How to watch: ESPN, 9 p.m. Eastern; streaming on ESPN+ and ESPN3, 9 p.m.
Monday’s schedule: Men | Women
Roger Federer vs. Tennys Sandgren
On his way to Monday night’s quarterfinal match at this Australian Open, third-seeded Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam tournament winner, did not play a seeded player. Although he struggled in his third-round match against John Millman, Federer looked fresh and decisive in his other three victories. Even when a portion of Federer’s game is not up to par, it can still rise above even other world-class players. Forehand errors defined the third-round match, but Federer won it off a forehand winner on a point in which Millman had pressed him into a poor position.
Federer’s opponent on Monday, Tennys Sandgren, is also unseeded, but he has beaten two seeded players. Sandgren, an American ranked 100th in the world, relied on his powerful serve to get past the Italians Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini, the eighth and 12th seeds at the Australian Open.
Sandgren’s only other quarterfinal appearance in a Grand Slam event was at the Australian Open in 2018. To reach the semifinal, he will have to defeat a beloved six-time Australian Open champion in Federer. It seems unlikely that the Melbourne crowd will be rooting for the underdog.
Ashleigh Barty vs. Petra Kvitova
Ashleigh Barty of Australia, the world No. 1, has been hot and cold the first week at the Australian Open. She dropped two sets on the way to the quarterfinals, but it seems that winning the French Open last year has given her some tenacity when she’s not playing her best. It’s this experience that she hopes will help her advance past the quarterfinals, even though she faces Petra Kvitova, who knocked her out at this stage 12 months ago.
Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon winner, reached the final of the Australian Open last year before losing to Naomi Osaka. After skating through her first three rounds this year, she needed three sets to beat Maria Sakkari, the 22nd seed. Since last year’s Australian Open, Kvitova has lost three times to Barty, and it may seem a foregone conclusion that the Australian’s home-court advantage will help her secure a win. But Kvitova is still the veteran player, and has a knack for pushing players into the deep corners of the court and coming in to cut off any subpar responses at net. No matter the score, it’s sure to be the most entertaining match of the night.
Novak Djokovic vs. Milos Raonic
Novak Djokovic, the second seed, has dropped only one set on his way to the quarterfinals. Djokovic, 32, is the youngest of the so-called Big Three, and is considered by many to be the favorite in this year’s Australian Open. In his quest to push his game to the limits, he often hits shots on the slide, well outside the edges of the court, breaking down his opponents by making them hit three exceptional shots before they get into place to hit a winner against him.
Milos Raonic, who fought past a resurgent Marin Cilic in the last round, has looked exceptional through the first week of the Open. Raonic’s powerful groundstrokes allow him to dictate longer rallies, and his height gives his serving a clear advantage. Raonic hit 35 aces against Cilic and 19 against Stefanos Tsitsipas in his third-round upset of the sixth seed.
Although Djokovic, a seven-time Australian Open champion, is considered the greatest returner of serve in the modern game, Raonic has an opportunity to take away that weapon and power past him.
Sofia Kenin vs. Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur, ranked 78th in the world, is the first Arab woman to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event. Jabeur, a Tunisian, reached the third round of a major at the 2019 United States Open and the 2017 French Open. After beating Johanna Konta, the 12th seed, in the first round, Jabeur took out Caroline Wozniacki, the former world No. 1 who is retiring after this year’s Australian Open, and 27th-seeded Wang Qiang. She will try to force another upset, this time over 21-year-old Sofia Kenin.
Kenin, the 14th seed, has reached her first Grand Slam tournament quarterfinal. Although she has not faced a seeded player in the tournament, she defeated Coco Gauff, the exceptional 15-year-old, in the round of 16 on Sunday. With a combination of cautious shot selection in longer rallies and powerful counterpunching on the run, Kenin has a way of forcing her opponents into uncomfortable shot selection. This may be an especially hard problem for Jabeur to overcome. In Jabeur’s last three rounds, she has hit more unforced errors than winners, and to make matters worse, swinging big is rarely the solution against quick counterpunchers.
Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles could be equaled by Rafael Nadal at this Australian Open. But Federer’s own run here nearly ended before that could happen, at the hands of a player considerably further down the pantheon of greats.
Tennys Sandgren, a Tennessean ranked 100th, had seven match points in the fourth set of his quarterfinal match against third-seeded Federer on Tuesday afternoon, but Federer staved off each one, ultimately hanging on for a 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-3 victory in Rod Laver Arena.
