“Having said that, there is absolutely no room for complacency, and we understand that while many were doing the right thing and want to do the right thing, there were far too many instances of businesses not doing the right thing.”

Victoria moving ‘steadily and significantly towards COVID normal’

The State Government has announced the boundary between Melbourne and regional Victoria, and the 25-kilometre travel limit, will be scrapped from 11:59pm tonight.

On Saturday, Mr Foley said there were just eight confirmed active cases across the entire state.

Mr Foley said an aged care resident in hospital who previously had COVID-19 had returned a positive swab on Friday night, but it was ruled to be a “case of persistent shedding from a previous infection”.

Police and government officials have been checking in with Victorian businesses over the weekend to make sure COVID-19 guidelines are being followed.

Businesses where people gather, including hospitality and other “high risk” industries, have been targeted as part of the blitz.

Authorities are continuing to urge people to be tested for the virus despite the low numbers, warning there could still be undetected cases in the community.



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NSW hits ninth day without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases


NSW is continuing its positive streak in the battle to contain coronavirus, reaching the ninth consecutive day without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

The state recorded two positive cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, but the success in halting any community spread carries on.

Test numbers decreased slightly to 8,305 in the 24 hours to 8:00pm last night, compared with 10,334 in the previous reporting period.

There have been a total of 4,045 cases in NSW, with 51 people currently being treated.

Three are in intensive care, but none are being ventilated.

The state has to date carried out 2,741,755 tests.

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Authorities continued to warn people to remain vigilant over the long weekend and as the school holidays and warm weather continues.

Yesterday, Waverley Council praised beachgoers at Bondi Beach for maintaining social distancing.

Authorities at the Royal National Park continued on Sunday to close roads to stem heavy traffic.

Access to Wattamolla and Garie beaches have now been closed.

Elsewhere, Bogey Hole at the southern end of Bronte Beach remains closed after sewage contamination.

Yesterday, Redleaf Beach in Double Bay in Sydney’s east was closed due a blockage in a nearby public toilet which caused contamination.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government has said it will phase in a return to offices for its public servants.

The move, which is aimed at encouraging companies to follow suit as well as support CBD businesses, will be brought in over the coming weeks.

The strategy will include staggered start and finish times to support COVID-safe standards across public transport.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it would boost the economy as well as allowing people to return to “normal” lives.

“We are now encouraging public servants to physically return to work in their offices in a COVID-safe way, which will help stimulate city-based businesses and create more jobs across the state,” she said.

“The Government will continue to review health advice and aim to ensure we keep people safe and at the same time allow them to return to their normal lives as much as possible.”

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NSW hits ninth day without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases



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AFL 2020: Melbourne problems, overachived in 2018, Simon Goodwin, ninth in 2020, reaction, Jordan Lewis, David King


Simon Goodwin believes Melbourne “overachieved” in 2018, but former player Jordan Lewis disagrees.

For the first time in a public forum, the Demons coach conceded the club’s run to a preliminary final two years ago was a false dawn. Equally, he agreed last season’s 17th place finish did not reflect the quality of the group.

Melbourne relied on Fremantle upsetting the Western Bulldogs on Sunday night to finish in the top eight.

Watch the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series on Kayo with every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Round 18

But the Dogs were too strong for the Dockers, which consigned Goodwin’s men to a second-straight season of no finals, and a second ninth-place finish after 2017’s close call.



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MLB roundup: Astros rally past Dodgers in ninth



Sep 12, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Michael Brantley (23) breaks up a double play as Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Enrique Hernandez (14) throws to first base in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

September 13, 2020

Six consecutive Houston Astros batters reached base to open the ninth inning, starting a five-run uprising that led to a 7-5 victory over the host Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday in the opener of a brief two-game series.

Yuli Gurriel drove in three runs for the Astros, who arrived at Dodger Stadium on Saturday afternoon greeted by angry Dodgers fans holding signs and banging trash cans as a reaction to Houston’s 2017 cheating scandal. The Astros won the 2017 World Series in seven games over the Dodgers.

