Serena, Venus Williams, Roger Federer not on Wimbledon entry lists

Serena Williams

Serena WilliamsVenus Williams and Roger Federer, who own a combined 20 Wimbledon singles titles, are, as expected, not on the entry list for next month’s tournament at the All England Club.

None of the Hall of Fame trio have played tournament tennis since last summer. All could still get into Wimbledon, which starts June 27, on wild cards.

Federer, a record eight-time men’s singles champion, has played every Wimbledon dating to 1999. Before that, he won the junior title in 1998.

Federer, 40, underwent a third knee surgery in an 18-month span after a quarterfinal exit at last year’s Wimbledon. He said last fall that he expected to be out through Wimbledon.

His agent reportedly said earlier this spring that Federer is targeting the Laver Cup, after the U.S. Open in September, and the Swiss Indoors, his home tournament, in October. Federer has not said whether he will play Grand Slam tennis again, focusing on his quality of life and his family.

Serena Williams, also 40, hasn’t played competition tennis since retiring from her 2021 Wimbledon first-round match with a leg injury. In April, she teased in an Instagram story conversation with quarterback Aaron Rodgers that she was getting ready for Wimbledon and “a comeback.” She has not said anything publicly since to indicate a return is imminent.

Venus Williams, a 41-year-old who played every Wimbledon since 1997 save 2013, had her last match last August, then withdrew before the U.S. Open with a leg injury.

Separately, Naomi Osaka, a four-time major champion, is on the entry list. She said during the French Open that she was considering not playing Wimbledon after the ATP and WTA tours stripped the tournament of ranking points for excluding Russia and Belarus players.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, who will ascend to world No. 1 later this month, will miss the tournament. As will two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist Aryna Sabalenka, both of Belarus, and Russians Daria Kasatkina, who just made the French Open semifinals, and world No. 7 Andrey Rublev.

Leylah Fernandez, the 2021 U.S. Open runner-up from Canada, is also not on the Wimbledon entry list. She played with a foot injury at the French Open.

Alexander Zverev, the third-ranked male singles player, retired from his French Open semifinal with an ankle injury and has a little over three weeks to recover in time for Wimbledon.

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Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon but has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028

Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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