“You’ve got to get lucky sometimes, I tell you that,” Federer said in his on-court interview. Sandgren made unforced errors on five of the seven match points, including two prolonged exchanges that ended on the 19th shot of a rally.
It was the second nail-biting escape of Federer’s tournament. In the third round on Friday, Federer trailed 47th-ranked John Millman 8-4 in a fifth-set, first-to-10 tiebreaker before reeling off six straight points to eke out a 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(10-8) victory.
Sandgren, 28, had never before faced Federer, but showed his readiness for the match by earning a break point in the first game, and then saving five in his own first two service games. Federer won the opening set, but Sandgren won nine of the next 11 games to pull ahead in the match.
Federer began to unravel midway through the third set. He became incensed after receiving a code violation for an audible obscenity when a lineswoman reported hearing him swear, and he accosted her in the back of the court afterward. When Sandgren took a 3-0 lead in the set, Federer called for the physiotherapist, then took an off-court medical timeout for several minutes for treatment for a groin injury.
“I believe in miracles,” Federer said as to why he didn’t stop the match. “There could be rain, there could be stuff.” It briefly seemed as if that “stuff” had taken the form of a ball girl, who ran at high speed into Sandgren’s leg during a changeover midway through the fourth set tiebreaker.
Sandgren said the collision “stung” but did not affect him during points. He won the next three points to give himself a 6-3 lead and a look at a fourth, fifth and sixth match point, but Federer saved all three. A somber Sandgren said he had tried “to strike a balance between being aggressive and being tactically smart” on his match points after he “pulled the trigger a little early” on his first opportunity.
“I wanted to play out the point and see if he would give me a look, give me something to play with,” Sandgren said. “I guess I only had one on my serve. I was doing that, and he was playing the points fantastic.” As he stood on court in front of a relieved crowd, Federer repeatedly said how fortunate he felt.
“I think I got incredibly lucky today,” Federer said. “As the match went on I started to feel better again and all the pressure went away.”
Federer broke Sandgren in the sixth game of the final set to take a 4-2 lead and preserved his break advantage through the rest of the match.
“I don’t deserve this one,” Federer said. “But I’m standing here, and I’m obviously very, very happy.”
Federer will face either the second-seeded Novak Djokovic or the 32nd-seeded Milos Raonic in the semifinals on Thursday evening.
Though he has never ranked in the Top 40, Sandgren has established himself as a big-stage performer undaunted by the best. Coming into his match with Federer, he was 4-2 at Grand Slams against top-10 opponents. At this tournament, he had already beaten the eighth-seeded Matteo Berrettini in the second round and the 12th-seeded Fabio Fognini in the fourth round.
Sandgren also reached a quarterfinal here two years ago, a run remembered less for his tennis than this one will be. Though he beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem at that tournament, his run was overshadowed by scrutiny and criticism of his social media posts, which included interactions with far-right political figures.
Sandgren, who played tennis at the University of Tennessee, was close to being the second American player to notch their best Grand Slam result on Tuesday. In the first match of the day session, the 14th-seeded Sofia Kenin advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ons Jabeur. Kenin will face the top-seeded Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals on Thursday.
American of Russian descent Sofia Kenin’s breakthrough run at Grand Slam tournament has continued to the semifinals at the Australian Open.
The 21-year-old Kenin beat No. 78-ranked Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-4 in the first match Tuesday on Rod Laver Arena. Both were playing in the quarterfinals at a major for the first time.
Jabeur, a 25-year-old Tunisian, was the first Arab woman to make it to the last eight at a major.
For Kenin, who was born in Moscow but moved to the United States as a baby and grew up in Florida, the degree of difficulty increased dramatically.
In the semifinals, she’ll play either top-ranked Ash Barty, the French Open champion who is aiming to break an Australian drought at the national championship, or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who reached the final here last year.
The 21-year-old Kenin planned to watch the match, which followed hers on Rod Laver Arena, and enjoy it. She didn’t have a preference for who she plays next.
“I’m in the semis,” she said. “”Anyone I play, they’re playing really well.”
Kenin is playing her best tennis, too. Her best previous run at Melbourne Park ended in the second round, when she lost to Simona Halep last year. He best previous run at a Grand Slam tournament was to the fourth round at the French Open last year.
She finished the year ranked 14th, and could match No. 1 Barty in one category: they were tied for most hard-court wins on the women’s tour last year with 38 wins each.
