#1 ook, Pliskova entered the match as a more than 4-t von corse178 01.03.2019 04:26

NEW YORK -- Charles Barkley didnt want Kevin Durant to join the Golden State Warriors and isnt sure Durant changes things now that hes there.In Barkleys mind, the Warriors are still a flawed team.Let me say this: I still think they got some of the same issues this year with that team, Barkley said Tuesday.Can they rebound the ball? Theyre going to still be shooting jumpers. Theyre not going to get any low-post scoring. Can that type of play hold up through the rigors of the NBA playoffs? Im still going to say the same thing Ive always said: No.The Warriors won a record 73 games in the regular season but blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State then signed Durant, the former NBA MVP, in the offseason.Thats made the Warriors the favorites to regain the title they won in 2015, though Barkley said they were lucky then because their road was filled with teams weakened by injuries. Cleveland was already without Kevin Love in those Finals and lost Kyrie Irving near the end of Game 1.The Cavs were healthy last year, and Barkley picked them to beat the Warriors.When I told you they couldnt play that little small ball and win a championship if everybody they played was healthy, that theyd wear down, and they did. I told you Cleveland was going to beat them and they did, Barkley said during a lunch before TNTs Inside the NBA studio team was elected to the Broadcasting Hall of Fame.Barkley and the team will host their show Tuesday night in Cleveland outside Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers will receive their rings before facing New York in their season opener. The Warriors will play San Antonio in the nightcap of TNTs doubleheader.Barkley, a Hall of Fame player who never won a championship, was disappointed that Durant left Oklahoma City for an easier chance at a title with the star-studded Warriors, who have two-time MVP Stephen Curry and fellow All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.If they win, Barkley said, the title wont mean as much to Durant as it would have in Oklahoma City, where he had played since the Thunder franchise moved from Seattle in 2008 after his rookie season. Durant has been booed in rival arenas since his decision and has angered some of his former fans with what appeared to be criticisms of Russell Westbrook and his former team.Hes made himself a villain by taking all these shots at Oklahoma City for no reason. Theres no reason for that, Barkley said. He left, hes happy, shut up. When youre taking shots at Russell and those guys, thats not necessary. 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NEW YORK -- A year after she was stunned in a US Open semifinal, it happened again to Serena Williams.This time the upset was crafted by No. 10 seed?Karolina Pliskova, a hard-hitting 24-year-old from the Czech Republic, who ended Williams most recent run at history 6-2, 7-6 (5).Williams, who double-faulted on match point, said her left knee, which she thought was injured during a second-round match, was a factor Thursday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.Im not going to sit here and make an excuse, the 34-year-old Williams said.Williams coach wasnt so diplomatic.Since the start, it was terrible, Patrick Mouratoglou said. She was slow, very, very slow. Much slower than usual.Mouratoglou said the injury obviously affected Williams on the court, and she tried to compensate by playing a riskier style than usual.At the end she tried to go for the winner on every shot, Mouratoglou said. This with an injury. Even if she wins the second [set], its not the point; shes not going to win the third. She cannot move. There is no match.While Williams is acknowledged to have the greatest serve ever in the womens game, it was second best against Pliskova, who had seven aces and won 84 percent of her first-serve points.America probably hates me because I beat Venus and Serena, Pliskova said after the match.Pliskova became only the fourth singles player to beat Serena and Venus Williams in the same Grand Slam event. The others --?Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin -- all retired as multimajor champions.Serena Williams vigorously disputed the idea she was tired after playing her quarterfinal match Wednesday.My mind was just a little bit everywhere, but it was what it was, Williams said. Yeah, serious left knee problems. But fatigue had nothing to do with it. If I was tired, I need to finnd a new career.ddddddddddddI definitely was not beat up after my quarterfinal match.Pliskovas performance belied her experience. She was playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal, while it was Williams?33rd.I had a goal today: to beat Serena, Pliskova said in her on-court interview. And thats what I did.I dont believe it. Actually, I do believe it. I knew I could beat anyone if Im playing my game.The tantalizing laundry list of lifetime achievements Williams had within her reach -- an Open-era record 23 Grand Slam titles and an unprecedented seventh US Open championship -- will have to wait until next year.The No. 1 ranking, which she has held for 186 consecutive weeks, will now go to Angelique Kerber when the new rankings are released Monday.According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, Pliskova entered the match as a more than 4-to-1 underdog.Pliskova will meet the No. 2-seeded Kerber, who defeated?Caroline Wozniacki?6-4, 6-3?in the second semifinal, in the Saturday afternoon championship final.Williams looked flat and uninspired throughout the match, possibly due to the fact she was playing for a second consecutive night. Ultimately, that was her responsibility. She asked the USTA to schedule her first match for last Tuesday, which meant playing the quarterfinals and semifinals on successive nights.Coming off a difficult match with No. 5 seed Simona Halep that she won in three sets, Williams?hit only 20 winners, as opposed to 31 unforced errors, on Thursday. She also had a difficult time reading Pliskovas serve.If Im a professional and I cant recover, well thats that, Williams said.Information from ESPNs Jane McManus was used in this report. ' ' '

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