Trailing 5-2 and heading into the ninth inning against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, the Astros got singles from Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz before Josh Reddick hit a two-run double to bring Houston within a run. Martin Maldonado singled to put runners on the corners before Houston made it 5-5 when Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy was unable to field George Springer’s hot smash. The Astros took a 6-5 lead on a single by Alex Bregman and Jansen (3-1) was replaced by Adam Kolarek.

Houston added one more run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Gurriel. Josh James (1-0) did not allow a run over 1 1/3 innings to pick up the victory, while Ryan Pressley earned his ninth save.

White Sox 14, Tigers 0

Jose Abreu went 4-for-4 with a pair of three-run home runs and a career high-tying seven RBIs, and Tim Anderson had four hits and an RBI to power host Chicago past Detroit for the eighth time in nine games between the teams this season.

One night after his career-best 22-game hitting streak was snapped, Abreu erupted to help the American League Central-leading White Sox to their seventh win in eight games. Every Chicago starter had a hit. Eloy Jimenez had three, and Nick Madrigal added two.

White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez benefited from the deluge of support, pitching five shutout innings to earn his first victory since defeating Detroit on the penultimate day of the 2019 regular season. Lopez (1-2) scattered three hits, one walk and two strikeouts while throwing 75 pitches.

Yankees 2, Orioles 1 (10 innings)

Luke Voit hit a game-winning sacrifice fly leading off the 10th inning as host New York won beat Baltimore for the ninth straight time at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees won their fourth straight following a 5-15 slide while the Orioles lost their fourth straight after winning six of eight, falling 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the second wild-card spot in the American League. The Orioles have been outscored 18-2 in the series.

DJ LeMahieu was the automatic runner on second base and on the first pitch from Hunter Harvey (0-2) he took third on a wild pitch. Baltimore brought the infield in and Voit lifted a fly ball to center fielder Cedric Mullins to cap an eight-pitch plate appearance and easily score LeMahieu.

Rays 5, Red Sox 4

Brandon Lowe’s team-leading 12th home run broke a seventh-inning tie as host Tampa Bay beat Boston in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Lowe broke a 4-4 deadlock by skying a long shot with two outs in the seventh off Marcus Walden (0-2) — a deep drive to right-center on a high fastball — to give the Rays their seventh victory in nine games against Boston.

Tampa Bay starter Tyler Glasnow (3-1) worked seven innings and became the pitcher of record after Lowe’s blast. Austin Meadows produced a solo homer, and Manuel Margot was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

Braves 2, Nationals 1

Rookie Ian Anderson allowed only a bunt single in seven scoreless innings to send visiting Atlanta to victory over last-place Washington.

Anderson (3-0), ranked as the top pitching prospect in the Braves’ organization, struck out a career-best nine. He became the team’s first rookie to win his first three decisions since Williams Perez started 4-0 in 2015.

Patrick Corbin was the hard-luck loser and suffered his fifth straight loss. Corbin (2-5) pitched a season-high seven innings and allowed two runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts.

Cardinals 7, Reds 1

Harrison Bader hit a three-run homer to power St. Louis to an easy victory over visiting Cincinnati.

Brad Miller, Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt also hit home runs for the Cardinals, who are 17-0 when they score at least five runs. The second-place Cardinals remained three games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.

St. Louis starting pitcher Dakota Hudson (3-2) held the Reds to one run on one hit and four walks in six innings. He also struck out four. Losing pitcher Tejay Antone (0-2) retired just nine batters. He allowed two runs on four hits and three walks.

Rangers 5, Athletics 2 (Game 1)

Rougned Odor belted Daulton Jefferies’ 20th major-league pitch for a three-run homer and Ronald Guzman added a two-run shot in the first inning as Texas made it hold up for a victory over visiting Oakland in the first game of a doubleheader.

