President Trump Feeds College Football National Champions ‘Hamberders’ and Twitter Can’t Stomach It

The Clemson University football team was invited to the White House Monday to celebrate their College Football National Championship win in a scene that was also a feast for social media users.

The South Carolina team, which defeated the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide 44-16 on Jan. 7, was offered a candelabra-lit spread of takeout food from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Domino’s.

In a since-deleted tweet, the president boasted that the group was served 1,000 “hamberders” at the event that he paid for himself – a spelling error that immediately prompted online snickers. Meanwhile, aides said there were closer to 300 burgers at the event.

The President reportedly paid for the food himself because many of the White House staff are furloughed due to the partial government shutdown, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told CNN in a statement.

Trump, who has claimed to be a big fan of fast food himself, told reporters before the event, “We have some very large people that like eating. So I think we’re going to have a little fun.”

Later, Twitter users had more than a little fun with the “hamberders” typo.

Some pointed out that nothing kept the fast food warm as it sat on the tables. While Trump’s critics implied that the junk food was a good metaphor for the President himself.

“This is an incredible self-own for someone who aims to be worth $ 10 billion,” wrote user Judd Legum.

The meal also caught the attention of former NFL running back Reggie Bush, who tweeted that the dinner was “disrespectful on so many levels.”

In a video of the event, the players seem to be enjoying the food. One player loudly says that the food is “awesome.”

“I thought it was a joke,” he adds.

Sports – TIME

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Giants QB Kyle Lauletta pleads guilty to disorderly charge

New York Giants rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta pleaded guilty Tuesday to a disorderly persons offense and two tickets for an improper turn and disregarding an officer’s instructions back in October, according to his lawyer Gerald Krovatin. The criminal charges of eluding police and the subsequent disorderly persons charges were dropped Tuesday in Hudson County Court. Lauletta will have all charges dropped if he avoids further trouble over the next 12 months as part of the conditional dismissal program in New Jersey. Lauletta was arrested in October for various motor vehicle and related disorderly persons offenses pertaining to a traffic violation in Weehawken, New Jersey. The police alleged he tried to make a right turn from the wrong lane in his Jaguar to get to Route 495 West for the second straight day. He was told to keep going straight, but Lauletta almost struck an officer while making the illegal turn and then "refused various instructions" after…
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Serena Williams Returns to Australian Open With Clinical Win

(MELBOURNE, Australia) — Serena Williams jumped straight back in where she left off at the Australian Open, returning for the first time since winning the title in 2017 when she was pregnant with her first child.

Williams conceded only five points in the first set and was completely clinical in a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria, another mom who lives close to Williams in Florida and visits for play dates with their daughters.

It was overwhelming for Maria, who got just two of her first serves into play in the first set and didn’t have game points until she held in the fourth game of the second set. She was in tears as the pair hugged at the net following the match, and Williams joined the crowd in giving the German player a clap as she left the arena.

“Yeah, I think the last time I was here, I was pregnant and playing at the same time — which is insane,” Williams said. “It’s kind of weird walking back on, by myself this time.”

Williams considers the 2017 victory here among the best of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, giving everything that was going on. Since returning to the tour following the birth of Alexis Olympia, Williams hasn’t added to her list of majors, having lost the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“Literally the best win of my career,” she recalled Tuesday in a post-match TV interview. “Just exciting to be back.”

At Melbourne Park, she’s now on an eight-match winning streak. She’s only lost one of her last 22 matches at the season-opening major, which she has won seven times.

The 37-year-old Williams said she loves to test herself early in the year after practicing “hard for that first hit.”

“I like to jump into the deep end and swim,” she said.

The 16th-seeded Williams will face either Eugenie Bouchard or wild-card entry Peng Shuai in the second round.

Madison Keys opened her season with a 6-2, 6-2 win over 18-year-old wild-card entry Destanee Aiava in the first match on Rod Laver Arena on Day 2.

“I expected it to be tough — obviously playing an Aussie on Rod Laver,” Keys told the crowd. “Thanks for the love, anyway.”

She broke Aiava’s serve four times and fended off the only break-point chance she faced. Aaiva, who was the first player born in this century to play in the main draw of a major when she got a wild card here in 2017, didn’t help herself with six double-faults.

