Tuesday’s Sports In Brief

August 10, 2022 GMT

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams says she is ready to step away from tennis after winning 23 Grand Slam titles, turning her focus to having another child and her business interests.

“I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give,” Williams wrote in an essay released Tuesday by Vogue magazine.

Williams, one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes in the history of her — or any other — sport, said she does not like the word retirement and prefers to think of this stage of her life as “evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”

Williams is playing this week in Toronto, at a hard-court tournament that leads into the U.S. Open, the year’s last Grand Slam event, which begins in New York on Aug. 29.

The American has won more Grand Slam singles titles in the professional era than any other woman or man. Only one player, Margaret Court, collected more, 24, although she won a portion of hers in the amateur era.

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GOLF

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge in California ruled Tuesday that three golfers who joined Saudi-backed LIV Golf will not be able to compete in the PGA Tour’s postseason.

U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman made her decision in San Jose after attorneys for the sides each spoke for about an hour. Freeman said she didn’t consider the golfers faced irreparable harm because of the big money they were guaranteed by joining LIV, a key issue in the case.

“There simply is no irreparable harm in this case,” PGA Tour attorney Elliot Peters said.

The three suspended golfers were seeking a temporary restraining order, which Freeman denied. Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford claimed they should be able to play where they want to, each saying in letters last month to the PGA Tour, “I am a free agent and independent contractor.” They are among 10 players who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last week — including Phil Mickelson.

Robert Walters, an antitrust litigator representing the golfers, noted this would be their opportunity on a big playoff stage, “effectively the Super Bowl of golf” because of its “significant income opportunities.” Freeman responded that the LIV Tour earnings potential was also great and asked whether players might have been able to wait until the conclusion of the PGA Tour season to depart for the new tour.

BASEBALL

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani withstood another injury scare and pitched six scoreless innings to go with his team-leading 25th home run, reaching yet another monumental milestone as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Tuesday night.

The two-way Japanese star joined Babe Ruth (1918) as the only players in major league history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season. According to the Angels, two players from the Negro Leagues also did it: Bullet Rogan of the 1922 Kansas City Monarchs and Ed Rile of the 1927 Detroit Stars.

Ohtani singled and scored on Taylor Ward’s three-run homer in the fifth, then connected for a towering drive off Sam Selman leading off the seventh as a throng of red-clan fans sitting behind the Angels dugout roared.

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On the mound, Ohtani (10-7) was mostly crisp. He had five strikeouts, allowed four hits and retired seven of his final eight batters.

NFL

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he feels the league needed to keep pushing for a year-long suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson because of his “egregious” and “predatory behavior” toward women.

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Speaking at the owners’ meetings Tuesday in Bloomington, Minnesota, Goodell addressed the league’s decision to appeal a six-game suspension given to Watson by Sue L. Robinson, a former federal judge appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association as an independent league disciplinary officer.

Robinson found Watson violated the league’s conduct policy after he was accused by two dozen women of sexual assault or harassment while he played for Houston. Watson has settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits filed by the women, though he has denied any wrongdoing.

The league has been seeking an indefinite suspension and fine for Watson, and felt Robinson’s six-game ban wasn’t enough. Goodell cited the collective bargaining agreement for empowering the league to seek further discipline.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The record $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos to Walmart heir Rob Walton and his daughter and son-in-law was unanimously approved Tuesday by NFL owners, the expected final step in the transfer from the family of the late Pat Bowlen.

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The vote was taken at a league meeting at a hotel in Minnesota, where Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner, were introduced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. With an estimated worth of $60 billion, the 77-year-old Walton — the eldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton — becomes the wealthiest owner in the league. Rob Walton served as chairman of the retail giant from 1992-2015.

The Walton-Penner group paid the highest price in history for a sports franchise anywhere in the world. The three limited partners are Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, Starbucks board chair Mellody Hobson and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.