Kenin’s run here included a comeback win in the third round against 15-year-old Coco Gauff, when she made only nine unforced errors across the second and third sets.
In the second set against Jabeur, she saved three break points in a long sixth game, then broke serve in the seventh game to set up the win.
“It was a tough moment,” Kenin said. “I didn’t know it was 10 minutes (but) it was pretty long, the game. After that I got my momentum.”
In later men’s quarterfinals, 20-time major winner Roger Federer was playing 100th-ranked Tennys Sandgren, and seven-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic had a night match against Milos Raonic of Canada.
Grand Valley State University offensive coordinator Morris Berger was suspended after saying in an interview that he would want to have dinner with Adolph Hitler, the former leader of Nazi Germany who was responsible for the deaths of millions of Jewish people.
A college football coach spoke to the school’s student newspaper Grand Valley Lanthorn last week and was asked which three historical figures he would want to take do dinner, excluding famous athletes.
“This is probably not going to get a good review, but I’m going to say Adolf Hitler,” Berger told sports editor Kellen Voss. “It was obviously very sad and he had bad motives, but the way he was able to lead was second-to-none. How he rallied a group and a following, I want to know how he did that. Bad intentions of course, but you can’t deny he wasn’t a great leader.”
Voss responded that it was “crazy” how Hitler was able to get people to support him.Y
Berger responded: “Yeah, that’s definitely one. You have to go JFK, his experience with the country and being that he was a good president and everything. And this might sound crazy, but Christopher Columbus, the ability to go on the journey he was on and his emotion into the unknown. Think about putting yourself in the setting of that unknown, and then to take it all in as you arrive is crazy.”
The school announced Berger’s suspension Monday.
“The comments made by Offensive Coordinator Morris Berger, as reported in The Lanthorn student newspaper, do not reflect the values of Grand Valley State University,” the school said in a statement. “Berger has been suspended and the university is conducting a thorough investigation.”
Berger had a bachelor’s degree in history from Drury University and a master’s degree in educational psychology from Missouri. He joined Grand Valley State University on Jan. 20 from Texas State. He had been a coach at Oklahoma State, Missouri and Missouri Western previously.
In the warm late morning on Sunday, the first balls were struck in what would be a long, festive day at the Australian Open. Melbourne Park had the blissful feel of a party, which in some ways it was. Jan. 26 marked the day in 1788 when the first fleet of ships from Britain entered Sydney Cove — the dawn of British colonization of the land.
“It’s a day to remember and give thanks for being Australian,” one fan told me. “A day for those of us here to take in some great tennis. And for a lot of us, frankly, a day to party.”
Only this is no ordinary holiday. To understand, all you had to do was walk 10 easy minutes from the tennis courts to a wide boulevard that cuts through downtown. There, tens of thousands of protesters came together in a clamorous gathering to make very clear that they believe Australia Day should be abolished.
They called it by another name.
“Invasion Day,” said Meriki Onus, an Indigenous Australian activist who for the last several years has helped organize the protest in Melbourne.
Invasion Day, they said, was when outsiders came and everything changed for the worse.
Their chants punctured the downtown air, hard, rhythmic and swift.
“Always was, always will be, Aboriginal lands!” the marchers shouted. “Always was, always will be, Aboriginal lands!”
I’d come to ask questions and observe. I saw demonstrators everywhere, hip to hip. In both directions, the crowd stretched as far as the eye could see. Indigenous parents, children and elders. White progressives. Recent immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Block after block after block, jammed together for a cause that is gaining attention across the country.
From the back of a beaten white truck, demonstrators took to a microphone to deliver speeches before a heaving crowd. They urged strong action and told painful stories, narratives remarkably similar to the plight of Native Americans in the United States. Stories of being sidelined into the far corners of society. Stories of death, murder and a troubled justice system, of poor health care, poor education, destruction of the land and extreme poverty.
“No pride in genocide!” they shouted, a slam to the boosterism many in their country feel about Australia Day.
“No pride in genocide!”
The march moved slowly through downtown, stopping traffic in all directions for nearly a mile. Among the organizers — a group made up mostly of local women known as Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance — apprehension filled the air. On Bourke Street, normally choked with cars and light-rail trains, everyone stopped for a while. Word had seeped through the crowd that white nationalists were nearby, looking to taunt, or maybe something worse. From the heart of the demonstration, the thick of it, nobody could see if this was true.
