By: Mike Cortez | @CortezEra
Fourth of July weekend brought no shortage of sports news with Wimbledon coming to an end, UFC hosting two events in Vegas, World Cup quarterfinals, NBA free agency madness unfolding and MLB having its first blockbuster trade of the season. This is the sports wire:
Tennis’ most prestigious tournament came to a close this weekend. Czech Petra Kvitová defeated Canadian Eugenie Bouchard for the Women’s Singles title and Serbian Novak Djokovic defeated the Swiss legend Roger Federer for the Men’s Singles title in an absolute classic. On the doubles side Canadian Vasek Pospisil and American Jack sock defeated the American brothers Mike and Robert for the Men’s Doubles title. On the women’s side Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci defeated Hungarian Tímea Babos and French Kristina Mladenovic.
Dana White from the UFC also had a busy weekend with UFC 175 on Saturday and Ultimate Fighter Finale on Sunday. Saturday Women’s Champ Ronda Rousey dismantled Alexis Davis in a Mike Tyson-esque performance that ended in a 16 second knockout. Middleweight Champ Chris Weidman defeated Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision to retain the belt. On Sunday Frankie Edgar took apart UFC legend BJ Penn in the main event of the Ultimate Fighter Finale Sunday, putting an end to their “rivalry” that saw Edgar win all three times.
World Cup Madness
The World Cup is coming to a close with four teams left after a great weekend of games. Brazil escaped Colombia, but not before losing their two best players for the semi-final against Germany tomorrow. Neymar fractured vertebrae in his back in the 88th minute and defender Thiago Silva got a second yellow card, suspending him for tomorrow’s semi-final. Germany won a snoozer against France with only goal being a header in the first half.
Argentina defeated Belgium 1-0 in another lackluster game, with only goal coming in the first half as well. Holland defeated Costa Rica in penalty kicks after a classic 120 minutes of scoreless ball. The Cinderella run is over, but Costa Rica has given up to smaller countries, proving no team is too big to lose.
Free Agent Frenzy
The big fish are still in the free agent pond after this weekend with Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James still undecided. According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, Cleveland (yes Cleveland) is the new front-runner to sign James and there are rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers have both Anthony and James “intrigued” and the Lakers now pose biggest threat to Knicks to sign away the small forward.
Chris Bosh is quietly considering Houston and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith advised that Bosh is the key domino in all of this, not James or Anthony. If Bosh goes to Houston expect James to go to Cleveland or join Anthony in LA. Anthony will either resign with the Knicks for $129 million or with Lakers for $97 million. Anthony is reported to be close to making a decision, but that can change depending on what Bosh and James do. Expect this week to be full of false reports and team leveraging.
The MLB had its first blockbuster trade of the season with the Cubs sending their ace Jeff Samardzija to the Oakland A’s in addition to starting pitcher Jason Hammel for shortstop prospect Addison Russell, pitching prospect Dan Straily and outfielder Bill McKinney. The deal sets the A’s up as the top team in baseball and a legit World Series contender.
The mid-summer classic, MLB’s All Star Break is a week away and the rosters have been released for the most part. Toronto’s Jose Baustista was the leading vote getter and Yankees legend Derek Jeter made his 14th appearance. The Yankees are also sending two rookie pitchers to the All Star Game for the first time since 1940s with Masahiro Tanaka and Dellin Betances heading to Minnesota. The only real snub was Chicago’s Chris Sale being left off, but expect him to make the roster on the final vote.