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SPORTSBRIEFING

No time to play tennis

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) – The U.S. Tennis Association says its best not to play the sport right now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a posting on its website on Friday, the USTA called it “in the best interest of society to take a collective pause” from tennis.

The statement from the organization that runs the U.S. Open Grand Slam tournament said there have not been specific studies about tennis and the COVID-19 illness.

But there is “the possibility” that germs could be transferred among people via sharing and touching of tennis balls, net posts, court surfaces, benches or gate handles.

So the USTA wants players “to be patient in our return to the courts.”

In the meantime, the group encouraged people to create what it termed “tennis-at-home” variations.

The U.S. Open is still scheduled to start Aug. 31 in New York.

Saban not a fan of longer camp

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn’t believe extending preseason camp for college football teams around the country is necessarily the best way to get them ready for the season.

Saban said Thursday that he’d prefer some “teaching sessions on the field” over the summer to prepare for camp, even if it is in shorts and T-shirts. The coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of spring sports, including football practices, across the nation.

Saban isn’t sold on the idea of extending fall camp.

“If you look at statistics historically on concussions, injuries … the most concentrated time that you practice and not play is in fall camp,” Saban said on a conference call with reporters. “You have more practices, you have to spend more time on the field. So I don’t know that increasing that is going to be beneficial in getting people ready to play.

“I think if you could do simulated training programs in the summertime that wouldn’t involve that much contact, or even any contact, that would be just as beneficial at that point.”

London series canceled

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The teams had been scheduled to play at Olympic Stadium on June 13-14.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement in a memorandum sent to MLB employees. MLB said March 19 that it had scrapped series in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Haney’s lawsuit goes on

(AP) – Hank Haney’s lawsuit against the PGA Tour is still alive. A Florida judge denied the tour’s motion to dismiss.

Haney lost his radio show on SiriusXM last year after he jokingly predicted “a Korean” would win the U.S. Women’s Open and said he couldn’t name six players on the LPGA Tour.

Lange recovering

(AP) – Victor Lange of South Africa was the first professional golfer to test positive for COVID-19, which might not have happened if not for his girlfriend getting hurt.

In a first-person piece for pgatour.com, Lange says he returned home after a PGA Tour Latinoamerica event in Mexico, went hiking for two nights in the mountains and then to the beach as part of a holiday. When his girlfriend hurt her toe, they went to the emergency room.

They were screened for the new coronavirus, and when Lange said he had been out of the country in the last 21 days, hospital policy required a coronavirus test.

“They were checking me out before helping her, the one who was in pain,” Lange said. “Added to my frustration is I had zero symptoms, I was feeling healthy and was trying to get them to take care of Gabriella.”

The test came back positive. Lange assumes he picked it up during his air travel, though he’s not sure.

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