#1 when he relieved Frederik Andersen after a three-goal fir von dasg234 10.01.2018 13:41

RIO DE JANEIRO -- When Venus Williams pushed one last forehand long to lose in the first round for the first time in her record five Olympic singles tournaments, her opponent celebrated as if having claimed a gold medal, dropping down on the green hard court to plant a kiss on the white five-ring logo.This was clearly a very big deal to Kirsten Flipkens, a Belgian ranked 62nd and only once as far as the semifinals at a Grand Slam event.Just two points away from winning on four occasions while portions of the crowd turned hostile toward her, the 36-year-old Williams faded as Saturday nights match stretched past 3 hours and she was stunned 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) by Flipkens on Day 1 of tennis at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.Afterward, Williams did not speak to reporters. Instead, U.S. womens tennis coach Mary Joe Fernandez did, saying that Williams was sick before arriving in Brazil. Fernandez added that Williams had cramping, dehydration and an upset stomach after her loss, but still hoped to play doubles Sunday with younger sister Serena.I would be highly surprised if she didnt play, because this has been her goal for the last four years -- to come back to the Olympics, Fernandez said. She wants to win a medal so badly in anything. Knowing Venus, she will be out there, no matter how badly shes feeling.Williams owns four gold medals: one in singles and three in doubles. She owns 21 Grand Slam titles: seven in singles, 14 in doubles. But she labored at times Saturday and even showed frustration by shouting Ridiculous! after dropping one point.With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry watching from a second-row seat behind a baseline, the fifth-seeded Williams wasted a 4-1 lead in the final set and was broken while serving for the victory at 5-3.Williams was coming off a run to the semifinals at Wimbledon last month, her best showing at a major since 2010. That also made her the oldest woman since 1994 to reach a Grand Slam tournaments final four. And it helped her attain her best ranking since revealing in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with Sjongrens syndrome, which can cause joint pain and fatigue.Shes used to not feeling 100 percent with her Sjongrens, and I think thats why we saw her compete and fight to the end, Fernandez said. Credit to Flipkens, who hung around and defended so well and made her play extra shots.Williams is the first tennis player to participate in singles at five Olympics, and never had failed to reach at least the third round before, claiming a gold at the 2000 Sydney Games. She also won doubles golds in 2000, 2008 and 2012.But against Flipkens, who was making her Olympic debut, Williams failed to find the right measure on most of her strokes and wound up with 13 fewer winners on courts that competitors agree are playing slowly. Williams, once possessor of one of the best serves in womens tennis, hit one ace, five fewer than Flipkens.This is just one of the most epic matches in my life, Flipkens said.The fans couldnt seem to settle on which woman they wanted to win. They greeted Williams far more loudly and warmly during prematch introductions, although perhaps that was because of her far-greater name recognition.Later, though, they roared when Williams made mistakes. They clapped when she double-faulted. They even gave her grief for the common and innocuous practice of catching a ball toss that wasnt good.When one group of spectators bellowed a USA! USA! chant late in the third set, others responded by booing (Kerry had left by then).They just enjoyed my game because, I think, Im a little girl trying to do some special stuff to get a chance to beat a champion like that, Flipkens said.Williams loss was part of a rough day for the United States tennis team. Seven of the countrys eight singles players were in action, and they went 2-5.Steve Johnson and Madison Keys won, but there were losses for Jack Sock (who said afterward he had walking pneumonia, then got into a Twitter spat with former pro player and coach Brad Gilbert), Denis Kudla, Brian Baker and Sloane Stephens.In all, three of the top six women already are gone, with No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and No. 6 Roberta Vinci of Italy -- who ended Serena Williams bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam at the U.S. Open last September -- joining Venus Williams on the way out.---Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich Barry Larkin Jersey . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. Now Green and Plumlee are key cogs in the Suns surprising breakout season. Joe Morgan Jersey . 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LOUIS -- Valtteri Filppula assisted on three of Tampa Bays four goals, and the Lightning beat the St. NEW YORK -- Two winless teams looking to ensure a slow start doesnt snowball into something more serious will meet Sunday night when the New York Islanders host the Anaheim Ducks in the home opener at Barclays Center.Both teams fell to 0-2-0 with narrow road losses to Eastern Conference powerhouses Saturday, when the Islanders lost to the reigning Presidents Trophy-winning Washington Capitals 2-1 and the Ducks dropped a 3-2 decision to the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.The Islanders, who are entering their second season at Barclays Center, are pointless through two games for the first time since 2006-07, which was the last time they opened 0-3-0. The Ducks are pointless after two games for the first time since 2010-11, which was also the most recent season in which they got off to an 0-3-0 start.Theyre playing (Saturday), too, so no excuse for tired legs, Islanders left winter Jason Chimera said.Especially for the Islanders, who merely had to take a train into Manhattan for Thursdays 5-3 loss to the crosstown New York Rangers before trekking 230 miles down I-95 to face the Capitals.Weve got to come back, Chimera said. We need to get in the win column, for sure.The Ducks, who are in the midst of a five-game road trip that is the franchises longest season-opening trip since 1996-97, lost 4-2 at the Dallas Stars on Thursday before heading to PPittsburgh.ddddddddddddIts a tough road trip to begin the season, right winger Corey Perry, who scored one of the Ducks goals, told the Orange County Register. We need that first win to get us going and get the confidence up again.At least one streak will end Sunday: Neither the Islanders nor Ducks have led in their first two games.We can measure our game by the number of mistakes that we feel we made that are correctable, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle told the Orange County Register. And our teams not playing to the level thats required right now from our group. Simple as that.Thomas Greiss started in net and took the hard-luck loss, stopping 26 of 28 shots. No. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak is expected to start for New York on Sunday. Halak is 7-5-0 in 13 career games against the Ducks and won the last time he opposed Anaheim on Dec., 21, 2015, when he had 27 saves in a 3-2 win at Barclays Center.For the Ducks, No. 1 goalie John Gibson is also likely to draw the start after backup Jonathan Bernier performed well (42 saves) in defeat Saturday.Gibson made his only career appearance against the Islanders last Dec. 21 when he relieved Frederik Andersen after a three-goal first period and stopped 18 of 19 shots he faced the rest of the way. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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