Then the throng pressed forward to finish the three-fourths-mile demonstration at the city’s Flinders Street rail station. There were tears of joy, anger and devastation, and Indigenous elders wearing T-shirts with the red, black and yellow Indigenous flag, and families walking with children. “I came here to show my kids that there has been resistance, that we were not just victims, which is what we are taught in the schools,” said Clayton Ison, 41, a social worker, balancing his young daughter on his broad shoulders so she could get a better look. “I came to show them that there are people who stand up and fight.”
What about the Indigenous athlete in Australia?
“They have to be very careful,” one protester said, echoing a refrain I heard repeatedly. “They have to choose their words carefully, or they get told they are out of line. We understand and we support them still.”
The Aboriginal athlete whose name I heard mentioned most often was a cautionary tale: the Australian rules football player Adam Goodes. Among the best players of the early 2000s, Goodes was outspoken about the racism he faced and publicly celebrated Indigenous culture. He paid a stiff price, becoming the target of sustained booing and taunts that caused him to take a leave from the game in 2015, and then retire at the end of that year.
What about the Australian Ashleigh Barty? Barty, 23, is the top-ranked female tennis player in the world. As it happens, she has Aboriginal roots on her father’s side and calls herself “proudly Indigenous.” She is only the second Indigenous Australian to make a mark in top-flight tennis. The first was Evonne Goolagong, a seven-time winner of Grand Slam singles events who reached No. 1 in the 1970s.
Barty, who won the Young Australian of the Year Award over the weekend, is not known for wading deep into social issues or politics. Instead, she has embraced a middle ground, serving as the national Indigenous tennis ambassador for Tennis Australia and promoting tennis access for Indigenous youth. She embodies a potent symbolism — same as the activists and the marchers do. But she doesn’t make a big deal about it.
When the protest ended after four cacophonous hours, I walked for a while with Onus back through the streets. We could see the gleaming roof of Rod Laver Arena in the near distance.
“Part of me thinks of our athletes and says, why don’t you say something and speak out more?” she said. “But we have seen what happens to them when they do. Part of me wishes Ash Barty would speak out and say, ‘When are we going to do something about these issues we are facing?’ But I don’t blame her. I support our athletes. I think they are scared. And they should be. Because this is Australia, and it is scary here.”
After the march, I went straight to the tennis courts at Melbourne Park. Official attendance for the day session was 53,830, roughly the same as at the march, according to activists. But the Australian Open, set apart from nearby streets, surrounded by gates and high walls, had a decidedly different feel from the bare bones precariousness of the demonstration.
The crowd was not entirely white, but overwhelmingly so. It was not entirely wealthy but, judging by the way fans jammed into the shops and restaurants in the gaps between watching matches, there was money to burn. It was like being inside a shimmering shopping mall. Hence the bars selling liquor and Champagne; the stage showing off the newest model of a powerful sports car; the restaurants hawking dim sum, wood-fired pizza and roast duck; the shops selling expensive sunglasses and Australian Open towels.
Abolish or even simply alter the timing of Australia Day? I heard all sides from tennis fans about this.
“It’s just a day,” one man told me. “If our Indigenous people want to move it or something, whatever. Just as long as we get to take it as a holiday.”
Another said: “We stopped observing it entirely when we came to see how this hurts so many Indigenous people. They’re our friends, and it’s a matter of respect. This after all is their land.”
Another was upset, saying: “Abolish it? Change the date?” Then added: “The people against it cry racism, but that has nothing to do with me. I didn’t do anything to them.”
There was consensus on one thing: Barty, the great hope for a nation that has not had a homegrown women’s singles winner since 1978. She is beloved.
When Barty took the court on Sunday night, she did so to thunderous applause. She faced a stern test from 18th-seeded Alison Riske, an American who upset Barty last summer at Wimbledon. The match went long. Riske dominated the second set. The third was in doubt until Barty dialed in her game and won, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
After the match, she fielded a few questions, ever earnest and quick to respond. Most were about her game and her prospects.
One was about the downtown protest. All those thousands of people, loud, insistent and marching for change. What did she think of it?
“I wasn’t aware of the protest,” she said. “I wasn’t keeping an eye on it.”
Two worlds, close together, far apart.
The Portuguese soccer’s fan was looking for game’s secrets when he started hacking into the legal and financial networks supporting the game’s multibillion-dollar industry five years ago.
