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Sharapova could compete in some major tournaments next year

Published: Wednesday, October 05, 2016 @ 9:15 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 05, 2016 @ 9:15 AM


            MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning her fourth round match against Belinda Bencic of Switerland during day seven of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
            Cameron Spencer
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning her fourth round match against Belinda Bencic of Switerland during day seven of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)(Cameron Spencer)

Maria Sharapova has something to smile about. It was announced Tuesday that the tennis star's two-year suspension for doping has been reduced by nine months.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Sharapova still "bore some degree of fault" for having tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, and it felt a 15-month suspension was "appropriate."

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So now that Sharapova can begin competing again in late April, there's a whole slew of tennis tournaments that can be penciled into her schedule.

The big one? The French Open, which starts in late May.

Sharapova won the women's singles portion of that tournament in 2012 and 2014.

She'll also be able to compete at Wimbledon. Sharapova has competed at this tournament 13 times, but only won once, in 2004.

And Sharapova can attend the 2017 U.S. Open — making January's Australian Open the only grand slam tournament Sharapova can't participate in.

As for her sponsorships, Sharapova might be able to pick up a couple that cut ties with her earlier this year, such as Porsche and watchmaker Tag Heuer.

In response to the court's decision, Sharapova wrote on Facebook, "In so many ways, I feel like something I love was taken away from me and it will feel really good to have it back. ... I am counting the days until I can return to the court."

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Venus Williams posts personal response about deadly crash on Facebook

Published: Saturday, July 01, 2017 @ 9:39 AM

Venus Williams – Fast Facts

Tennis superstar Venus Williams took to Facebook to respond for the first time on a June 9 intersection crash resulting in a 78-year-old man’s death. 

“I am devastated and heartbroken by this accident,” Williams said on her Facebook page. “My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.”

The news of Williams’ crash surfaced on Thursday, three weeks after the incident. 

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RELATED: Venus Williams in Palm Beach Gardens crash resulting in man’s death

A police report from Palm Beach Gardens found Williams to be at fault for “violating” the right of way, but an investigation continues.  

The wife of the crash victim, Esther Linda Barson,, told police she proceeded westbound through a green light and T-boned Williams’ car. Her husband suffered head injuries and was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died on June 22. 

RELATED: How will three new developments transform Northlake Boulevard?

Williams told police she stopped in the median break when traffic forced her to stop, the police report said. She then drove her 2010 Toyota Sequoia through the intersection and she didn’t see Barson’s 2016 Hyundai Accent. 

The family of Jerome Barson filed a wrongful death lawsuit the day after news became public of the fatal crash. The court document demanded a trial by jury and judgment for damages against Williams with interest and costs.

UPDATE: Lawyer for victim’s family in Venus Williams crash ‘devastated’

Esther Linda Barson was driving this Hyundai Accent when they T-boned the car driven by Venus Williams. (Photo courtesy the family via Michael Steinger)(Palm Beach Post Staff Writer)

Jerome Barson, 78, was killed after a crash police say was caused by Palm Beach Gardens-based tennis star Venus Williams. (Photo courtesy the family via Michael Steinger)(Palm Beach Post Staff Writer)

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Top-seeded Kerber stunned in first round of French Open 

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 8:45 AM

Germany's Angelique Kerber reacts during her first-round loss against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova at the  French Open on  Sunday.
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images
Germany's Angelique Kerber reacts during her first-round loss against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova at the French Open on Sunday.(LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

Angelique Kerber became the first top-seeded women’s player in the Open era of tennis to lose in the first round of the French Open, falling 6-2, 6-2 to Ekaterina Makarova on Sunday. 

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Makarova was successful against Kerber’s serve and took advantage of the No. 1 seed’s numerous mistakes to earn the victory.

The momentum seemed to turn toward Kerber late in the second set as she grabbed a break. But she promptly double-faulted to hand the advantage back to Makarova.

The result will allow Karolina Pliskova or Simona Halep to overtake Kerber for the No. 1 spot with deep runs into the tournament, according to Bleacher Report. Pliskova can clinch the top spot with an appearance in the final, while Halep will need to win the tournament.

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Genie Bouchard makes good on bet with random fan after losing Super Bowl wager

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 2:18 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 2:18 PM


            Canadian tennis star Genie Bouchard, left, at a Brooklyn Nets game Wednesday night with a fan, John Goehrke, who won a Super Bowl Twitter bet with Bouchard.
            AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Canadian tennis star Genie Bouchard, left, at a Brooklyn Nets game Wednesday night with a fan, John Goehrke, who won a Super Bowl Twitter bet with Bouchard.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Keeping her promise after losing a Super Bowl bet on Twitter with a random fan, Canadian tennis star Genie Bouchard and her blind date attended a Brooklyn Nets game Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.

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Bouchard and University of Missouri student John Goehrke sat courtside at the Nets game against the Milwaukee Bucks, even throwing souvenir balls into the stands.

Bouchard tweeted that the Atlanta Falcons would beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI when the Falcons were leading by 25 points.

Goehrke responded by asking her for a date if the Patriots won, and she agreed.

Bouchard even said she enjoyed the date and would consider going out with Goehrke a second time.

The Falcons blew their lead and the Patriots won the game 34-28. Bouchard made good on the bet and met  Goehrke for the game on Wednesday while she was in New York for events connected with her appearance in the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

Serena Williams wins record 23rd career Grand Slam title

Published: Saturday, January 28, 2017 @ 5:11 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 28, 2017 @ 5:11 AM

It was a record-breaking slam dunk for Serena Williams.

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In an all-sister final at the Australian Open, Williams won a record 23rd Grand Slam title Saturday with a 6-4, 6-4, victory against Venus Williams in the women's singles final.

Serena's victory broke the Open era record she held with Steffi Graf.  Margaret Court is the all-time leader with 24 titles in the Open and amateur eras.

It was the ninth meeting in a Grand Slam final between the Williams sisters. The last all-Williams final came at Wimbledon in 2009, which also was Venus' last major final. Serena Williams now has a 17-11 career record against Venus, including a 10-5 mark at Grand Slams and a 7-2 edge in Slam finals.

Serena Williams closed the match on her first championship point, charging the net with a forehand that Venus Williams could not successfully return, ESPN reported.

"I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus," Serena Williams told the crowd after the match. "She's an amazing person. There's no way I'd be at 23 without her. There's no way I'd be at one.

"She's the only reason the Williams sisters exist, inspiring me to be the best player I can be."

It's Serena Williams' seventh Australian Open title overall and second in the past three tournaments in Melbourne. She also has seven titles at Wimbledon, six at the US Open and three at the French Open.

Saturday's victory also means Serena Williams will regain the world No. 1 ranking from Angelique Kerber, who was eliminated in the fourth round in Melbourne. Next week will be Williams' 310th at the top of tennis.

"Serena Williams ... that's my little sister guys," Venus Williams said. "Congratulations, Serena, on No. 23. I have been right there with you.

"Your win has always been my win. I think you know that I'm enormously proud of you. You mean the world to me."

Women's tennis great Billie Jean King sent out a pair of tweets Saturday morning, congratulating each sister.

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