The win was just Texas’ second in eight head-to-heads with Oakland this season.

The 25-year-old Jefferies walked two of the first four men he faced before Odor took him deep to right field for his fifth homer of the season and a 3-0 lead. After Elvis Andrus followed with an infield single, Guzman then crushed his third homer of the season to right, making it 5-0.

Athletics 10, Rangers 1 (Game 2)

Oakland vented the frustration of an earlier loss in a seven-run second inning, routing host Texas for a split of their doubleheader at Arlington, Texas.

After Texas starter Colby Allard (0-6) had worked around a one-out single by Tommy La Stella in a scoreless first, the A’s jumped all over the Rangers left-hander in the second as Ramon Laureano and Marcus Semien had RBI singles, and Sean Murphy a two-run hit as the A’s put their first six batters on base.

Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt (4-2) benefitted from the abundance of support, coasting through six innings, allowing a home run to Joey Gallo, his ninth of the season, with one out in the sixth to end a shutout bid. Semien had two hits and 4 RBIs, including his sixth homer.

Blue Jays 3, Mets 2

Robbie Ray struck out five in five innings, Jonathan Villar had two hits, two stolen bases and an RBI and host Toronto defeated New York at Buffalo as the teams have split the first two games of a three-game series.

Travis Shaw and Randal Grichuk also had RBIs for the Blue Jays. Amed Rosario had three hits for the Mets but was picked off first for the final out of the game after reaching base on a wild pitch after he struck out.

Ray (1-0) allowed one run, four hits and two walks. Rafael Dolis pitched around a walk and a wild pitch in the ninth to earn his fourth save. Mets right-hander Seth Lugo (2-3) allowed three runs, seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

Twins 8, Indians 4

Byron Buxton, Willians Astudillo, Marwin Gonzalez, Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano each homered as the Minnesota Twins hit a season-high five home runs to beat visiting Cleveland in Minneapolis.

It was the ninth win in the last 11 games for the Twins, who remained a game behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. Rich Hill (2-1) picked up the victory, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over five innings.

Jose Ramirez homered and had two hits, Carlos Santana doubled and scored twice and Jordan Luplow had a triple and RBI for Cleveland, which lost its fifth straight game. Zach Plesac (3-2), who had won three consecutive starts, took the loss.

Phillies 12, Marlins 6

Didi Gregorius slugged a grand slam to lead visiting Philadelphia to a resounding win over Miami, despite two players leaving the game early.

Bryce Harper went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, double, three runs scored and two walks for the Phillies, who tied this rare seven-game series 2-2. Brian Anderson hit a three-run homer and Jesus Aguilar went 3-for-4 with a solo homer for the Marlins.

Phillies rookie starter Spencer Howard left the game in the fourth due to shoulder stiffness, and catcher J.T. Realmuto also was pulled in the eighth after experiencing reported hip discomfort while running the bases.

Angels 5, Rockies 2 (11 innings)

Jared Walsh hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning to lift Los Angeles Angels over Colorado to even their three-game series in Denver.

Walsh homered for the fourth consecutive game and fifth in his last seven, lifting a 1-1 slider from Tyler Kinley (0-2) over the fence in right. Albert Pujols and Justin Upton also had two hits apiece for the Angels, who have won seven of 10.

Ty Buttrey (2-3) pitched a scoreless 10th before Matt Andriese pitched the 11th for his first save. Rockies starter Kyle Freeland went six innings, allowing two runs and four hits. He struck out four and walked two. Tyler Kinley (0-2) gave up Walsh’s homer and took the loss.

Royals 7, Pirates 4

Adalberto Mondesi hit a two-run homer and Whit Merrifield added a solo shot as Kansas City beat visiting Pittsburgh, to give the Royals a season-best fifth straight win.

