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Morning roundup: Thiem will meet Djokovic in Australian Open finals

Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates after defeating Germany's Alexander Zverev during their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne on Friday. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates after defeating Germany's Alexander Zverev during their semifinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne on Friday. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]

TENNIS

Thiem will meet Djokovic in Australian Open finals

Fifth seed Dominic Thiem on Friday defeated seventh seed and friend Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) to reach his first Australian Open final on Sunday, where he will face defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic already owns a record seven trophies from the hard courts of Melbourne Park. So far, he is a combined 15-0 in semifinals and finals in Rod Laver Arena.

This will be Thiem’s third final overall at the majors, having lost the French Open deciders in the past two years against Rafael Nadal. Thiem, 26, beat Nadal in a grueling four-hour quarterfinal in Melbourne.

MLB

Former All-Star Curtis Granderson announces retirement

Three-time All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson announced his retirement Friday after 16 seasons in the major leagues.

Granderson played for seven teams. He was an All-Star for the Detroit Tigers in 2009, and for the New York Yankees in 2011 and 2012.

Mets: Matt Adams agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Mets on Friday, hoping to earn a job as a backup and a bat with pop off the bench. He batted .226 with 20 homers and 56 RBIs in 333 plate appearances last year for the World Series champion Washington Nationals, hitting 12 of his homers in June and July.

Wheelchair basketball removed from 2024 Paralympics

Wheelchair basketball was removed from the 2024 Paralympics program on Friday, and could be cut from the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics as well.

The International Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation are in a dispute about how players are graded and which ones should be eligible to compete.

The sport is open to a wide range of disabled athletes with rules requiring teams to include people with impairments of different severity.

GOLF

Holmes holds 1-shot lead in Phoenix Open

J.B. Holmes roared through the fan-packed closing stretch at TPC Scottsdale on his opening nine Friday, then grabbed the lead on the mellower side of golf's biggest party.

Six months after a final-round collapse and slow-play controversy at the British Open, Holmes took a one-stroke lead into the weekend at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He shot a 6-under 65, a day after making a hole-in-one in an opening 64.

Morocco Champions: Stephen Ames shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the PGA Tour Champions' Morocco Champions. Ames had a 12-under 132 total at Samanah Golf Club in the senior tour's first event in Africa. He matched the course record with a 63 on Thursday for a four-stroke lead.

Saudi International: Victor Perez birdied four of his last six holes to shoot a second straight 5-under 65 and take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Saudi International on Friday.

NASCAR

Five inducted into Hall of Fame

Tony Stewart was one of five inductees Friday night into the 11th class of NASCAR's Hall of Fame a group that is essentially a celebration of Joe Gibbs Racing. The three-time NASCAR champion was inducted alongside Joe Gibbs, his former team owner, and Bobby Labonte, his first NASCAR teammate.

Also inducted was Waddell Wilson, an engine builder and crew chief who coincidentally was team manager of Stewart's first foray into NASCAR. The late Buddy Baker, who raced 33 years before transitioning into a broadcast role, was also inducted and Stewart has early ties to him, too.

Wire reports

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