As Serena Williams walked off the court after her latest so-close-yet-so-far bid for a 24th Grand Slam title ended with a loss to Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open, the 39-year-old American paused and put her hand on her chest while thousands of spectators rose to applaud.Was this, Williams was asked at a news conference after the 6-3, 6-4 semifinal defeat, her way of saying goodbye?,When the next question returned the conversation to the subject of Williams’ many mistakes Thursday (Wednesday night EST) — twice as many unforced errors, 24, as winners, 12 — she shook her head, teared up, said, “I’m done,” and abruptly walked out of the session with reporters.On Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. local time (3:30 a.m. EST), Osaka will meet first-time Grand Slam finalist Jennifer Brady of the United States for the championship.,Williams was hoping to get to her 34th Grand Slam final but, once again, couldn’t quite get the job done in order to add one more Grand Slam trophy to her collection of 23 and equal Margaret Court for the most in tennis history.Osaka, who also beat Williams in the chaotic 2018 U.S. Open final that concluded with the crowd booing and both women in tears, reached her fourth major title match and stretched her winning streak to 20 matches by claiming the last eight points.,The No. 3-seeded Osaka’s Grand Slam collection also includes last year’s U.S. Open and the 2019 Australian Open and she is, without a doubt, the most dangerous hard-court player in the women’s game at the moment.That used to be Williams, of course.,About 7,000 people were allowed into the stadium for Williams-Osaka, roughly half of capacity.Ushers walked through the aisles at changeovers to remind fans they needed to wear a mask over their nose and mouth.On the hottest day of the hard-court tournament so far — the temperature topped 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 Celsius) — Osaka got out to a shaky start, perhaps prodded into pressing in her opening service game by a booming cross-court backhand return winner from Williams on the match’s second point.

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board voted Thursday to return to in-person learning once Solano County returns to the state’s red tier level.,Dr. Bela Matyas, the county’s public health officer, said this week that several smaller schools had already submitted their reopening plans for review.,Solano County Office of Education and Solano Public Health will set up three school site locations in the county to vaccinate all staff who work in K-12 education, the school district reports.,Hybrid models, where children split time between in-class instruction and online learning, are in place at The Academy of 21st Century Learning in Vacaville and Sierra School of Solano County in rural Elmira; and at the Spectrum Center Schools and Programs and at P3 Academy in Fairfield.,Hybrid models are in place for middle-schoolers at the Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, The Academy of 21st Century Learning and at Sierra School of Solano County.

By The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials urged this week that people wear masks — and wear them properly — as the state reported an additional 964 new infections on Saturday.,Louisiana has registered 9,276 confirmed coronavirus deaths, 16th highest in the U.S. read more

The pandemic exacerbated the decline of print advertising, an ongoing trend for our newsroom and the industry, but people kept coming to our news because it helped them, brought some joy or added necessary information to an important conversation.,But faced with another mostly virtual semester and a struggling local economy, we had to make a difficult choice as we prepared for the spring:

The Daily Tar Heel is moving to weekly print production.,But the majority of the UNC community won’t be walking through campus this semester, so by shifting our focus away from print, we can concentrate more resources to make our digital news even more relevant and helpful.,As we prepare for the spring semester, know The Daily Tar Heel is strong and ready to be here for you when news happens.,As always: print news, raise read more

Damian Lillard scored eight of his season-high 40 points in the final four minutes to rally his Trail Blazers to a 132-126 victory over the Kings in Sacramento.,SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Damian Lillard scored eight of his season-high 40 points in the final four minutes, and the Portland Trail Blazers tied a franchise record with 23 3-pointers to beat the Sacramento Kings 132-126 for their fourth straight victory.,Lillard and CJ McCollum led Portland’s shooting barrage from behind the arc with six 3s apiece.,Lillard added 13 assists while McCollum had 28 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.,De’Aaron Fox had 29 points for Sacramento, who will next host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.