Salvador Perez added an RBI single for the Royals. Josh Bell, Bryan Reynolds and Adam Frazier hit solo homers for Pittsburgh, which has lost three straight.

Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez, in his first career start, pitched three innings, allowing three runs and three hits, with two strikeouts and no walks. Kyle Zimmer (1-0) pitched a scoreless 2 1/3 innings. Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Cubs 4, Brewers 2

Jason Heyward hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning, and Chicago rallied for a win over host Milwaukee.

Heyward’s blast to right-center field punctuated a wild comeback for the Cubs, who were two outs away from suffering their third shutout loss in the past four games. Ildemaro Vargas added a solo shot in the next at-bat to give Chicago a two-run advantage.

Milwaukee squandered a shot at its third straight victory, which would have matched its longest winning streak of the season. Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer to lead the Brewers at the plate.

Mariners 7, Diamondbacks 3

Ty France homered for the second night in a row to highlight a four-run first inning as Seattle knocked off host Arizona in Phoenix.

Jose Marmolejos also homered and drove in three runs while starter Justus Sheffield (3-3) held the Diamondbacks to two runs and five hits over seven innings as the Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak.

Arizona got a two-run single from Wyatt Mathisen and saw a two-game winning streak end. Zac Gallen (1-2) took the loss after giving up seven hits, seven runs and five walks, against six strikeouts, over five innings.

Giants at Padres (postponed)

Saturday’s game between San Francisco and San Diego at Petco Park was postponed for a second consecutive day because of a reported positive coronavirus test by a Giants player.

The stadium underwent intensive cleaning on Saturday, and both teams are awaiting word on whether or not MLB will play Sunday’s scheduled matchup.

–Field Level Media





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Broncos post record ninth straight NRL loss as Gold Coast wins 18-6, Raiders trounce Dragons


The Brisbane Broncos have made history for all the wrong reasons after Gold Coast ran out 18-6 winners in Robina.

Somehow a nightmare season got worse for the battling Broncos after they slumped to a club record ninth straight loss.

In contrast, the Titans’ late-season resurgence continued in front of a 9,729-strong crowd, as they sealed their third straight win for the first time since 2017 and fourth victory in six matches.

Adding further insult, it marked the first time the Titans have defeated the Broncos twice in the same season.

Brisbane’s 15th loss for the season is also another record and all but ensures Gold Coast (7-11 win-loss record) will finish as the highest-placed Queensland team with just two regular-season rounds left.

On yet another night to forget for six-time premiers Brisbane (3-15 win-loss record), the three-tries-to-one victory ensured the Titans notched their first home win over their arch rivals since 2014.

Brisbane had started brightly when the Titans spilled a Sean O’Sullivan grubber kick, allowing veteran Broncos fullback Darius Boyd to pounce for the opening try of the match in the sixth minute.

Titans hooker Mitch Rein levelled scores with a dummy-half run five minutes later, before much-improved back rower Sam Stone made Corey Oates pay for misjudging a Jamal Fogarty kick to score in the 23th minute.

All eyes were on Gold Coast-bound David Fifita after interim Broncos coach Peter Gentle said he hoped the barnstorming back rower would show the Titans “what they are getting” before moving to the tourist strip next season on a lucrative three-year deal.

And Fifita gave the Titans a glimpse in the 35th minute when he barged over, only to be denied a try after replays showed he had lost the ball over the line.

After leading 12-6 at half-time, the Titans made a dream start to the second stanza when Young Tonumaipea capped a stunning 95-metre effort by scoring in the 44th minute.

Pivot Ash Taylor created something from nothing with a huge dummy, sprinting through a gaping hole as the ball went through three sets of hands before Tonumaipea crashed over.

Raiders still a top-four chance

The Raiders’ attack tested the Dragons’ defence throughout the afternoon.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Canberra has kept pace with the NRL’s top four via a 37-8 win over on St George Illawarra in Wollongong.

