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Quite a return for Serena Williams ... Simona Halep hangs on ... NBA coaches start getting into shape

January 15, 2019

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It was quite a return for Serena Williams. In her first match at the Australian Open since winning the 2017 title while pregnant — and her first official match anywhere since a loss in the chaotic U.S. Open final last September. Williams overpowered Tatjana Maria 6-0, 6-2 in the first round today. Other seeded winners today include No. 4 Naomi Osaka and No. 7 Karolina Pliskova.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Simona Halep climbed out of a deficit of a set and a break to avoid becoming the first No. 1-seeded woman to lose in the Australian Open’s first round in 40 years. Halep reeled off the last four games, and 13 of the final 15 points, to come back and beat Kaia Kanepi 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-2.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Kings guard Iman Shumpert says he apologizes to fans if he made a scene. Shumpert was stopped from going into Portland’s locker room by arena and Trail Blazers security after Sacramento’s 115-107 victory Monday night. Shumpert apparently was angry at Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who set a hard screen in the second half. Nurkic shrugged it off, saying, “I’m not going to worry about a guy who’s going into retirement soon.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s offer of greasy burgers and fries to the college football champion Clemson Tigers at the White House yesterday has brought a roasting from late-night TV hosts. Trump, a fast-food lover, said he paid for the meal himself because of the partial government shutdown. Trump joked that otherwise, first lady Melania Trump and Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, would have to make salads.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — NBA coaches are getting into shape. Some of them are taking preventive measures to help deal with the grind and stresses of a long basketball season. Luke Walton has begun a wellness program for his Lakers coaching staff. And Steve Kerr reached out to Steve Clifford after each spent significant time away from the sideline because of debilitating headaches and other symptoms.

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