For years, he plundered internal documents and secret agreements, unmasking questionable practices — and even criminality — by lawyers and players and teams, and then published the information anonymously on a platform he called Football Leaks. Furious teams cursed him. Agents threatened to sue him. Embarrassed investigators vowed to arrest him.
What none of them knew was that the enormous trove of data obtained by the hacker, a spiky-haired 31-year-old soccer fanatic named Rui Pinto, also held a much bigger secret.
Over dinner one night in late 2018 in Budapest, where he was hiding before he was eventually detained and extradited to Portugal, Mr. Pinto told his French lawyer William Bourdon that he believed he had obtained information that revealed how Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and the daughter of Angola’s former president, had amassed her $2 billion fortune.
Those secrets, revealed this month in international news media accounts, including articles in The New York Times, have led to an investigation of Ms. dos Santos, who is accused of plundering Angola’s state petroleum company and other institutions to bankroll a sprawling business empire that included stakes in the impoverished country’s diamond exports, its dominant mobile phone company, two of its banks and its biggest cement maker.
Angolan officials said last week that Ms. dos Santos could soon face charges of embezzlement in that country. Some of her assets have been frozen, and her bank has said it is investigating transfers worth tens of millions of dollars.
Until his arrest and extradition to Portugal last March, Mr. Pinto had since 2015 mostly sowed panic within the corridors of power in the world’s most popular sport. In his hacking, he had targeted not only some of soccer’s biggest teams and institutions but also law firms and professional services that supported their activities.
One connection between the soccer and dos Santos leaks is that each included the release of confidential documents from the powerful PLMJ law firm, which is based in Lisbon. Several of the charges Mr. Pinto faces in Portugal are directly linked to his illegally gaining access to PLMJ’s computer server.
It was lawyers from PLMJ who in 2015 prepared a 16-page brief for Ms. dos Santos pointing out the tax advantages of domiciling companies in Malta. Ms. dos Santos subsequently used companies based in Malta for some of her most high-profile transactions. One of her Maltese companies was used as a middleman to hire consultants from firms such as Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company and PwC for advice on overhauling Angola’s state oil company, where she served as chairwoman from 2016 to 2017, after being appointed to the post by her father.
“We have of course no knowledge of the source of the documentation on which the recent press stories are based,” said Luís Pais Antunes, a managing partner at PLMJ. In any case, he added, “It is impossible that the documentation that is being used for the bulk of the stories is in any way related to PLMJ or was ever at our disposal.”
Unsure of exactly what he had when his soccer hacking turned up hundreds of thousands of pages related to the companies controlled by Ms. dos Santos and her husband, Mr. Pinto asked Mr. Bourdon, according to the French lawyer, if he could take a hard drive containing the data to a whistle-blower platform Mr. Bourdon had set up in Africa.
Mr. Bourdon said in an interview in the past week that he quickly came to the conclusion that the scale and complexity of the information meant it needed to be shared with the more experienced and better resourced International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. In the past week, that consortium and international news media organizations, including The Times, published details of Ms. dos Santos’s business dealings.
“He fell into this,” Mr. Bourdon said. He said that in addition to sharing the data obtained by Mr. Pinto with journalists, he also had provided the hard drive containing the information to France’s national financial crimes prosecutors.
“I built a very confident relationship with him, and he was happy to share the information with us about this big African scandal,” said Mr. Bourdon, who is known for representing other high-profile individuals who leaked sensitive information into the public domain, including the former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
The revelation that Mr. Pinto, a Portuguese citizen with no known ties to Angola, was behind the leak of information about Ms. dos Santos undercut her claims that the revelations were “a very concentrated, orchestrated and well-coordinated political attack, ahead of elections in Angola next year.”
“It is an attempt to neutralize me and to discredit the legacy of President dos Santos and his family,” she said in a statement after the publication of the damaging articles about her. Her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, was Angola’s president for 38 years until he stepped down in 2017.
The heart of the Angolan investigation involves Isabel dos Santos’s tenure at Sonangol, the state oil monopoly, particularly during November 2017, the month she was fired as its chairwoman. More than $57 million was withdrawn at the time from Sonangol’s account at EuroBic — a Portuguese bank where Ms. dos Santos is the biggest shareholder — to pay for a flurry of invoices issued by a Dubai company owned by her friend.