The Raiders, who scored six tries to two, are fifth on the ladder with two rounds remaining in the minor premiership.

They are two points adrift of the Roosters and Eels, who hold down third and fourth positions respectively.

Jack Wighton scored two tries in the Raiders’ comfortable win, while Dragons’ rookie sensation Cody Ramsey also posted a double in the only bright spot for the hosts.

While the 20-year-old Ramsey showed off his talent, the Dragons’ middle faltered and their defence was poor against a workmanlike Raiders side.

Canberra’s first try came in soft fashion when Hudson Young easily forced his way over in the middle, and it set the tone for the rest of the day.

Young and Joseph Tapine both marched through the middle, while Josh Papalii pulled off one of the hits of the year on Cameron McInnes.

Wighton’s tries took his tally to the season for 10, well clear of the next best half in the competition.

His first of the day came in spectacular fashion.

Jordan Rapana ran onto a dream bounce from a George Williams kick, before he offloaded it back inside and Tapine eventually put the five-eighth over.

Wighton’s second try, however, exemplified the Dragons’ struggles, when he hit a gaping hole from a simple Williams pass to stroll over.

It was one of four second-half tries for the Raiders as they tore the Dragons apart on their right.

Elliott Whitehead helped Jarrod Croker to one as he chased down a grubber kick with no-one home, while John Sutton brushed through the line in the lead-up to another from John Bateman.

Semi Valemei got the final try of the match as Williams and Wighton combined to help leave the Dragons short for numbers with their winger the beneficiary.

AAP/ABC



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Balance of power tilts to Titans as Broncos record ninth straight loss


The Titans are miles from being a finished product and just as far from playing finals football in 2020, although they are far closer than the Broncos, who are an extremely average team at the moment and now own a club-record nine-game losing streak.

Gold Coast’s Ashley Taylor is tackled by the Broncos’ Alex Glenn.Credit:Getty

Local media in Brisbane have a habit of calling every Broncos player a ‘star’ no matter their ability or worth to the set-up, but only a few can claim to be in that category at the moment. One is centre Kotoni Staggs, who was strong in a beaten side and will continue to hover on Brad Fittler’s NSW radar.

With a scarcity of talent available on the player market in the off-season, Brisbane are scouring the shelves for bargains while the Titans have some serious inbound firepower. Fifita leads that charge; he was decent enough on Saturday night but will come to life in a side that knows how to run some structure and shape to make the most of his power running game.

Gold Coast will also bolster their middle with Herman Ese’ese and boom Melbourne Storm forward Tino Fa’asuamaleaui stands to add some serious punch in the trenches. That will only add to the growth of Taylor and halfback Jamal Fogarty, both of whom have been successful projects for Holbrook and helped guide the club to a hat-trick of victories.

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The sad truth for Anthony Seibold is the Broncos have looked more solid since his departure. Peter Gentle has taken everything back to basics, to some good effect. But the reality is Brisbane are a limited outfit facing a significant and potentially lengthy rebuild under their new coach.

That appointment will be made within weeks and is down to Kevin Walters and ex-Cowboys coach Paul Green, whose hard edge and NRL experience may appeal more to the Red Hill powerbrokers despite a concerted push for Walters from a loud and influential group of Old Boys.

After the match, Fogarty said his rise from Gold Coast youth worker to Titans captain and halfback was “weird but awesome”. The same could be said for the Titans-Broncos relationship in the region, once dominated completely from Brisbane but now being flipped on its head.

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Wretch 32 on ninth anniversary of Mark Duggan’s death: ‘It feels like there’s no progression’


Rapper Wretch 32 – whose father was tasered by police inside his home in April – was among hundreds of protestors who gathered outside Tottenham police station in North London today demanding racial justice.

The protest was called on the ninth anniversary of the death of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man who was shot by a police officer – sparking riots across the capital and beyond.

We managed to catch up with Wretch and began by asking him whether or not he thinks things have got better nine years on.



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