Serena Williams makes Wimbledon quarterfinals; no top-10 seeds left

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Serena Williams made her 13th Wimbledon quarterfinal, but for the first time in any Grand Slam in the 50-year Open Era, no top-10 seeds in one of the singles draws made the final eight.

Williams, the 25th seed, beat Russian qualifier and fellow mom Evgeniya Rodina 6-2, 6-2 on Monday. She gets Italian Camila Giorgi in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

“It was tougher than the scoreline,” Williams said. “I knew we were both moms, and I’m not sure how often that’s happened, if ever. So it’s really cool. You can be a mom, you can still play tennis and you can still be great.”

Williams is looking for her eighth Wimbledon title and has established herself as the big favorite once again, with the top-10 seeds all eliminated. She is seeded 25th after missing last year’s tournament while pregnant.

The highest seeds in the quarterfinals are No. 11 Angelique Kerber, No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko and No. 13 Julia Görges. Williams could play Görges in the semifinals.

The last top-10 women’s seed fell Monday, with No. 7 Karolina Pliskova upset by No. 20 Kiki Bertens 6-3, 7-6 (1). It’s not only the first time in Grand Slam Open Era history without a top-10 woman in the quarterfinals, but also the semifinals.

“I don’t think this has happened to this extreme. But also, I’ve never been ranked where I am,” Williams said. “Usually, I’m one of those few seeds left that’s still fighting and still in the tournament. Now that I’m not, it kind of happened.”

The previous record for fewest top-10 seeds in the men’s or women’s quarterfinals at a Grand Slam was one man in the 1997 and 1998 French Opens.

Also Monday, Roger FedererRafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of the same Grand Slam for the first time since the 2015 French Open.

Federer won the first set in 16 minutes en route to sweeping Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 to make his record-extending 16th Wimbledon quarterfinal.

The top seed Federer, who also owns a record eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles, next faces No. 8 Kevin Anderson on Wednesday.

No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal remained on track for a possible final versus Federer by sweeping Czech Jiri Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to make his first quarterfinal since 2011. Nadal gets No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro or Frenchman Gilles Simon.

Djokovic, seeded 12th, ousted Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 and will play Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

American John Isner reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in nearly seven years, knocking out No. 31 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4). The ninth seed Isner gets 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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