Sports Briefs: 11-25-20

  • In this Feb. 3, 2020, file photo, Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Dominic Thiem in the men’s singles final of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia. The political leader of Australia’s Victorian state says Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, despite “incredibly complex” negotiations, he is confident January’s Australian Open tennis tournament will proceed. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Sports minister: The Australian Open ‘most likely’ to be delayed

MELBOURNE, Australia — The sports minister for Victoria state says the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne will “most likely” be delayed by a week or two from its scheduled start of Jan. 18.

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Martin Pakula also said negotiations between various levels of governments and tennis officials were close to a conclusion and that the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year was expected to go ahead.

“There’s a number of potential dates on the table. I’ve seen reports that suggest that it’s likely to be delayed by a week or two. I think that’s still most likely,” Pakula said Wednesday. “But it’s not the only option. As you know, the French Open was delayed by many months and Wimbledon didn’t occur at all.

“I still think it’s much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay. I don’t want to unduly repeat myself but these are very complex negotiations.”

Australian Open tournament director and Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley last weekend said the final dates should be confirmed within two weeks. The Australian Open is usually held in the last two weeks of January, which coincides with summer school holidays in Australia.

Tampa Bay outfielder Arozarena arrested in Mexico’s Yucatan

MEXICO CITY — Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena has been arrested in Mexico’s Yucatan state for a situation involving an apparent custody dispute, just two weeks after he won the Babe Ruth award for the Most Valuable Player in the postseason.

The Yucatan state prosecutors’ office confirmed Tuesday that Arozarena was detained “for problems relating to his ex-partner.” The office did not explain what those problems were, but video posted on social media suggested it may have involved a dispute over a child.

He has not been formally charged yet. Mexican law allows a two-day period for prosecutors to decide whether to bring charges. Normally suspects are held in jail pending that decision.

“We are aware of reports that Randy Arozarena was detained in Mexico,” the Rays said in a brief statement. “We are gathering more information on this situation, and we have no further comment at this time.”

Braves boost their rotation, sign Morton for a year at $15 million

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves were looking for more than just experience and depth when they signed two-time All-Star Charlie Morton to a $15 million, one-year deal Tuesday.

As was the case when the Braves recently signed another veteran for the rotation, Drew Smyly, general manager Alex Anthopoulos sought a power arm to help push Atlanta to the World Series.

“It’s swing and miss stuff,” Anthopoulos said. “There’s a theme there with both Charlie and with Drew. Power swing-and-miss stuff, in the postseason it certainly plays.”

Morton, a 37-year-old right-hander, is returning to the Braves after helping Tampa Bay reach the World Series this season.

The Rays declined his $15 million option and the Braves gave him what he would have earned.

Pelicans acquire Adams as final piece of four-team Holiday deal

Veteran 7-foot NBA center Steven Adams has agreed to a two-year extension with the Pelicans following his trade to New Orleans as part of a four-team deal that also sent guard Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans to Milwaukee.

Adams’ extension is for $35 million, said a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial terms have not been announced.

The acquisition of Adams comes after Derrick Favors left New Orleans in free agency for Utah, where he’s spent much of his career. Now the 265-pound Adams, known for his feisty play under the basket and aptitude for setting screens, will be creating room to operate on the offensive end for the likes of wing Brandon Ingram, forward Zion Williamson and guard Lonzo Ball.

Adams is a New Zealand native who has spent all of his seven NBA seasons in Oklahoma City, averaging 9.8, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, a block and 0.9 steals during his career.

The deal, which also sent guard Eric Bledsoe from the Bucks to the Pelicans, additionally provides New Orleans with Milwaukee’s first-round draft choices in 2025 and 2027, along with the right to swap first-rounders with the Bucks in 2024 and 2026.

Oklahoma City gets a future first round draft pick from Denver; guard George Hill from Milwaukee; and wing player Zylan Cheatham, guard Josh Gray, forward Darius Miller, forward Kenrich Williams, and two second round draft picks from the Pelicans.

The Bucks acquired the draft rights to Sam Merrill, who was picked 60th overall by New Orleans, as part of the trade, while Denver acquired the draft rights to R.J. Hampton, who was selected 24th overall by Milwaukee on draft night.

COVID-19 causes Gophers to cancel game with Wisconsin

MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time in 114 years, the Minnesota-Wisconsin game has been bumped off the schedule.

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Minnesota called off its annual battle with Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan’s Axe — which was slated for Saturday afternoon — due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases within the program. The decision made Tuesday by Minnesota will also likely make the 18th-ranked Badgers ineligible for the Big Ten championship game, because of two earlier canceled games.

By wire sources

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