Weekend Sports In Brief
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Back where his career resurgence began with a drought-breaking triumph last year, Roger Federer cried as he lifted and kissed the Australian Open trophy for a sixth time and celebrated his 20th Grand Slam title.
Federer started Sunday’s final with an intensity that stunned sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, then held his nerve in a tense, momentum-shifting match before winning 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
After going more than four years without winning a major title leading into last year’s Australian Open, Federer has now won three of the last five. Rod Laver, who lends his name to the center court at Melbourne Park, was in the crowd taking photos to mark the occasion of Federer becoming the first man to win 20 majors.
At the age of 36 years, 173 days, Federer became the second-oldest man to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era after Ken Rosewall, who won the 1972 Australian Open at 37.
In the women’s final, Caroline Wozniacki won her first Grand Slam singles title in her 43rd major with a 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 win over Simona Halep on Saturday.
Wozniacki, 7 + years after appearing in her first Grand Slam final, finally claimed the elusive title. She’ll also regain the No. 1 ranking for the first time in six years, another benefit of beating the top-seeded Halep.
Halep is now 0-3 in major finals after losing twice in the championship match at the French Open.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Tennessee’s Delanie Walker caught two touchdown passes, including an 18-yarder with 1:31 remaining, and the AFC beat the NFC 24-23 in a rain-soaked Pro Bowl on Sunday.
Oakland’s Derek Carr completed 11 of 15 passes for 115 yards and connected with Walker on a skinny post for the winning score.
Denver’s Von Miller sealed the victory when he caused and recovered a fumble by Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Miller posed problems all afternoon for the NFC.
The AFC overcame a 17-point halftime deficit and four turnovers to win the annual all-star game.
Heavy downpours were partly to blame for the sloppiness.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Rickard Rakell had two goals and rookie Brock Boeser, Johnny Gaudreau and Drew Doughty also scored to help the Pacific Division win the NHL All-Star game with a 5-2 victory over the Atlantic Division on Sunday.
Pacific goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Mike Smith teamed to allow just four goals in the two games their team captured to claim the $1 million shared by the winners of the four-team divisional tournament played in an entertaining three-on-three format.
The Canucks’ Boeser, the only rookie among 15 first-time All-Stars, also had a goal in the Pacific’s 5-2 semifinal victory over the Central Division and named game MVP.
Mike Green had two goals for the Atlantic, one off both Fleury and Smith in the final.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Jason Day and Alex Noren went 77 holes in the Farmers Insurance Open, and it still wasn’t enough to decide a winner.
Day holed a 6-foot birdie putt in the dark on the fifth hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday. Noren followed with a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole at Torrey Pines. They had no choice but to return Monday morning to decide the longest playoff in the 67-year history of this event.
They each made birdie three times on the par-5 closing hole in the playoff. They made pars on the 16th and 17th holes, with Day having the best chance to end it on the par-3 16th until his 12-foot putt stayed on the right edge.
Ryan Palmer began the playoff with them at 10-under 278. He was eliminated with a par on the 18th on the first extra hole.
In only his second PGA Tour event since August 2015, Tiger Woods closed with a 72 and tied for 23rd, seven shots out of the lead.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Li Haotong held off Rory McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic by one shot Sunday, closing with a 3-under 69 to deny the Northern Irishman’s bid to win for the first time in 17 months.
Leading by one shot going to the par-5 18th, Li holed a 10-foot birdie putt after McIlroy had reached the green in two. McIlroy two-putted for birdie and a 69.
Li, who finished at 23-under 265, becomes the first player from China to crack the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) – Brittany Lincicome beat darkness – with help from floodlights Sunday on the Ocean Club’s 18th green – to win the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic for the second straight year.
Lincicome birdied the final two holes and four of the last five for a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke victory over Wei-Ling Hsu in the event cut to 54 holes after wind wiped out play most of Friday.
Lincicome completed a second-round 67 in the morning, playing nine holes in 3 under, to begin the final round two strokes behind the top-ranked Feng.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ronda Rousey’s next bout in the ring won’t come in mixed martial arts but in the world of professional wrestling.
The biggest superstar in women’s MMA officially made the jump to WWE on Sunday night with a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.
The former UFC bantamweight champion also told ESPN that she’s fully committed to wrestling and not just planning cameos at WWE’s biggest events, saying: ”This is my life now. Yeah, they have first priority on my time for the next several years.”
Rousey appeared to roaring fans Sunday night after the women’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia, challenging winner Asuka to fight at Wrestlemania in April by pointing to a sign as Joan Jett’s ”Bad Reputation” blared through the arena. Rousey had previously ruled out an appearance at the Royal Rumble but had frequently met with WWE executive Paul Levesque, better known as wrestling superstar Triple H, to discuss her interest in a deal.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Action Express Racing has a third Rolex 24 at Daytona title, and Chip Ganassi Racing is celebrating the organization’s 200th victory.
The Action Express team of Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi drove Cadillac to the overall victory Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.
Ganassi’s two Ford GT entries dominated the GT Le Mans class and defended last year’s victory. The team of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon won and defeated its sister car, which was the defending class champion. Ganassi now has eight wins in 15 Rolex appearances. His teams won six overall titles and now have two class victories.
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) – Olympic champion snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov slammed his face against the halfpipe and had to be carted off the course Sunday at the Winter X Games in an accident that provided a jarring look at the stakes involved in landing a gold-medal run.
Podladtchikov was taken to the hospital, where scans for brain and neck injuries came back negative. X Games officials said he suffered a broken nose and was awake and alert late Sunday night.
The 29-year-old rider better known as the I-Pod was at the end of his second run, trying to complete what had been a clean and high-flying trip with a 1260-degree flip. As he was gliding back into the pipe, he lost his bearings and his legs crumpled, then his face smacked against the lower part of the halfpipe wall and he slid, motionless, to the bottom.
Medical personnel took about 20 minutes to stabilize Podladtchikov’s neck and strap him into a sled to be taken to the hospital.