On Thursday, the Portuguese news agency Lusa reported that a EuroBic banker who managed the Sonangol account, Nuno Ribeiro da Cunha, had been found dead on Wednesday night at his house in Lisbon. Lusa cited a police source who said the death appeared to be a suicide. EuroBic said last Monday that it was ending its relationship with her.
The recently leaked documents provide a detailed account of how Ms. dos Santos exploited her country’s resources, acquiring stakes in vital Angolan industries like telecommunications, diamonds and construction — often through orders signed by her father. She has denied any wrongdoing and has long maintained that she is a self-made woman.
While Mr. Pinto has been hailed as a hero of sorts by those demanding greater transparency in soccer, his conduct has raised questions about his motivations. He reached an out-of-court settlement with the Caledonian Bank in 2014, for example, after being accused of hacking into its systems and transferring thousands of dollars from one of its client accounts.
Mr. Pinto has denied stealing the money, but, citing a nondisclosure agreement, has declined to provide additional details about the incident.
Mr. Bourdon said he hoped the reporting of Mr. Pinto’s role in the affair might improve his client’s standing in Portugal, where he is facing trial later this year on 93 charges related to his efforts to expose the inner workings of the soccer industry. He faces as much as 30 years in prison if convicted on all of the charges against him.
For years, hiding behind the pseudonym John, Mr. Pinto revealed confidential information — including player contracts, internal team financial documents and confidential emails — that pulled back the curtain on the murky world of soccer finance. His disclosures, while illegal, led to criminal tax prosecutions of several top players and even helped prompt officials in the United States to reopen a sexual assault investigation involving the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Officials in Las Vegas eventually decided not to pursue charges against Ronaldo, but even with Mr. Pinto in prison the repercussions of his efforts continue to roil the soccer industry. Players and clubs have faced punishment from sporting and state authorities, and investigations into tax avoidance continue in several European countries.
One of the most notable open cases involves the Premier League champion Manchester City. European soccer’s governing body is weighing a possible ban of the team from the lucrative Champions League after studying details, revealed by Football Leaks, of an apparent effort by City to circumvent financial rules.
Mr. Bourdon has argued that Mr. Pinto should be considered a whistle-blower, even though he is not a soccer insider, and despite the fact that his methods might have been illegal.
“He took all the risks,” Mr. Bourdon said. “He’s suffered because he was inspired by a feeling that his data needed to be published in order to understand all the gloomy and corrupt practices in the football community.”
Mr. Pinto has remained in custody since his return to Portugal, where the authorities have accused him of illegally gaining access to confidential data and, most significant, attempting to extort a powerful sports agency. In that incident, the Portuguese prosecutors said Mr. Pinto sought as much as a million euros (about $1.1 million) in return for deleting information belonging to the company, Doyen Sports.
Michael Forsythe contributed reporting.
Gene Corrigan’s reach and influence in college athletics consistently went beyond his many job titles.
It is why the condolences came from so many corners of the sports world Saturday, after the death of the former Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner, NCAA president and Notre Dame and Virginia athletic director in Charlottesville, Virginia, at age 91.
“When Gene hired me at the University of Virginia straight out of graduate school, it was one of the luckiest days of my life,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “That day began a relationship and mentorship that lasted nearly half a century. Simply put, Gene was one of the most remarkable individuals, and leaders, I have ever known. His impact on the ACC and college athletics was profound and immeasurable, only surpassed by his impact on the individuals he positively affected – and there are a multitude of us.”
Corrigan was athletic director at Notre Dame from 1981 to 1987. His run there included two notable coaching hires — football program resurrector Lou Holtz and current Irish women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw.
Said Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbick: “From my earliest engagement with the NCAA some 30 years ago through my time as Notre Dame’s director of athletics, Gene could always be counted on for great counsel and an encouraging word. Now more than ever, college athletics needs leaders like Gene Corrigan; he will be greatly missed.”
In his role as ACC commissioner (1987-95), which immediately followed his run at Notre Dame, he oversaw the addition of Florida State and helped form the forerunner of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) — the Bowl Alliance.
Corrigan also served as NCAA president from 1995-97.
Corrigan is survived by his wife of 66 years, Lena, and children Louise (Scott Wawner), Kathryn (Tony Zentgraf); David (Jean), Kevin (Lis), Brian (Kathy), Timothy (Jackie) and Boo (Kristen), 19 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Details on a memorial service are incomplete at this time.
“I was born at the right time,” Corrigan told Karen Croake Heisler in her chapter about him in the 2015 edition of the book Strong of Heart. “Lena and I had such a great time working in college athletics. It sure was a lot of fun.”