The No. 17-seeded Keys has reached the semifinals or better at three of the last five Grand Slam tournaments, and her focus is on the bigger prizes for now.

“I was having issues with my knee at the end of the year (and) ran out of time to be ready for Brisbane — wanted to be 100 percent for here,” she said of her recent lack of competitive matches. “It’s my first match of the year, so mostly just happy I did everything pretty well.”

Seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova won the Brisbane International title in the first week of the season and continued her streak by beating fellow Czech Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2 to progress to the second round. No. 12 Elise Mertens and No. 21 Qiang Wang also advanced.

Kei Nishikori is feeling a little bit liberated after having to come back from two sets down to beat Kamil Majchrzak in a difficult opener.

The eighth-seeded Nishikori won 10 consecutive games after losing the second set in a tiebreaker and took 15 of the last 17 games before Majchrzak retired with an injury with the score at 3-6, 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-2, 3-0 at Margaret Court Arena.

“He was playing amazing tennis,” Nishikori said. “I have to be happy going to the next round — I almost lost in the first round, so I have to be positive and get better.”

Among the other men advancing were Ryan Harrison, who beat Jiri Vesely 6-0, 7-5, 6-3, No. 12 Fabio Fognini and No. 15 Daniil Medvedev.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert beat Sam Querrey 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-1.

The temperature was already 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) when play began on all courts shortly after 11 a.m. local time and it rose to 33 C (91 F) by the early afternoon.

Sports – TIME

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‘We have everything that I like’: Trump serves fast-food feast for Clemson’s White House visit

For the second time in three years, Clemson spent time in Washington with Trump. The White House said the president paid for the fast food out of his own pocket because of the partial government shutdown.
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Kyler Murray declares for the NFL draft: Everything you need to know

Murray has declared for the NFL draft. Can he still play baseball? What are the key dates to pay attention to? Here’s what you need to know.
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The Joy of This Gymnast’s Floor Routine Is Reverberating Across the Internet. Here’s What to Know

If you’re a talented gymnast vaulting extremely high in the air in your immaculate floor routine, and your spirits are even higher, people notice.

So when UCLA shared a video of NCAA champion gymnast Katelyn Ohashi handily earning a perfect 10 score with her gymnast routine to Michael Jackson medley at Saturday’s Under Armor’s 2019 Collegiate Challenge, she got a whole lot of praise from some pretty high-profile people via Twitter.

In the clip, UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi made sticking a flawless landing after nailing three backflips and landing into a split look like pure fun, and the crowd lapped it up. She did it all with unbridled joy and a million-watt smile to the tune of songs like Jackson’s “I Want You Back,” and Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.”

That ability has lead the video to garner more than 15 million views of Monday morning, more views than Los Angeles has people.

You’ll want to orient yourself with her athletic career.

Ohashi moonwalked into tying for first place at last year’s Pac-12 Championships with a routine that earned a 9.95 out of 10 on the scorecard, and resulted in a video that got 90 million views. That was her personal best to beat, UCLA coach Valorie Kondos Field told the Los Angeles Times.

She’s since proven she has a cheery online presence, laughing at some of the major shoutouts.

The elite floor exercise athlete competes on the college level. She had originally set her sights on the Olympics, but decided to leave that behind according to The Players’ Tribune. “There was a time where I was on top of the world, an Olympic hopeful,” she explained during the video. “I was unbeatable, until I wasn’t.”

But that hasn’t stopped her from wowing millions of new fans.

According to her official UCLA website bio, the Katelyn Ohashi floor routine, as it is now known, was by no means the first perfect 10 score for the six-time all-American — and two were on the beam.

See some reactions to her latest triumph below.

Sports – TIME

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Dimitrov bets on coach Agassi for Grand Slam breakthrough

Roping in former world number one Andre Agassi was an obvious decision for Grigor Dimitrov as he chases his maiden grand slam and the Bulgarian says he can already feel the benefits of the partnership.


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Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi Will Officially Perform at Super Bowl LIII

After months of speculation, it’s now official: Maroon 5 will headline the Atlanta, Ga., Super Bowl LIII halftime show on Feb. 3, with rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi also performing.

The NFL’s announcement comes after months of reported controversy over a number of artists declining to perform. In light the national anthem debate, many performers have declined to play in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Other artists, including Jay-Z, reportedly tried to dissuade Scott from performing.

