Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points as tennis' Western & Southern Open, NBA playoffs will continue; Bryan brothers announce retirement
Following the postponement of several high profile sports events in the U.S., it's been confirmed that tennis action at the Western & Southern Open will resume Friday.
Thursday matches were called off after Naomi Osaka said in a post on social media that she would sit out her semi-final. Osaka's announcement came as athletes in the United States sat out action in multiple sports following the death of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officers.
“As you know, I pulled out of the tournament yesterday in support of racial injustice and continued police violence. I was (and am) ready and prepared to concede the match to my opponent,” Osaka said Thursday, according the Guardian.
“However, after my announcement and lengthy consultation with the WTA and USTA, I have agreed at their request to play on Friday. They offered to postpone all matches until Friday and in my mind that brings more attention to the movement. I want to thank the WTA and the Tournament for their support.”
The NBA's Thursday playoff games will also be postponed, as players continue to strike in response to Blake's death, ESPN reports. The decision came after players and owners met separately earlier this morning, following Wednesday's postponements.
There will be a second meeting in the afternoon with two players from each team talking to NBA owners focused on plans to addressing social injustice and logistics of restarting playoff action.
Playoff games could resume as early as Friday, according to ESPN and USA Today.
Several NFL teams announced on social media that they would not practice today as they gear up for the start of their season, which is scheduled to begin 10 September.
"The Colts will not practice today," read a statement on the Indianapolis Colts Twitter account. "Instead, the team will use the day to discuss and work toward making a lasting social impact and inspiring change in our communities."
“We just both feel it in our guts that it is the right moment,” Mike Bryan explained. The twins are 42 and, before the coronavirus pandemic, had planned to retire after this year’s U.S. Open.
He added, “At this age it takes so much work to go out there and compete. We love playing still but we don’t love getting our bodies ready to get out there. The recovery is tougher. We feel like we were competitive this year, last year, the year before. We want to go out right now where we still have some good tennis left.”
The American pair have dominated tennis doubles action, winning 16 Grand Slam titles and gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. That Olympic triumph came at the peak of success for the Bryans and a period of time in which they held all four major champions.
“We were pretty much unstoppable for those years,” Bob reflected. “We were down a break of serve and smiling, and not one bit of negativity drifted into our game.”
Erol Bilgi, who finished eighth in the men’s 62kg weightlifting event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, has been disqualified following a re-analysis of a sample collected at those Games. The re-analysis found evidence of the banned substances Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (Oral Turinabol) and Stanozolol.
The ruling comes as part of the International Olympic Committee’s fight against doping, with the aim of protecting clean athletes.
Because Bilgi declined to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the decision, announced Thursday, was handled by the IOC Disciplinary Commission.