It’s no secret that the United States basketball team did not come into the FIBA World Cup as favorites this year, and their performance in their second group stage match on Tuesday underlined just why that was. The Americans, taking on #17 Turkey, had to go into overtime to squeak one out in the end, winning 93-92 over the valiant underdogs. It took a whole lot of luck, too, for them to just get in the position to have a chance to win the game, with the Turks missing four key free throws- in a row- to hand the US a chance on a golden platter. The ‘nightmare’ team finally obliged, despite a consistent misunderstanding of the rules of international basketball along the way. Kemba Walker was the standout performer in OT, scoring five of his 14 points in the extra period. Khris Middleton, who finished with 15, was the man that sealed the game up, knocking down two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to seal it away. Unfortunately, the USA lost Jayson Tatum to a sprained ankle in the victory, further diminishing the end result. Elsewhere, Giannis Antetekounmpo’s Greece team lost to Brazil 79-78 and only recorded 13 points. He was then ridiculed by the Brazilian coach for not being able to do more against a nearly 40 year-old. International basketball. Crazy, huh?
If anyone had told the Washington Nationals that they would have a chance to win their game against the New York Mets on Tuesday when the ninth inning began, they would have looked at you like you were crazy. But that’s exactly what the Nats did, shocking the Mets by coming from six runs down to win 11-10 at home. Approaching the bottom of the ninth, many fans had left the stadium, seeing their team fall behind 10-4, despite the best efforts of Juan Soto and Kurt Suzuki. Those that stuck around, though, would be rewarded for their loyalty in the last inning of the game, with Soto and Suzuki capping the rally, the latter hitting a three-run homer to walk it off and hand the Nats another ‘W’ in the column. The loss badly damages the Mets’ hopes for making the playoffs, while the victory certainly not only enhances Washington’s standing but also their confidence.
It might not have been Central Park, but it was certainly a stroll for Serena Williams at the US Open in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Facing off with 18th-ranked Qiang Wang of China, Williams, swept the first two sets and did so by only losing one single game, winning it 6-1, 6-0 to walk into the semi-finals. In the men’s half of the bracket, Roger Federate wasn’t so lucky. He perhaps showed the first chink in his armor, falling due to fatigue at the hands of 78th-ranked Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in five sets. Dimitrov (3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2) had never managed to beat the Swiss superstar before, but this night in New York City was different, with the 38 year-old being denied a chance to add to the 20 grand slam titles he already had.