Though performers aren’t paid for Super Bowl halftime shows, Scott’s agreement to perform did come with a price. Reports say that the NFL will join the “Sicko Mode” rapper in donating $ 500,000 to the Dream Corps, an organization founded by Van Jones that seeks to support social justice groups with a focus on reforming the criminal justice system.

“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” Scott said in a statement provided to media outlets. “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation.”

The inclusion of Big Boi also adds an Atlanta native to the lineup. The rapper and producer was André 3000’s counterpart in their Grammy-award winning hip hop duo Outkast.

Many responded to the announcement on Twitter with dismay at the NFL’s choice, characterizing Maroon 5 as “boring.” Others said that Travis Scott or Big Boi should have been chosen to headline instead.

 

Sports – TIME

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This could be the last we see of Rob Gronkowski

He already successfully completed one somewhat unexpected comeback. A second is in doubt. A year after contemplating retirement, Rob Gronkowski is again expected to seriously debate hanging up his big cleats, NFL Network reported Sunday, citing people close to the Patriots tight end. The 29-year-old made it through this season, a humdrum 11-5 one that…
Sports | New York Post

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America’s richest are losing confidence in the stock market

The rich and famous want out of this volatile market. America’s wealthiest people have lost investing confidence — and they may be right on the verge of a flight to the safety of CDs and other cash products as market losses mount, with a staggering $ 13 trillion estimated by ET Intelligence Group to have vanished…
Business | New York Post

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Millions of Americans ‘regret’ at least one holiday purchase

Now comes the post-holiday blues for many when they open their mail. That’s because millions of Americans dug themselves deeper into credit card debt over the holidays. Many now “regret” at least one holiday purchase. Those are some of the conclusions of WalletHub’s new survey. This is the unhappy recap: About 37 percent of respondents…
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How to Watch the NFL Playoffs Today Online for Free, Including the Cowboys vs. Rams Game

The NFL playoffs are in full swing this weekend, with four games scheduled that will narrow the field of teams fighting for a spot in the 2019 Super Bowl on Sunday, February 3. The two NFL playoff games today (Saturday, January 12) are: Colts vs. Chiefs and Cowboys vs. Rams.

Both matchups are interesting. The Indianapolis Colts are arguably the NFL’s hottest team: After starting 2018 at 1-5, Andrew Luck and the Colts have won their last five games, including an impressive Wild Card playoff win on the road against the Houston Texans last weekend. Still, the 12-4 Kansas City Chiefs, playing at home with one of the league’s most potent offenses, are 5.5-point favorites to beat the Colts in the AFC divisional playoffs on Saturday.

The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, are easily the hottest NFC team right now. The Cowboys won seven of their final eight regular season games, and then edged the Seattle Seahawks 24-22 in the playoff opening round. But the 13-3 Los Angeles Rams have been one of the league’s best teams all year long, and the betting odds for the Cowboys vs. Rams game Saturday night indicate the Rams are 7-point favorites to win at home.

The TV broadcasts for the NFL playoffs are all being handled by free, over-the-air broadcast networks. So it’s super simple to watch NFL playoff games for free on TV. What’s more, fans can also live stream the NFL playoffs for free on their phones, or even watch NFL playoff games online for free on other screens. Here are all the details you need.

What Channel Is the Cowboys vs. Rams Game On Today?

What time does the Colts vs. Chiefs game start today? How about the Cowboys vs. Rams game? What channels are broadcasting the NFL playoff games today? And how about the NFL playoffs on Sunday?

Here’s all the info you need, starting with the NFL game schedule today, Saturday, January 12:

• Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 4:35 p.m. ET on NBC
• Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. ET on Fox

Here’s the NFL playoff schedule for Sunday, January 13:

• Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots, 1:05 p.m. ET on CBS
• Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:40 p.m. ET on Fox

It’s very easy to watch NFL playoff games for free on TV today and Sunday. If you have cable TV or another pay TV package, it probably comes with local broadcasts of network TV channels, including NBC, Fox, and CBS.

If you don’t have cable, you can still watch the NFL playoffs with a digital antenna. A basic HDTV antenna costs around $ 25, and once it’s hooked up to a TV in most of the country you’ll be able to watch local affiliates for over-the-air TV networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, as well as PBS.

