TENNIS-SUSPICIOUS MATCHESTennis Integrity Unit eyes suspicious exhibition matchesLONDON (AP) — The Tennis Integrity Unit has raised concerns over 24 “suspicious matches” at exhibitions organized while the men’s and women’s tours are shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. The TIU, which investigates match-fixing cases in the sport, said Friday it received reports of the matches at private tournaments staged between April and June.The reports are filed by gambling companies who track unusual betting patterns around matches. Suspicious betting patterns don’t necessarily mean a match was fixed. A similar effect can also happen if insider information about a player’s injury leaks. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNHL to resume season in Canada next monthUNDATED (AP) — Hockey is the latest sport to finalize a return to competition after NHL owners and players approved an agreement to resume the season. July 11, 2020 The return-to-play plan, tentatively approved by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Monday, was ratified by the league’s board of governors and with majority approval from players following a three-day voting period that ended Friday. Along with it, the two sides also formally approved a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.Games are scheduled to begin Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are pushing the league into Canada for the summer and fall until the Stanley Cup is awarded in late September or early October. Training camps open across North America on Monday, which is also the deadline for players to opt out of participating with no penalty. In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— The Pac-12 has become the second major conference to shift to a conference-only fall schedule amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The decision covers football, women’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31. The announcement came a day after the Big Ten opted to eliminate nonconference games for all fall sports. The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences are still weighing options for fall sports. Update on the latest sports — Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has tested positive for COVID-19. The 55-year-old tested positive late this week after experiencing flu-like symptoms and is self-quarantining at the direction of his doctor, according to a statement by the conference. Scott is continuing to carry on his duties as commissioner remotely.— Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says after Bidwill developed symptoms, he tested positive and went to the hospital on the recommendation of his doctor. His condition has improved and he’s expected to be released this weekend. The team believes the 55-year-old Bidwill caught the virus while traveling and spending time on the East Coast for several weeks. He’s been working remotely since March and the team says he hasn’t had in-person contact coaches or players.— Swiss top-tier soccer club Zurich said it had more cases of coronavirus Saturday among its players and staff who are now in home quarantine. Zurich did not specify how many new COVID-19 cases were reported after the initial announcement Friday that a player had tested positive. Zurich’s Swiss Super League games on Saturday against Sion, and on Tuesday at Basel, have been postponed during the 10-day quarantine period through to next Friday. Zurich has seven league games left and it is unclear how that program can be met ahead of UEFA’s Aug. 2 deadline to complete domestic seasons. — German soccer club Union Berlin is offering free coronavirus tests for more than 20,000 fans as part of a plan to hold games in a full stadium in September. The Bundesliga (BOON’-dehsh-lee-guh) club will offer testing ahead of each game to fans and club staff. Each person must test negative for the virus within 24 hours of kickoff. Union wants to implement the plan in time for the first home league game of the new season, which could be as soon as Sept. 18. The club’s plan is more ambitious than those of other German clubs because it relies on mass testing instead of social distancing. The Berlin city government has a ban in place on mass gatherings until Oct. 24. OBIT-JACK CHARLTON England World Cup winner Jack Charlton dies at 85UNDATED (AP) — England World Cup winner Jack Charlton has died. Charlton was an uncompromising central defender who played alongside his brother, Bobby, in England’s World Cup-winning side in 1966 before enjoying coaching success with Ireland. Charlton was Footballer of the Year in England in 1967. He spent all his club career at Leeds from 1952-73, tying its all-time record of 773 appearances. He won every domestic honor, including the league title in 1969. His biggest achievement came with the England national team that beat Germany 4-2 after extra time in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Charlton died at home on Friday in his native Northumberland in northeast England. He was 85.Premier League games will be preceded by a minute’s silence this weekend as a tribute to Charlton and players will wear black armbands. Private tennis exhibitions have proliferated after the ATP and WTA tours closed down in March. Some have little or no oversight. Besides a smattering of events with big-name players, there are many smaller events around the world with low-ranked players.
After a bittersweet weekend in Michigan, the Wisconsin men’s tennis team returns to Madison to prepare for two Big Ten matches on its home court.The Badgers hope to recapture some momentum as they host Big Ten rivals Purdue and Indiana this weekend.Nearly a year ago, Wisconsin was coming off a big win against Northwestern and continued the streak by beating Purdue, 5-2. However, things have changed since the Badgers last saw the Boilermakers.Last year, Wisconsin was 4-2 in Big Ten matches when it faced Purdue. This year, the Badgers’ Big Ten record is 2-2. In 2010, senior Marek Michalicka was ranked No. 15 with his partner Moritz Baumann, who now serves as student assistant coach.This season, Billy Bertha replaces Baumann as Michalicka’s partner. During the 2009-2010 season, Wisconsin often struggled to get doubles points. This season, however, the ranked duo of Michalicka and Bertha is adding improvement.As a duo, Michalicka and Bertha are ranked No. 78 and their chemistry is undeniable. Bertha joked about keeping Michalicka in line and admits to meshing well with him.Against No. 22 Michigan Saturday, the Badgers fell early as the Wolverines won two of three doubles matches and the No. 6 singles match. Michigan proceeded to win the Nos. 2, 3 and 5 to clinch the win.Although Wisconsin dropped the match, Michalicka showed his veteran experience in coming behind in his singles match and winning seven consecutive points to beat Evan King.“I got a little lucky there at the end, but I’m definitely more confident, so hopefully that helps this weekend,” Michalicka said.Sunday, Wisconsin faced No. 53 Michigan State and the tables turned. Michalicka and Bertha had the No. 1 spot and claimed the doubles point along with the duo of Rod Carey and Fredrik Ask.When the Spartans fought back, the Badgers picked up some of their senior captain’s toughness from the day before and battled back. Michalicka, Bertha and Ask claimed the final three match victories.Like Wisconsin’s Michalicka and Bertha, Indiana also has a successful duo in Santiago Gruter and Jeremy Langer. The pair is currently on a 12-match winning streak at No. 1 and will prove to be a tough opponent for Wisconsin.Last season, Indiana was Wisconsin’s first Big Ten win. The Badgers were coming off of a tough one-point loss to Illinois and played with raw emotion against Indiana. This year, Wisconsin looks forward to channeling that same emotion and playing with the same decisiveness as last year against this No. 60th-ranked Purdue team.Indiana’s Josh MacTaggert has been leading the Hoosiers to victory and was unbeaten in the month of March. MacTaggert and the 27th-ranked Hoosiers are coming into their match against Wisconsin with momentum after beating both Big Ten opponents (Illinois and Iowa) this past week.The Badgers lead the all time series against Purdue 55-18, but trail Indiana 42-26.Still, the Badgers are looking forward to hosting a challenging match.“We’ve been beating them the last couple years, if I can remember correctly, so hopefully we can win again even though they are ranked higher,” Michalicka said. “We have a pretty good chance to beat them.”