Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Distracted Zverev seeks to rediscover spark
On the court Alexander Zverev has proved adept at shouldering the expectation heaped on him since his early teens, but off it the job of handling the business side of his tennis career is proving a more onerous task. So much so that the 22-year-old German will head to the French Open sounding just a little world weary and with few backing him to match or even better last year's run to the quarter-finals, still his best Grand Slam showing.
Injury-hit Osaka heads to French Open after 'rocky' clay season
After pulling out of last week's Italian Open due to injury, World number one Naomi Osaka admitted she has had a “rocky” claycourt season heading into the French Open. Osaka, who won the Australian Open in January to follow on from her dramatic victory over Serena Williams at the U.S. Open in 2018, is looking to become just the 11th woman to claim a third consecutive Grand Slam title.
Cameroonian girls defy prejudice to pursue soccer dreams
When Gaelle Asheri first started playing soccer in the dirt streets near her home in Cameroon's capital, she was the only girl on the informal neighborhood teams which used stones for goal posts and kept score by chalking results on a wall. Asheri, 17, and her teammate Ida Pouadjeu, 16, are now among the first wave of girls being trained by professional coaches at the Rails Foot Academy (RFA) in Yaounde. It was set up in January to foster female soccer talent in a country where many still see the sport as a man's game.
Blues KO Sharks in Game 6, reach first Final since '70
The worst team in the entire NHL a few days into the new year completed an astounding turnaround Tuesday as the St. Louis Blues advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970. The team that fired its coach in November and sat dead last in the NHL when the sun rose on Jan. 3 dispatched the San Jose Sharks in a six-game Western Conference final, capped by a 5-1 home-ice victory on Tuesday. The Blues will meet the Boston Bruins in the championship round.
NBA notebook: Trail Blazers' Stotts rewarded with extension
The Portland Trail Blazers said Tuesday that they have signed coach Terry Stotts to a multi-year contract extension. General manager Neil Olshey informed reporters of the extension when asked a question about Stotts during a press conference. The length of the extension wasn't immediately known.
FIFA faces fan backlash over seating at women's World Cup
World soccer governing body FIFA is facing a backlash on social media from fans who bought multiple tickets for next month's women's World Cup in France only to discover that their seats were not together. Supporters with tickets for the June 7-July 7 showpiece were allowed to download and print them on Monday and a number of parents have since complained that seats have been allocated in such a way that they cannot sit with their children.
Lowry, Raptors down Bucks, level East finals
Kawhi Leonard carried the Toronto Raptors through most of the postseason. However, after Leonard played 52 minutes in Toronto's double-overtime win on Sunday and was noticeably favoring his left leg, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said teammates knew Leonard was limited Tuesday and that the rest of them "had to step up."
NFL notebook: Patriots extend Edelman through 2021
The Patriots finalized a two-year extension worth $21 million to perhaps keep Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman in New England for his entire career. According to multiple reports, the extension includes an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million guaranteed.
MLB roundup: Verlander, Astros dominate White Sox
Justin Verlander carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and Michael Brantley keyed a four-run uprising in the fifth with an opposite-field double to left as the Houston Astros claimed a 5-1 victory over the visiting Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Verlander (8-1) flirted with his third career no-hitter, dominating the White Sox with a season-high 12 strikeouts while allowing just one baserunner entering the top of the seventh.
Djokovic concedes he has mountain to climb at French Open
World number one Novak Djokovic has enjoyed two good weeks on red clay but admitted that winning a second French Open title would be a tall order after a crushing defeat by Rafael Nadal in last week's Italian Open final. Djokovic clinched the Madrid Open without dropping a set and then won a pair of epic battles against Argentines Juan Martin Del Potro and Diego Schwartzman in Rome before succumbing to the imperious Nadal 6-0 4-6 6-1 in Sunday's final.