Watching broadcast TV with a digital antenna is totally free, and comes in hi-def. What channels you get with an HDTV antenna in your home may vary, however, based on the strength of the antenna, its positioning in your house or apartment, and where you live.

How to Live Stream the NFL Playoffs for Free Today

To live stream NFL games —including the playoffs this weekend and the Super Bowl — on your phone, download the NFL App or Yahoo Sports mobile app. Both are free to download and provide free NFL game live streams on phones (and sometimes, tablets).

Either app will allow you to watch the NFL playoffs online for free on your phone. Unfortunately, the NFL App and Yahoo Sports app do not allow fans to live stream NFL games on smart TVs or laptops. You can’t use them to screencast games to your TV either. They work only with smaller screens — smartphones, specifically, and sometimes tablets.

How to Watch the NFL Playoffs Online for Free: Cowboys vs. Rams

If you’re hunting for another way to watch the NFL playoff games today online on a smart TV or another large screen, consider signing up for a free trial of a streaming TV service that includes local broadcast TV channels in its packages.

In most of the country, the streaming TV services Fubo TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV include CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox in packages, alongside dozens of other “pay TV” channels. Another service, Sling TV, includes local Fox and NBC stations in certain parts of the country.

The cost of these live stream TV services normally starts at $ 25 to $ 45 per month. But they are all available to new subscribers for free during free-trial periods that last about a week.

So you could watch the NFL playoff games online for free this weekend by subscribing to a streaming TV service and taking advantage of the free trial. You’d then have the rest of the week to try out the service before deciding if you want to pay up.

If you ultimately decide you do not want to become a paying subscriber, remember to cancel the streaming TV service before the free trial ends. If you miss the deadline, you’ll be charged in full for the first month.

Sports – TIME

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Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Doesn’t Like Attention. She’s About to Get a Ton of It.

On a wet December morning in a South Florida weight room, the 21-year-old who stunned Serena Williams at the U.S. Open is hard at work preparing to show that the biggest moment of her life was more than a fluke. As an arrow flashes on an iPad in front of her, Naomi Osaka darts in the direction it signals, pauses, then pivots when it sends her the other way, without missing a step. Her coach, Sascha Bajin, joins the drill but leaps the wrong way and almost lands on Osaka’s ankle. Bajin feigns horror, prompting fellow pro tour player Monica Puig to suggest Osaka give her coach a hug. “She gives hugs like no other,” Bajin says, his sarcasm thicker than midsummer heat. “I only hug people I like,” Osaka parries.

The exchange would be unremarkable were it between almost anyone else. But Bajin’s playful banter is a key part of his strategy to break his young charge out of her shell. And for Osaka, a precocious talent in a global sport with the kind of multinational background that marketers dream about, doing so could mean the difference between a career like that of the idol she upset at the Open–or, well, a fluke. “It’s easier to take over the world,” Bajin says, “if you’re not so caved in.”

Many people’s introduction to Osaka came in September at the U.S. Open trophy presentation, when the surprise champion covered her eyes with her visor as boos rained from the crowd. “I didn’t want people to see me crying,” Osaka tells TIME, “because that’s pathetic.”

The moment should have been celebratory–a rising star assuming her place among champions after defeating the greatest of them all. Instead, it was painful. Thousands of fans, livid that umpire Carlos Ramos assessed Williams a code violation for verbal abuse that cost her a full game late in a Grand Slam final, filled Arthur Ashe Stadium with jeers. Rage pierced the still air, as if a wrestling heel were entering the ring and not a 20-year-old being honored for finishing a fairy tale.

Standing on the podium for the ceremony, tennis legend Chris Evert says she just wanted off. “I’ve never seen or felt anything like it,” she says. “The negativity, the anger.” From his seat, Bajin seethed: “I wanted to jump everybody in the crowd.”

At first, Osaka thought the boos were for her. She knew the crowd, and millions more watching on TV, desperately wanted Williams to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title after she nearly died after giving birth. When it was her turn to speak, Osaka apologized for doing her job and beating her opponent. And so it was that the woman who could be the heir to the Williams sisters met the world through a frowning face and lowered brim.