After graduation from Loyola High School in Baltimore in 1946, Corrigan joined the U.S. Army and served an 18-month stint. After his discharge, he enrolled at Duke University, where he received a degree in liberal arts in 1952. A four-year starter on Duke’s lacrosse team, he was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame on April 20, 1991.
He moved onto Virginia, three years later. There he served in a variety of roles, including head lacrosse and soccer coach and assistant basketball coach, then later as the school’s sports information director.
Two years as Washington and Lee’s athletic director ensued, then it was back to Virginia to serve as athletic director for 10 years.
Then it was on to Notre Dame. Among Corrigan’s contributions ther were initiating an athletic endowment fund. That, in turn, turned into men’s lacrosse, women’s swimming and diving and women’s cross country achieving varsity status during his tenure.
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He also presided over the addition of Rolfs Aquatic Center to the Joyce Center, while also spearheading the projects that would become Loftus Sports Center and Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The more seismic achievements involved people.
In 1987, Corrigan hired McGraw to succeed Mary DiStanislao to take over a national afterthought of a women’s basketball program a little over a year after he lured Holtz to resuscitate the storied football program that had been relegated to a similar stature.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity Gene gave me when he hired me and his support for women’s athletics,” McGraw said upon Corrigan’s death. “I had such a great respect for him. He was so highly admired in all of sport and he always inspired people to be their best. He’s a great role model for coaches to look up to.”
In football, Corrigan inherited Gerry Faust (30-26-1) as his head football coach and eventually replaced him with Holtz (100-30-2).
“I was lucky,” Corrigan told the Tribune in a 2009 interview. “We were friends. Our (son) Tim and Skip (Holtz’s son) went to school together. And I knew Lou wanted the job.
“There were some things that could have gotten in between us. I think he actually got offered (another) job right about the same time he was coming to Notre Dame. I was so fortunate. And Lou knew he wasn’t going to make a lot of money. In fact, he took a big bite to come here.”
Corrigan has been recognized by countless organizations for his service to college athletics, including the National Football Foundation’s highest honor – the Gold Medal (1996), Duke University Alumnus of the Year (1996), National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1993, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2007, and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
Nick Kyrgios never allows for a dull moment when he’s on a tennis court, whether it’s shot selection, showmanship, momentum swings, barking at his entourage or mocking another player not even involved in the match at hand.
All of the above happened during his ever-eventful 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Gilles Simon in the Australian Open‘s second round Thursday night.
That included a moment when Kyrgios — currently on six months’ probation from the ATP for verbally abusing tennis officials — poked fun at the man he might meet in the fourth round, Rafael Nadal. After being warned for taking more than the allotted 25 seconds between serves, Kyrgios mimicked how Nadal fidgets before a point, as if to remind the chair umpire that there are folks who more egregiously waste time.
When a reporter asked Nadal about Kyrgios’ imitation of the 19-time major champion, the Spaniard replied: “I really don’t care. I’m here to play tennis.”
About the only boring segment of the proceedings came during the in-stadium interview, when an allusion was made to later rounds and Kyrgios, an Australian seeded 23rd, told the Melbourne Arena crowd, “I’m not thinking ahead. … I’m just taking it one match at a time at the moment.”
After Kyrgios wrapped up, the No. 1-seeded Nadal was still in the early stages of what became a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1 win against Federico Delbonis over at Rod Laver Arena.
Those results were the most intriguing of Day 4 at the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, especially given the distaste Kyrgios and Nadal have for each other in a raucous rivalry that provided one of the highlights of Wimbledon in 2019.
Never too early to begin pondering a meeting with a quarterfinal berth at stake during Week 2 in Melbourne, with the popular Nadal facing the home-backed Kyrgios.
For that to materialize, Kyrgios first needs to beat No. 16 Karen Khachanov of Russia on Saturday, when Nadal plays No. 27 Pablo Carreno Busta in an all-Spanish matchup.
A massive overnight storm blew dirt all over town, turning the Yarra River brown and leaving traces of red dust on the blue courts Thursday. The playing surfaces required power washing, which delayed the start of action on some outside courts for more than four hours.
Among the noteworthy winners were U.S. Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, who took a medical timeout because of a nosebleed late in the second set of his 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez, along with two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem, No. 7 Alexander Zverev, No. 10 Gael Monfils and a trio of women who have been ranked No. 1 and own Grand Slam titles: Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza.
