Update on the latest sports Looser substitution rule extendedUNDATED (AP) — An interim rule allowing soccer teams to use five substitutes per match during the schedule congestion caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been extended through next season. Soccer’s law-making panel says the option of using two extra replacements continues in the 2020-21 season and into next August. That’s when the Tokyo Olympic tournaments end. A sixth substitute can be used in knockout games that go to extra time. FIFA says its plan would help prevent some injuries caused by “potential player overload” as competitions catch up with a backlog of games. Competition organizers have the final approval.SOCCER-WORLD CUP SCHEDULE Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE FOOTBALL-MICHIGANMichigan to allow fewer fans, or none at allANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan says fewer fans, if any, will attend games at “The Big House” if the Wolverines play college football games this year. July 15, 2020 Associated Press The athletic department says a final decision will be made after conferring with medical experts, the school’s leadership and the Big Ten Conference, along with government officials and agencies.Michigan’s policies include the elimination of season tickets for the 2020 season. Paperless tickets will be available for individual games to only season ticket holders, not the general public, if there is a season and spectators are given access to the 107,601-seat Michigan Stadium.VIRUS OUTBREAK-TENNESSEETennessee reports multiple positives among athletesKNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Volunteers report multiple positive results for COVID-19 after the university ran a batch of tests last week. The tests were conducted after the Fourth of July holiday weekend. A spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the positive tests spanned “multiple sports.”Tennessee previously had two basketball players test positive, with both clearing quarantine. A graduate assistant for the football team tested positive and was quarantined for 14 days.Tennessee is bringing athletes back to campus in phases, with football the first to return on June 8.Josiah-Jordan James, a sophomore guard on the basketball team, spoke to reporters last week about how tough it was seeing two teammates test positive for COVID-19. He said that drove home the seriousness of the pandemic and the need to follow all the safety precautions even when he doesn’t feel like wearing a mask.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOCCER-SUBSTITUTIONS Schedule released for World Cup gamesLONDON (AP) — The 2022 World Cup will have four games every day in a 12-day group stage and matches later in the tournament that go into extra time will extend past midnight in Qatar. The schedule for the first World Cup to be played in November and December has kickoff times at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Qatar will open the Middle East’s first World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium at 1 p.m. on Nov. 21. The final will be at 6 p.m. on Dec. 18 at Lusail Stadium.
(BBC) – Serena Williams kept alive her hopes of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Tsvetana Pironkova in the U.S. Open quarter-finals.The American six-time champion, 38, struggled early on with the variety of shots from the unranked player who was in her first tournament in three years.The Bulgarian, 32, broke in the fifth game en route to taking the first set.Pironkova tired, as Williams took the second and broke twice in the third.The veteran will now play former world number one Victoria Azarenka or Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens.Like in her third-round match against Sloane Stephens, Williams made a slow start which Pironkova exploited on longer rallies and with her dangerous sliced forehand. The break seemed inevitable and came in the fifth game when the Bulgarian – a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2010 – hit a great double-handed backhand winner.There were signs Williams was improving towards the end of that set, and although she did go a break down early in the second set, the American levelled immediately then had break point in the following Pironkova service game.That was saved, but the former world number 31 lost her serve again when she was out-thought and outplayed in the eighth game. – decided by an error following a phenomenal 26-shot rally. Her more decorated opponent raised her arm and let out a cry of celebration and relief inside the near empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.By this stage, Pironkova’s points won on her first and second serves had dropped from 87% and 70%, respectively, down to 47% and 55% and the unforced errors were up from five to 10. It seemed the exertions of the near three-hour three-set match against Alize Cornet in the previous round were beginning to take their toll.Williams also experienced a three-set contest in her last-16 match, but her stamina appeared to increase as this match went on. She broke twice more in the third set and booked her place in the semi-final with a game to love, which contained her 20th ace.Defeat brought an end to the fairytale return for the player from Plovdiv, who, following a shoulder injury in 2017 decided to start a family and took time out from the sport.Pironkova chose the Flushing Meadows tournament to mark her comeback and entered at the first-round stage, courtesy of a protected ranking of 123rd – the position she occupied when she last played.