Three months later, Osaka is relaxing on the balcony of the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., where she trains. She doesn’t fault Williams for fighting with the umpire and upstaging her victory. “Serena is Serena,” Osaka says in her first extended interview since the match. “I didn’t experience her life. I can’t tell her what she’s supposed to do, because there are things that she’s gone through. I have nothing against her or anything. I actually still really love her.”

Osaka insists she’s come to terms with it all. She appreciates that Williams did eventually implore the crowd to stop jeering and applaud Osaka with a proper, if belated, ovation. In fact, Osaka insists she wouldn’t change anything about what happened. “In a perfect dream, things would be set exactly the way you would want them,” she says. “But I think it’s more interesting that in real life, things aren’t exactly the way you planned. And there are certain situations that you don’t expect, but they come to you, and I think those situations set up things for further ahead.”

The future actually came ahead of schedule for Osaka when she stormed through the field in New York, and she and her team are scrambling to capitalize. Born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother, Osaka grew up in the U.S. but competes for Japan. She has become a bankable celebrity in her native country and a source of inspiration to many multiracial people there. With the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, global companies are falling all over themselves to align their message with her 120 m.p.h. serves.

“If you’re talking about an international sporting event like the Olympics,” says Bob Dorfman, creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco and a veteran sports marketer, “she’s your international star you’re going to market it around. She’s got American appeal, Caribbean appeal, Japanese appeal. As nationalities continue to mix in this world, that makes her even more desirable.”

First, however, Osaka needs to keep winning. Her biggest test yet will come at the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 14 in Melbourne. The great players have a way of finding another gear in the Grand Slam spotlight. Osaka has shown that she has the power game to beat the best. But can she do it when everyone is expecting her to–and millions of dollars are riding on it?

Julian Finney—Getty ImagesAt the U.S. Open trophy ceremony, Osaka apologized to booing fans for beating her idol, Serena Williams

Osaka’s road to the top of tennis traces to 1999, when her father, Leonard Maxine Francois, watched a young Venus and Serena Williams playing in the French Open on TV. He heard the story of their hard-driving father, who groomed his daughters despite being a tennis novice, and figured he could do the same. “I always thought I could have been a great athlete if I had that support,” Francois says.

He had met Tamaki Osaka earlier in the decade, as a college student from New York studying in Sapporo. Over the objections of Tamaki’s father, who did not approve of the relationship, the couple married. They had two daughters, Mari and Naomi, born 18 months apart in Osaka. For practical purposes in a country that can be hard for outsiders to penetrate, the girls took their mother’s surname.

Inspired in part by the Williams sisters’ path, the family left Japan for the U.S. when Naomi was 3. They moved into the Long Island home of Leonard’s Haitian parents, eating beans and oxtail and hearing Creole around the house. Tamaki spoke both Japanese and English to the kids, and kept Japanese customs like Hinamatsuri, the March 3 celebration of girls’ health and happiness. The sisters went to public school, but their lives revolved around tennis. “It wasn’t really our choice,” says Mari, 22, now a professional player who competes in lower-level events.

Still, they liked the game enough to train for hours at public courts on Long Island. And for the girls, the Williams sisters became the models that Richard Williams was for their father. Naomi even did a third-grade report about Serena.

The family plan intensified in 2006 when they moved to Florida, the epicenter of American youth tennis. The kids were homeschooled online and dedicated even more time to honing their craft. “I’m the type of person when I want to do something,” Francois says, “I just go for it.”

The Osaka girls, like the Williams sisters before them, largely eschewed the junior tennis circuit, a cutthroat environment that burns out many promising teen players. Instead, they battled each other every day. “She was sort of the driving force,” Naomi says of her sister. “Because when we were little, I wasn’t really too good. I was just there. I didn’t really care. I was just playing because she was playing and I wanted to beat her.”

As Naomi started winning, it deepened her determination. “Once she puts her focus on something, she never strays from it,” Mari says of her younger sister. “It gets to the point where it’s almost ridiculous.” Mari’s favorite example is not on the court but rather her sister’s penchant for eliminating virtually all fat from her food, even if it takes 20 minutes to trim every piece of meat she eats. “What the hell?” says Mari. “How do you have the time and dedication? But she’s obsessed.”

