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Serena Williams’ GOAT Status Celebrated by Sports World After Final US Open Match

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Serena Williams’ GOAT Status Celebrated by Sports World After Final US Open Match

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Legends never die, but Serena Williams’ historic career came to an end Friday night with a 5-7, 7-6 (4), 1-6 third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanović in the 2022 U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.

It was a tough ending for Williams, who announced in Vogue she would be “evolving away from” tennis after the U.S. Open to focus on other things, including growing her family with husband Alexis Ohanian. The couple have one daughter, Olympia.

Despite the loss, Williams’ GOAT status was celebrated by fans, other athletes and celebrities on Twitter:

UNINTERRUPTED @uninterrupted

The greatest to ever do it! @KingJames reflects on @serenawilliams legacy. #ThankYouSerenapic.twitter.com/0bRLhEsKQS

Tiger Woods @TigerWoods

.@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!

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US Open Tennis @usopen

Words cannot describe what #Serena has meant to us all. pic.twitter.com/a4YvBgNhOL

US Open Tennis @usopen

What a ride it’s been.

Thank you, @serenawilliams 💙 pic.twitter.com/OEURHryJxV

Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports

Serena Williams

The greatest

The fight at the end there…FOREVER inspiring

We are so lucky to have witnessed her career

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Front Office Sports @FOS

96 career titles.
39 Grand Slams.
319 weeks as World No. 1.
$94M in career prize money.

Activism.
Business ventures.

The highest-earning female athlete ever.

A career over, but a legend forever: Serena Williams. pic.twitter.com/UmzVGTbc8p

Just Women’s Sports @justwsports

“I wouldn’t be Serena if there wasn’t Venus. Thank you, Venus.” – Serena Williams pic.twitter.com/OYuAqpJkT0

James Harden @JHarden13

she still the 🎾 🐐!

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JR Smith @TheRealJRSmith

We love you @serenawilliams thank you so much for giving us all the honor and the privilege of watching the #GreatestAthleteAllTime

Chelsea Janes @chelsea_janes

I’m at a random brewery in Western Michigan. Everyone is standing around staring at the TV watching Serena. The universal appreciation is deserved and incredible. Think of how the sports world has changed in her career. Think of how she’s changed the sports world.

MAREN MORRIS @MarenMorris

As someone who found their love of tennis during Covid and post partum depression, Serena, you gave me so much hope. I am bawling. 😭 pic.twitter.com/wKeyhNiS1q

Patrick Mahomes II @PatrickMahomes

Thank you! #Serena 🐐🐐🐐

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Arielle (Ari) Chambers @ariivory

I’m sobbing yall. https://t.co/IEgwkdrBTl

Carli Lloyd @CarliLloyd

Greatest of all time @serenawilliams! You will be missed. 🐐 #serena #USOpen2022

Chris Paul @CP3

THANK YOU @serenawilliams!!! 🐐🐐🐐 #Serena

Trae Young @TheTraeYoung

I’ve been in my crib screaming LOUD AF for Serena!!!!!!! Im sick right now🤧
thanks Legend🙏🏽💯

Jarvis Juice Landry @God_Son80

HIGH KEY HOPE THIS AINT THE LAST SERENA MATCH I EVER SEE AGAIN !!!! WE LOVE YOU QUEEN #GOAT

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Calais Campbell @CalaisCampbell

Much respect to Serena the GOAT! Fought with a lot of heart. Something to be proud of!!! Enjoy retirement Champ ✊🏾

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

After 27 years, Serena’s career comes to a close 🙏

🐐 4x Olympic gold 🥇
🐐 23 Grand Slam singles titles
🐐 14 Grand Slam doubles titles
🐐 Only tennis player to achieve the career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles
🐐 Joint longest run as the No. 1-ranked female player pic.twitter.com/7eTARuiP05

whitney medworth @its_whitney

what an incredible final week serena gave us pic.twitter.com/pOYgb8s1d8

Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

Serena is awesome. What a run.

