2019 Australian Open - Day 8
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Serena Williams Advances To Her 50th Grand Slam Quarterfinal

"I’m such a fighter. I just never give up."

In Melbourne, Australia, Serena Williams kicked off her week by solidifying her spot in the Australian Open’s quarterfinal, Reuters reports. On Monday evening (Jan. 21), the acclaimed champion defeated professional tennis’ No. 1 player Simona Halep (6-1, 4-6, 6-4). According to various news reports, the match tested each opponent’s athletic ability, with both vying to remain in the tournament by serving high power aces; on Williams’ end she landed nine.

“In order for me to stay out there, I had to play a little like I knew I could. I’m such a fighter. I just never give up,” Williams said. “It’s definitely something that’s innate. I just work so hard for every point.” On Halep’s side, she told reporters the whole exhibition came as fast as the speed of light. “I felt like I had been hit by a train in the first set,” Halep said. “Everything was too fast.”

As the Australian Open is the first Grand Slam exhibition to kick off pro-tennis’ season (French Open, Wimbledon, US Open), Williams is back on a renewed quest to add to her trophy case after losing 2018’s US Open final to Naomi Osaka. After giving birth to her first child in late 2017, Williams was back to work three months later.

In an interview with Vogue, Williams admitted that leaving tennis behind to be a full-time mom sounds enticing, but she’s on track to attain 25 single Grand Slam titles, a feat that would shatter the record held by Margaret Court with 24 conquests to her name.

“To be honest, there’s something really attractive about the idea of moving to San Francisco and just being a mom,” she said. “But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams. I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights set on 25.”

Williams will take on No. 7 Karolina Pliskova on Tuesday (Jan. 22).

 

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It's official. My comeback is here. This Thursday I will start playing tennis again professionally for the first time since giving birth to my daughter. This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida- both my home states. Thursday, the day I play my very first match, marks international women's day. My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be apart of my long journey back (if you want of course!!) So I created my Serena Gold toned "S" pin. When I am playing you can wear it and show support not only from me but also for my charity which supports the Yetunde Price Resource center. I want this gold "S" mean something special to you personally. What is one S word in your life that means something to you? Mine is Strong and Sure! So when I wear my "S" pin I am representing Strength, and Sureness. What would your "S" mean? They are for now only available for my fans that come see my at Indian wells, and Miami starting Wednesday as well as Thursday when I play!! Sooooo if you are watching me stop by the Serena booth to grab a "S" pin. Post pics of you wearing your "S" and tag me! Thanks for the support I look forward to seeing you out there!!

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Michael Reaves

Dwyane Wade Responds To Criticism Of Supporting His Son At Miami Pride

Dwyane Wade had a brilliant response to the criticism he received for supporting his youngest son at the Miami Pride parade earlier this year.

As you may remember, Wade's 12-year-old son was pictured with his stepmom, Gabrielle Union, at the Miami Beach Pride parade in Apr. 2019. Although Wade was busy with his NBA season, he showed love and support to his child on social media, triggering a slew of nasty and insensitive remarks.

Despite the negative feedback, Wade feels as though he did the right thing and spoke candidly about his family and how he views parenthood.

"I don’t really talk about it much because it’s Zion’s story to tell," Wade told Variety in a new interview published Tuesday (June 18). "I think as a family, we should support each other. That’s our job. And my job as a father is to facilitate their lives and to support them and be behind them in whatever they want to do."

He also encouraged other parents to embrace who their kids are. "They are all different, and I have to get to know them and where they are. I have to say to most parents, get to know your kids," he added. "Don’t put your wants and needs on them."

He continued: "I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes from it. I’m doing what every parent has to do. Once you bring kids into this world, you become unselfish. It’s my job to be their role model, to be their voice in my kids’ lives, to let them know you can conquer the world. So, go and be your amazing self and we’re going to sit back and just love you."

Watch Dwyane Wade's full thoughts in the video below.

Dwyane Wade was surprised that his love for his son resulted in some backlash on social media https://t.co/yk4kuCE3nA pic.twitter.com/KAWEmQjEGZ

— Variety (@Variety) June 18, 2019

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Sean M. Haffey/BIG3/Getty Images

ESPN Reportedly Prohibits LaVar Ball From Being An On-Air Guest

According to The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch, ESPN has put a halt on future LaVar Ball appearances. The reported decision follows a controversial comment made by Ball to First Take host Molly Qerim.

“Asked if Ball will be used as an on-air guest, an on-the-record source for digital, or a background source for ESPN, an ESPN spokesperson said, ‘We have no plans moving forward,’” the tweet from Deitsch reads.

Initially, the discussion centered around the Big Baller Brand’s son, Lonzo Ball, and his trade from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans. When Qerim decided to change subjects, or “switch gears” as she said, Ball responded, “You can switch gears with me anytime.” The statement prompted a side-eye from co-host Stephen A. Smith, and a response from Qerim, stating "Let's stay focused here."

Following the network’s reported decision, Qerim told TMZ Sports that she’s “satisfied” with the aftermath and “I appreciate that all the executives had my back.”

There will be no LaVar Ball on any ESPN platform heading forward — at least as of now. Asked if Ball will be used as an on-air guest, an on-the-record source for digital, or a background source for ESPN, an ESPN spokesperson said,"We have no plans moving forward."

— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) June 19, 2019

LaVar shooting his shot at Molly Qerim during First Take interview? Jalen Rose gonna bust him up lol pic.twitter.com/HeIB9CFIxH

— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 17, 2019

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Jason Bean-Pool

O.J. Simpson "Gets Even" On New Twitter Account, Denies Kris Jenner Rumors

The Juice is loose... on Twitter that is. O.J. Simpson just made a Twitter account, and according to the former NFL star and accused murderer, he has a lot of "getting even to do."

"Hey Twitter world, this is yours truly. Coming soon to Twitter, you'll get to read all my thoughts and opinions on just about everything," Simpson said his first Twitter video, entitled "Coming Soon!" "You'll get to read my tweets on just about everything. It should be a lot of fun. I've got a little getting even to do."

O.J. elaborated on his statement in a follow-up video, saying, "for years people have been able to say what they want to say about me, with no accountability."  He added: "But now I get to challenge a lot of that B.S. and set the record straight..."

In his first order of business, the Juice decided to comment on those ongoing rumors about an alleged sexual relationship he had with Kris Jenner. O.J. and Jenner were said to have started an affair while the momager was still married to her first husband, Robert Kardashian.

Coming Soon!!! pic.twitter.com/R1tXOuuLgO

— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) June 15, 2019

"Never – and I want to stress never – in any way shape or form had I ever had any interest in Kris, romantically, sexually, and I never got any indication that she had any interest in me," Simpson said. "So all of these stories are just bogus. Bad, you know, tasteless."

He also commented on the rumors that he is Khloe Kardashian's biological father. "Khloe, like all the (Kardashian) girls, I’m very proud of, just like I know Bob would be if he was here. But the simple facts of the matter is she’s not mine," he continued.

Simpson blamed the rumors on Norman Pardo, a guy who "the media love to say is my manager." Despite those reports, however, Simpson asserts that he has "always managed my own affairs." "So, when you see these guys like Norm, and these guys claim that they are my manager, it’s just not true."

If this is how O.J. Simpson is starting his new Twitter account, who knows what he'll talk about next.

Thanks to all my new followers. Love learning how to use Twitter. pic.twitter.com/J4JnN59yKl

— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) June 16, 2019

The first thing I want to set straight is this story Pardo (who was not my manger) is talking about all over the media regarding me & @KrisJenner pic.twitter.com/tZ9EJd4qxF

— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) June 17, 2019

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