Naomi was promising enough to turn pro in 2012, when she was 14. She climbed the rankings quickly: at the end of 2014, she stood at No. 250 in the world. Two years later she was ranked No. 40 after reaching her first WTA tournament final, and making the third round of all three Grand Slam tournaments she played. Osaka was named 2016 WTA Newcomer of the Year.

But there’s a chasm between the good players on tour and the great ones, who regularly contend for Grand Slams. Many close observers credit Osaka’s move into the latter group partly to the decision to work with Bajin at the end of 2017. A 34-year-old Serb born and raised in Munich, he spent eight years as Serena Williams’ hitting partner before coaching Osaka. “I saw tremendous improvement in mobility around the court,” says Evert, who analyzes the tour for ESPN. “The transformation, in a year, was unbelievable.”

Osaka plays a power game similar to her idol’s, relying on big serves and even bigger shots rather than defense and finesse. Bajin, who knows the style well from his time with Williams, helped Osaka refine her approach. “I see her hit balls late, and she just directs them down the line and they go like freaking rockets,” he says. “My heart freaking stops.”

In March, Osaka won the competitive Indian Wells tournament, and at the next event, in Miami, she crushed Williams in straight sets in the first round. Williams was in the early stages of her comeback, but the win confirmed that Osaka was someone to reckon with.

Osaka entered the U.S. Open on a three-match losing streak. But she says the losses eased her mind. “I sort of had this feeling of freedom,” she says. “At that point I felt the lowest I could be, so I honestly just wanted to recapture the fun feeling.”

After Osaka thumped Williams in the final, her life changed in an instant. The awkward tennis prodigy was now something of a celebrity, which has been an adjustment. In November the sisters attended a Drake concert in Miami, and Osaka froze after she realized people were shouting her name as she danced awkwardly. (She says “sitting still in my chair” is her go-to dance move.) Another whoa moment: while driving in Florida after the Open, she noticed a woman in front of her looking repeatedly into a side mirror. At a green light, the other car stood still. Osaka steered around and saw the woman’s mouth agape. “She was just looking at me,” Osaka says. “I thought it was because of my car. Then I realized I think it was because of me.”

Osaka received a hero’s welcome during a November trip to Haiti, and her fame in Japan is approaching pop-star status. When she visited Tokyo in September, Osaka had to sneak into her hotel through a side entrance. Paparazzi trailed her throughout the trip. One night, Osaka’s mom Tamaki was relaxing in her hotel room and decided to conduct a little test. She’d flip around the channels and see if she could finally avoid the image of her daughter on the screen. Her experiment failed.

Osaka, playing in an Australian Open warm-up tournament on Jan. 3, has one of the strongest serves in the game
TPN/Getty ImagesOsaka, playing in an Australian Open warm-up tournament on Jan. 3, has one of the strongest serves in the game

Osaka’s connection to Japan is both implicit and complicated. She was born there but has lived in the U.S. since she was 3. She is conversant in the language but typically responds to questions from Japanese reporters in English. Still, when the girls were junior players, their parents decided their daughters would represent Japan in international competitions, given the family’s cultural ties to the country. The decision has paid dividends. As the first woman from Japan to win a Grand Slam, Osaka is a pioneer. If she competed as an American, it wouldn’t be a milestone at all, and the battle for attention and endorsements would be more difficult.

Despite the affiliation, Osaka says she doesn’t feel more attached to one part of her identity than to any other. “I don’t really know what feeling Japanese or Haitian or American is supposed to feel like,” she says. “I just feel like me.”

Japan is one of the most homogenous places in the world. Around 98% of the population is ethnic Japanese, and being multiracial–or what’s known as hafu, or half–can be fraught. Carla Capers, an English teacher in Kobe whose parents are African American and Japanese, says co-workers often ask her if she can understand Japanese phrases. “I’m like, ‘I live here, I speak the language,’” says Capers. “People kind of dumb everything down. It gets really annoying.”

For those who see the possibility of a broader definition of what it means to be Japanese, Osaka has become a symbol. “It means a lot to me, it means a lot to my students who are mixed to see her on TV representing Japan, and seeing a resemblance,” says Harmony Egbe, a first-grade teacher in Okinawa whose mother is Japanese and father is Nigerian. “There’s an unspoken definition of what it means to be Japanese,” says Megumi Nishikura, co-director of the 2013 film Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan. “Follow the customs, speak the language fully, look Japanese. She doesn’t click many of those boxes. That poses a challenge. People are having to redefine Japanese identity. She’s helping spread that conversation, which is remarkable.”