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Hope she goes on to enjoy whatever the hell she’s looking to do next.

THANK YEW SERENA pic.twitter.com/vN547Srpo4

Mia Hamm @MiaHamm

@serenawilliams you are a warrior! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

CBS Sports @CBSSports

“I love Serena just as much as you guys do … I just thought she would beat me … She’s Serena. Even to the last point … that’s just who she is. She’s the greatest of all time. Period.”

– Ajla Tomljanovic pic.twitter.com/5wpJ5vEQGC

Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports

Serena Williams

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The greatest

The fight at the end there…FOREVER inspiring

We are so lucky to have witnessed her career

andyroddick @andyroddick

I love you @serenawilliams It’s been the pleasure of a lifetime to watch you become what you have. Can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you my old friend

stan verrett @stanverrett

Don’t be sad that it’s over, just be grateful that it happened. She gave us the privilege to witness greatness for far longer than any of us could have imagined, and inspired a generation of young women, in tennis and beyond. Serena Williams is the best to ever do it.

Alex Morgan @alexmorgan13

Serena fighting until the last point, always. You’ve given so much to tennis, and so much to womens sports. Thank you @serenawilliams

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U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team @USWNT

To @serenawilliams:

𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/oOEpVXC3cO

Williams is one of the most prolific tennis stars of all time. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most by any player in the Open Era and the second-most all-time behind Margaret Court.

The 40-year-old has also won the most major matches by a woman in tennis history and has four Olympic gold medals.

The list of Williams’ accomplishments and accolades could go on and on, and it’s going to be tough if we don’t see her on the court again. However, she didn’t rule out a return.

“I don’t think so, but you never know,” Williams said when asked about unretiring.

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Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

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Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in 6th-longest game in NHL history

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers seemed determined to keep playing. And playing. And playing.

The teams opened their Eastern Conference final playoff series with Florida’s 3-2 victory in four overtimes early Friday, with the game ranking as the sixth-longest game in NHL history.

Matthew Tkachuk’s goal came at the 19:47 mark of the fourth OT to end this one, which marked the 15th four-overtime game in NHL history and the longest game in franchise history for each team.

The longest game in NHL history came on March 24, 1936, when the Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Maroons 1-0 in the sixth overtime on Mud Bruneteau’s goal at 116 minutes, 30 seconds of extra play.

Florida’s previous record for longest game was 104:31 in Game 4 of the 1996 Stanley Cup final against Colorado. Carolina’s previous record was 114:47 for Game 3 of the 2002 Stanley Cup final.

The only good news for the teams is they had an extended break before this series began. Carolina closed out New Jersey exactly a week earlier, while Florida eliminated Toronto a day later.

But this game ended roughly six hours after Thursday night’s puck drop, and the teams have a Game 2 in less than 48 hours.

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AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

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Barcelona says probe found no evidence of corruption by club

MADRID (AP) — The investigation ordered by Barcelona into its controversial payments for refereeing reports found no evidence of corruption by the club, president Joan Laporta said Monday.

Laporta reiterated that the club’s payments over several years to the company owned by the vice president of Spain’s refereeing committee were only for technical reports and not to influence referees. He said he believed there were no ethics breach and that Barcelona was the victim of a campaign to hurt its reputation.

“This is one of the most ferocious attacks in our history,” Laporta said. “I ask FC Barcelona supporters to be as united as ever in defense of our crest, our essence, and our ownership model. No campaign to discredit us will prevent us from continuing to be an organization of reference in the world of sports that is beloved and admired by millions of Catalans and by many more millions of people around the world.”

It was the first time Laporta spoke at a news conference to give explanations after it became public that the club paid 7.3 million euros ($8 million) from 2001-18 to the company of then committee vice president José María Enríquez Negreira. Prosecutors have accused Barcelona of alleged corruption in sports, fraudulent management, and falsification of mercantile documentation.

Barcelona opened the probe to look into the actions of all the different presidential administrations that made payments over the years, including Laporta’s first at the club. The investigation was conducted by an external company.