Nothing captivated a crowd quite like Kyrgios did against Simon, a 35-year-old from France who is ranked 61st.
Not all for good reasons, though.
Yes, Kyrgios delighted the fans with his between-the-legs shots and his booming serves — to the tune of 28 aces, including one at 136 mph to end the match.
He also probably made them nervous with the way he seemed to completely give away the third set after twice being a single point from serving for the win, holding break chances while already leading 4-2. Kyrgios dropped the last four games of that set, no longer showing the patience in baseline exchanges that helped build a lead in the first place.
There also were the consecutive double-faults that allowed Simon to get to 4-all with his first break of the match.
That was part of a stretch in which Kyrgios veered off course for quite a while. The talented 24-year-old went from a total of 10 unforced errors over the first couple of sets to 30 over the next two.
During the changeover before the fourth set, Kyrgios expressed his displeasure with the sort of support he was getting from his group in the audience — which included former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt — sarcastically huffing: “So creative. So creative. So creative. Out of all the things you could say: ‘Stay tough.’ Thanks, man. Thanks. ‘Stay tough.’ That’s what I get. Every break point: ‘Stay tough.’ Wow. Wow. Wow.”
Kyrgios later described himself with a vulgar term for that reaction and said he apologized to his entourage in the locker room.
“They don’t deserve that. They do a lot of things for me, on and off the court,” he said. “No, it’s not acceptable from me. Nothing to do with them.”
Eventually, he got himself headed back in the right direction, earning break points at 5-all in the fourth with the help of an unnecessary leaping backhand that seemed to fly out of control yet somehow landed on the baseline. Kyrgios got that key break with a forehand winner to lead 6-5, then extended his arm toward the spectators.
He served it out with a trio of aces, adding to his pledge of 200 Australian dollars per ace this month — there have been 111 in singles thus far, so 22,200 Australian dollars’ worth — to help relief efforts for the wildfires burning around his country.
Then he turned toward the stands behind the baseline and let out a roar.
“Could have gone to a dark place, and I brought it back. I somehow scraped the win,” Kyrgios said later. “Maturity? I don’t know. I’m just happy to get the win.”
On Thursday during the second round of the Australian Open Rafael Nadal was in the middle of a point against Federico Delbonis when one of his shots went awry.
Nadal, on the far side of the court, attempted to return Delbonis’ serve but instead, his shot angled toward the left sideline and hit the ball girl who was standing by the umpire’s chair.
Spain’s Rafael Nadal hands a ball girl his bandana after a ball hit her during his second-round match against Federico Delbonis of Argentina at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
The Spanish tennis pro and Delbonis went over to the girl to make sure she was OK. Nadal gave the girl a kiss on the cheek, hoping to make everything a bit better.
“For her, it was probably not a good moment,” Nadal told reporters after the match, according to TMZ Sports. “She is a super-brave girl. It was one of my most scary moments that I had on the tennis court, as the ball went straight onto her head.”
Nadal gave his headband to the girl after the match.
The one-time Australian Open winner defeated Delbonis 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1. The heads to the third round to play Pablo Carreno Busta.
Nadal has not won an Australian Open since 2009.
The driver of 911 truck said the ex-NFL star Antonio Brown was high and making threats toward him to “battering” him outside of his Florida home.
TMZ Sports on Thursday obtained the 911 call placed by the driver of a moving truck outside Brown’s Hollywood home. The driver accused Brown of throwing rocks at the truck and assaulting him over payment. The driver said Brown was under the influence at the time of the altercation.
“The guy is high, he smoked, he threatened me. He’s trying to fight, he throws stones at my truck,” the driver reportedly told dispatchers. “I’m trying to make delivery to the gentleman. I called him and told him he has to pay the balance for us to unload… The guy refused to pay in the proper form.”
The driver said Brown and his friends fought him because they didn’t want to pay the fee. However, the driver went back to the wide receiver’s home and received a $4,000 payment, but Brown refused to pay for any other damages, according to TMZ Sports. The driver said Brown and his friends took his keys, opened the truck and were “destroying” things in the back of the rig.
Brown’s trainer, Glenn Holt, was arrested in the incident and charged with felony burglary with assault or battery.
An arrest warrant was reportedly issued later Wednesday, but Hollywood police told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Thursday that they were waiting to see whether or not Brown turns himself in.
Brown tweeted Wednesday: “They want my name slandered.”