Japan’s leading companies have taken notice. The Citizen watch model that Osaka wore for the U.S. Open final almost sold out after her win. In the U.S., sales of the strings Osaka used on her Yonex racket rose 155% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter. Nissin, the instant-ramen giant, put her face on its cup of noodles. Among the other major deals announced since the Open: a sponsorship with Shiseido, the cosmetics company, and an agreement with automaker Nissan, which recently released a special-edition model to commemorate the partnership. A deal with an airline is likely to follow, as are those tied to major Olympics sponsors and an apparel company–her contract with Adidas conveniently expired at the end of 2018.

Osaka’s agent declined to reveal her endorsement income, but a person with knowledge of the market has estimated that she will go from earning about $ 2.5 million per year before the U.S. Open to taking in north of $ 15 million annually afterward.

 

Eight-figure investments come with thick strings attached. Osaka’s sponsors expect her to keep winning and to function as the public face of their brands. Osaka generally prefers to keep hidden. “Everyone around me has more confidence in me than I do in myself,” Osaka says. She’s given to self-deprecating comments like “I think everyone is cooler than me,” which come across as sincere rather than false modesty. And she excessively apologizes, for things large and small. Osaka said she was sorry for beating Williams, though no one deserved that victory more. And after one of our interviews, Osaka apologized for stepping over my computer bag, even though it was in her path.

Some of this comes from spending your childhood chasing tennis dreams rather than being social. “To go out of the way to make a friend, for example, you would have to say hi the morning, text them sometimes,” says sister Mari. “She doesn’t really put in the work for it.”

When asked her favorite moment of the post–U.S. Open victory tour, Osaka doesn’t mention going on Ellen or meeting LeBron James, one of her favorite athletes. Her pick: a trip to Universal Studios while in Singapore for the tour finals. “I got to skip the lines and stuff,” says Osaka. “So that was fun.”

Osaka is a star without the pretense, a multimillion-dollar corporate investment who still quotes Pokémon and predicts that fans should expect “just a whole bunch of awkwardness” from her off the court. Mari says she hasn’t noticed much of a change in her kid sister, aside from her more frequent shopping excursions online. “She’s going crazy,” says Mari. “Every day is like Christmas.”

If Osaka hasn’t changed, the expectations for her have. She’ll enter the Australian Open ranked fourth in the world and favored to make a deep run. But the field is loaded. The defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, is ranked No. 3 in the world, while the two top-ranked players, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber, each won a Grand Slam last year. Meanwhile, Serena Williams still looms. Williams reached the finals of the last two major tournaments. And the last time she played in Melbourne, in 2017, she defeated sister Venus in the final–while two months pregnant.

The end of the Williams era may not be here, but it is in sight. Osaka is wary of any “next Serena” label. She’s quieter than her idol, and she owns just one Grand Slam trophy to date. But she knows that it’s there for the taking. “You really never know what people can do,” Osaka says. “And how people can change. I don’t think there is ever going to be another Serena Williams. I think I’m going to be me. And I hope people are O.K. with that.”

This appears in the January 21, 2019 issue of TIME.
Sports – TIME

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Aly Raisman Won Gold in Two Olympics Without a Scratch, but Broke Her Elbow Falling Down Stairs

(BOSTON) — Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman says she is recovering from a broken elbow suffered in a fall on the stairs.Raisman in a Twitter post says “I survived two Olympic Games and 19 years of gymnastics without ever breaking a bone … the stairs got me … I fell and broke my elbow.”

She also posted a picture of herself on a couch, her right arm in a cast, snuggling with a dog. Raisman is native of the Boston suburb of Needham.

Raisman, captain for both the gold medal-winning 2012 and 2016 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams, is also a best-selling author and a survivor of sexual abuse. She’s been an outspoken advocate for women who were abused or victimized, and a harsh critic of USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body.