The club said the probe found that “no conducts of a criminal nature associated to sporting corruption have been identified, nor are there any grounds to investigate any form of criminal activity associated to bribery.” It added there was “official documentation on the invoices and payments” for the services of “scouting and advice regarding referees, which are common practices in the professional sports sector.”

“Consulting on technical-refereeing issues does not constitute any type of illegal act,” Laporta said. “Consulting, as is done by the big clubs, that was carried out transparently, with the corresponding invoices, at least in my first mandate as president.”

The probe found 629 technical refereeing reports and 43 CDs that the club received over 18 years for what Laporta called “market price.” More reports were likely lost over time, he said.

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“I reiterate with all my resolve, I am convinced that FC Barcelona has not committed any crime of sports-related corruption. I hope that sooner rather than later, it is fully exonerated,” he said. “Accusations must be proven. We live by the rule of law, which guarantees among its basic principles the presumption of innocence.”

He said that if there were any irregularities committed by Negreira, Barcelona would be a victim of them. He also said Negreira was not in a position to directly influence referees, and that it was Negreira’s son who actually produced the refereeing reports.

“I dare anyone to show an instance in which Barcelona was favored in a match because of these payments,” Laporta said. “We will allow the justice system to do its work and I’m sure that Barcelona will be cleared. I am fully convinced that FC Barcelona has never performed any act with the intention of altering the competition to gain an advantage.”

The Spanish league, Real Madrid and other clubs have been among those taking part in the legal proceedings against Barcelona. Laporta criticized league president Javier Tebas for making accusations against Barcelona, and also took a shot at rival Madrid.

“Everyone knows that Real Madrid is a club that is historically favored by refereeing mistakes,” he said.

Laporta said Barcelona has always been a club that takes pride in its values, and it would never want to win anything with outside help.

“Throughout its 123-year history, FC Barcelona has always been a model of fair play, both on and off the field,” he said. “If we have won for so many decades, it has undoubtedly been a result of effort, talent and knowledge.”

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

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Silicon Valley councilman indicted in 49ers report leak

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Silicon Valley city councilman has been charged with perjury after he allegedly lied about leaking a grand jury report to the San Francisco 49ers last year that detailed a purportedly unethical relationship between the team and the city council, prosecutors said Friday.

Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker is accused of providing the secret report titled “Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Santa Clara City Council” to the team’s former top spokesperson and a local media outlet in 2022, days ahead of its official release.

Becker then allegedly lied to the grand jury about the leak, prosecutors said, prompting the criminal charges.

The 49ers play in Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara, about 35 miles (56.33 kilometers) south of San Francisco. Santa Clara County is broadly considered home to Silicon Valley.

The city of Santa Clara owns the stadium and leases it to the team; fighting between the two groups has led to ethics complaints, legal disputes and years of bad blood.

Al Guido, the team’s president, and Larry MacNeil, the former CFO who worked extensively on the team’s stadium project, were named in the indictment as witnesses who spoke to the criminal grand jury for Becker’s indictment.

“The 49ers have cooperated fully with the District Attorney’s Office in their investigation, and will continue to do so,” team spokesperson Brian Brokaw said in a statement Friday. “However, because this is an ongoing legal matter, the organization is not able to make any further comment at this time.”

Prosecutors say the team has bankrolled Becker’s political career by spending $3.2 million through independent expenditure committees for his 2020 city council race, which he won, as well as his unsuccessful 2022 mayoral bid.

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The “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” report alleged that Becker and four other councilmembers regularly voted “in a manner that is favorable to the 49ers” and would routinely meet with the team’s lobbyists but not disclose what was discussed.

Becker faces a felony charge of perjury under oath, as well as a misdemeanor charge of willful failure to perform duty. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Becker did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

“Councilmember Becker violated the public’s trust,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “That an elected official would commit perjury and lie under oath before the grand jury strikes at the very heart of our justice system and requires accountability.”

Representatives for the Santa Clara City Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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