Update on the latest sports


Osaka beats Brady to claim 4th Slam trophy

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Naomi Osaka has won her fourth Grand Slam trophy by pulling away to beat Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 in the Australian Open final.

Osaka improved to 4-0 in title matches at major tournaments. She is the first woman to start her career that way since Monica Seles did it 30 years ago. Only two active women own more Slam titles than Osaka: Serena Williams, with 23, and her sister, Venus, with seven.

Osaka has won her past 21 matches dating to last season. That includes a championship at last year’s U.S. Open. She was seeded No. 3 at Melbourne Park and is now assured of moving up to No. 2.

The 23-year-old Osaka was born in Japan and moved to the United States with her family when she was 3.

Brady, a 25-year-old American, was playing in her first Grand Slam final. When the Australian Open began two weeks ago, her career record in the tournament was 3-3, including first-round exits last year and in 2018, plus a loss in qualifying in 2019. Her Grand Slam record was 15-14, and her overall tour-level mark as a pro was below .500, at 54-57.

She says her performance this time shows that winning a Grand Slam is within reach.

Brady, who is from Pennsylvania and played college tennis at UCLA, was one of 72 players who needed to go into hard lockdown for at least two weeks after they were on a chartered flight with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus upon arrival in Australia. Brady was the only singles player in that group who made it to Week 2.

Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) will play Daniil Medvedev (DAN’-ihl MEHD’-veh-dehv) in the men’s final Sunday. No. 1-ranked Djokovic is aiming to win his ninth Australian Open championship and 18th Grand Slam title overall. He is 8-0 in finals at Melbourne Park and is trying to close the gap with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Slam trophies won by a man. They each have 20. Medvedev is in his second major final. He lost to Nadal at the 2019 U.S. Open. Medvedev is on a 20-match winning streak that includes 12 wins against Top 10 opponents.


Tahoe is unique setting for 2 outdoor NHL games this weekend

STATELINE, Nev. (AP) — Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountains will be the backdrop for a pair of outdoor NHL games this weekend. The picturesque setting for the games between Vegas and Colorado and Philadelphia and Boston will be unlike the 30 previous outdoor games, which were played at football, baseball and soccer stadiums.

The NHL built a rink on the 18th fairway of the golf course of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort, which is on the shores of Lake Tahoe and surrounded by trees with the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountain range towering in the background. The rink is more than 6,000 feet above sea level.

The Avalanche and Golden Knights take the ice for the first game Saturday. The Flyers and Bruins play Sunday.


Shiffrin dethroned in slalom but takes home four medals

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin has been dethroned as the four-time defending champion in slalom but won bronze Saturday after also medaling in her previous three events at the world championships.

The American says “it’s incredible” to win four medals at the world championships.

Austrian skier Katharina Liensberger won the women’s slalom, ending Shiffrin’s streak of four straight world titles in the discipline. Liensberger posted the fastest time in both runs to beat Petra Vlhova of Slovakia by one second. Shiffrin was 1.98 behind.

Shiffrin won gold in the combined event and took silver in giant slalom after opening the worlds with bronze in super-G.

Shiffrin has been coming back this season after a 10-month break from racing last year.


Highlights of Saturday’s schedule

UNDATED (AP) — Alabama looks to move a step closer to its first Southeastern Conference title in 19 years when the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide host Vanderbilt Saturday.

Alabama hasn’t played since defeating Georgia on Feb. 13, after its mid-week game with Texas A&M was called off. Still, the Crimson Tide are 12-1 in the league and have three fewer losses than chasers No. 24 Arkansas and LSU.

Seventh-ranked Virginia looks to rebound from a lopsided loss at No. 16 Florida State and maintain its winning percentage likely to determine conference tournament seeding when it visits Duke Saturday night. Virginia also aims to bounce back defensively after allowing FSU to shoot 50% overall and from long range. The Blue Devils seek their third consecutive ACC win to improve their conference winning percentage and maintain slim NCAA Tournament hopes. They return home after consecutive wins at North Carolina State and Wake Forest by least 16 points each.

After the Big 12 had three of its five midweek games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols, including a tantalizing Thursday night matchup between ninth-ranked Oklahoma and No. 12 Texas, the league gets back to work in earnest with a nearly full slate of games Saturday. The highlights are No. 13 West Virginia visiting the Longhorns and No. 15 Texas Tech heading to No. 23 Kansas.