Sports – TIME

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UCLA overcomes 9-point deficit in final minute, dooms Ducks in OT

UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the final minute Thursday night to beat Oregon in overtime, 87-84. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it tied for the sixth-largest final-minute comeback in Division I history. Texas A&M’s 12-point comeback to beat Northern Iowa in the 2016 NCAA tournament remains the biggest deficit overcome with less than a minute remaining. The visiting Bruins had a chance to win the game in regulation, after Oregon fouled Jaylen Hands in the final seconds to protect its three-point lead. Hands made the first free throw and missed the second on purpose, but UCLA’s Chris Smith picked up the loose ball and laid it in to tie the game while getting fouled. He missed the potential winning free throw. The Ducks led by as many as 17 points in the final seven minutes, and also had a 13-point lead with 2 minutes, 30 seconds remaining. A Prince Ali 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining ignited a 21-8 run to…
ABC News: Sports

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‘The Pain Is Too Much.’ Andy Murray Says Australian Open Could Be His Last Tournament

(MELBOURNE, Australia) — A tearful Andy Murray says the Australian Open could be his last tournament because of a hip injury that has hampered him for almost two years.

The three-time Grand Slam champion says he plans to start his opening match against No. 22-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open, where he has reached the final five times but never won the title.

“I’m going to play (in Australia) — I can still play to the level,” Murray said. “Not a level I’m happy playing at — but also, it’s not just that. The pain is too much really.”

Murray had right hip surgery in January 2018 and, after two brief attempts to return to the tour, played only 12 matches in the year.

He returned at the Brisbane International last week, where he won his opening match but lost in the second round to Daniil Medvedev, showing visible signs of limping between points.

The 31-year-old Murray, who ended long Grand Slam droughts for British men and also won the Olympic gold medal, had hoped to play the first half of 2019 and make a run at Wimbledon.

“That’s where I’d like to stop playing … but I’m also not certain I’m able to do that,” Murray said. “I don’t want to continue playing that way. I’ve tried everything I could to get it right and that hasn’t worked.”

Murray held a news conference Friday at Melbourne Park, and had to leave the room for a while soon after it started to compose himself as he fronted the media.

He said he’s considering another hip operation, more to improve his quality of life than as a way to return to the top level in tennis.

The Australian Open starts Monday.

Sports – TIME

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19-Year-Old Boy Attacked By a Great White By San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly student Nick Wapner was attacked by a 15-foot great white shark while surfing at Sand Spit in Montana de Oro State Park, just south of Morro Bay.

“Wapner received 50 stitches on both his legs after the shark clamped down from his right ankle to his left thigh. Luckily, Wapner was able to kick the shark off and didn’t sustain serious injuries to his limbs — and was able to get himself to the hospital by car. Montaña de Oro State Park Ranger Supervisor Robert Colligan said that Wapner was shaken up.” – San Luis Obispo News

State Park Supervisor Robert Colligan said it could have been an exploratory bite then let go.

Wapner did suffer a couple of deep wounds from the attack, but nothing life-threatening. The surfer has already expressed his interested in paddling back out after her recovers.

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Macy’s shares tank 17 percent on disappointing holiday sales

Shares of Macy’s plunged 17 percent in early trading on Thursday, after the department store operator cut same-store sales forecast for the crucial holiday quarter due to weak demand during mid-December. Sales from Macy’s stores and third-party licensees open for more than 12 months is now expected to grow about 2 percent, lower than a…
Business | New York Post

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Fed chair Jerome Powell frets over stocks more than you think

Jerome Powell is lying to us. The Federal Reserve chairman has said repeatedly that his interest rate policy for 2019 will depend on how the economy is doing. “Data dependent” is exactly how he explained the Fed’s policy any number of times. And if that’s really the case, Wall Street right now should be worried…
Business | New York Post

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How Yankees pitching target overcame dreaded Steve Blass disease

The first time Neil McPhee saw Adam Ottavino throw off a mound, the longtime former Northeastern coach offered the senior at Berkeley Carroll High School in Brooklyn a scholarship. So when he watched him pitching in a game for the Rockies during Ottavino’s dreadful 2017 season, McPhee could hardly keep his eyes on the television….
Sports | New York Post

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Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence Declares for NFL Draft Amid NCAA Suspension

The Tigers’ defensive tackle announced his decision to forgo his senior season after sitting out the last two games of Clemson’s 15–0 season due to a suspension.

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