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.

’”Williams, who wore a black T-shirt with “Unstoppable Queen” in capital gold letters to her news conference, moved closer to an eighth Australian Open championship and record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title overall.Her most recent came in 2017, while she was pregnant.On a cloudy day with the temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (high teens Celsius), both Williams and Sabalenka dismissed much in the way of subtlety or nuance.,More importantly, she covered the court much in the way she did in her younger days, when opponents’ apparent winners were rendered mere fodder for her own strikes.And she showed no signs of trouble from the left Achilles tendon that hampered her in a U.S. Open semifinal loss in September and forced her to withdraw from the French Open before the second round later that month.,Williams now faces No. 2-ranked Simona Halep, a two-time major winner who beat French Open champion Iga Swiatek 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.,Eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic shrugged off a side muscle injury to beat Milos Raonic 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in a night match and register his 300th win in a Grand Slam match.,Muguruza could not convert either chance to end things: Osaka delivered one of her 11 aces at 118 mph (191 kph) on the first; Muguruza missed a groundstroke on the second.Fifteen minutes later, the match was over.The 71st-ranked Hsieh’s 6-4, 6-2 victory over 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova made her the oldest woman to make her major quarterfinal debut in the professional era.This is the 38th major for Hsieh, who beat 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the second round.The secret to Hsieh’s success?

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.

The Capistrano Valley Christian and Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana high school football teams played a game Saturday, Jan. 16, that might have violated CIF and Southern Section rules as well as state health orders that are in place because of the pandemic.,This appears to be the first reported case in the state this school year of two high school teams playing a game in school uniforms and using school equipment despite guidance from state and high school sports officials against such competitions.,The head coaches for Capistrano Valley Christian and Calvary Chapel, which are both private schools and not part of a school district, confirmed Sunday that their teams played a game Saturday at Calvary Chapel that included full uniforms and spectators but with adjusted rules.,The CDPH has placed high school and youth sports into four tiers that are based on a sport’s level of contact and a county’s COVID-19 infection rate.,On Friday, Jan. 14, hundreds of parents and student-athletes attended Let Them Play rallies in Orange County in an attempt to urge state officials to allow for high school and youth sports to resume as soon as possible.

The Capistrano Valley Christian and Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana high school football teams played a game Saturday, Jan. 16, that might have violated CIF and Southern Section rules as well as state health orders that are in place because of the pandemic.,This appears to be the first reported case in the state this school year of two high school teams playing a game in school uniforms and using school equipment despite guidance from state and high school sports officials against such competitions.,The head coaches for Capistrano Valley Christian and Calvary Chapel, which are both private schools and not part of a school district, confirmed Sunday that their teams played a game Saturday at Calvary Chapel that included full uniforms and spectators but with adjusted rules.,The CDPH has placed high school and youth sports into four tiers that are based on a sport’s level of contact and a county’s COVID-19 infection rate.,On Friday, Jan. 14, hundreds of parents and student-athletes attended Let Them Play rallies in Orange County in an attempt to urge state officials to allow for high school and youth sports to resume as soon as possible.

The number of players in hard quarantine swelled to 72 ahead of the Australian Open after a fifth positive coronavirus test was returned from the charter flights bringing players, coaches, officials and media to Melbourne for the season-opening tennis major.,Australian Open organizers confirmed late Sunday that the latest case involved a passenger on the flight from Doha, Qatar to Melbourne who was not a member of the playing contingent, But all 58 passengers, including the 25 players, now cannot leave their hotel rooms for 14 days.,There were already 47 players, including Grand Slam winners, in hard quarantine after three positive tests were returned from a charter flight that arrived from Los Angeles and one on a flight that departed Abu Dhabi.,Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said organizers and players were forewarned there’d be a “significant risk” of exta restrictions being imposed if there were positive COVID-19 cases.,Tiley said there were no plans to delay the Australian Open any further — it’s already starting three weeks later than usual — although organizers were reviewing the schedule for the warmup tournaments starting Feb. 1 to find ways to make it easier for those players in strict quarantine to prepare.

A further 25 tennis players were forced into quarantine in Australia ahead of the season’s first tennis major after another positive coronavirus test on a charter flight, taking the total number of competitors isolating in hotel rooms to 72 on Sunday.The positive test came from a passenger who was not a member of the playing contingent, Australian Open organizers said.,But all 58 passengers, including the 25 players on the flight from Doha, Qatar that arrived in Melbourne on Saturday, now cannot leave their hotel rooms for two weeks.Organizers had previously announced that 47 players had to quarantine after four COVID-19 cases emerged from two other charter flights bringing players, staff, officials and media to Australia.Some players have expressed anger at being classified as close contacts merely for being on board those flights with people who later tested positive and, therefore, forced into a harsher quarantine than the broader group of players who’ll be allowed out of their rooms to practice for up to five hours per day.But local health authorities have said all players were warned of the risks in advance.,Those were among 17 charter flights from seven international destinations bringing up to 1,200 players, coaches, staff and officials into Australia for the tournament.Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said organizers and players were forewarned there’d be a “significant risk” of restrictions being imposed on players if there were positive COVID-19 cases.,She posted the notification that she and others who were on the flight received informing them of the quarantine.Being unable to leave their room would mean the only workouts they’d be able to have would be on exercise equipment left in the rooms of all of the players.Other players will be allowed to train under strict conditions and with supervision, although those practice sessions in Melbourne had been delayed while health authorities waited to receive all the coronavirus tests.Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray and American Madison Keys haven’t traveled to Australia after testing positive in mandatory pre-flight checks.Tiley said there were no plans to delay the Australian Open any further — it’s already starting three weeks later than usual — although organizers were reviewing the schedule for the warmup tournaments starting Feb. 1 to find ways to make it easier for those players in strict quarantine to prepare.Tickets are on sale for the tournament, although the crowd capacity at Melbourne Park will be limited.Australia’s international borders are basically closed to travelers, although there are exemptions in special circumstances.,Each of Australia’s states and territories has its own border and quarantine rules, and those can change on very short notice.Victoria state, which has as its capital Melbourne, accounted for 810 of Australia’s 909 deaths from COVID-19, most of those during a deadly second wave three months ago which resulted in curfews and lockdowns for the city.Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are among a group of players involved in an exhibition event in Adelaide, South Australia state, on Jan. 29.

The executive committee for the Central Coast Section, the governing body for high school athletics in five northern California counties — San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz — and a few private schools in San Francisco, approved plans this week for sports teams to return to practice amid the coronavirus pandemic.,A handful of sports are scheduled to return to competition Jan. 25, though no competition can be held until local stay-at-home orders are lifted, and the section left it up to leagues to move the seasons of all sports as they see fit.,The only downside for leagues moving low-contact sports — those allowed to play in the state’s purple tier — into the section’s Season 1 (Jan. 25 start date) is missing out on the possibility of playoffs.,The North Coast Section, which announced its plans Thursday to rearrange its whole schedule to allow low-contact sports first, eliminated playoff plans for both seasons.,But the East Bay’s Diablo Athletic League already announced Friday afternoon that it was rearranging its schedule to move purple-tier sports up in its calendar to allow for more competition.

Four coronavirus cases have been detected from charter flights carrying tennis players, coaches and officials to Melbourne for the Australian Open, forcing 47 players into strict hotel quarantine.,However, the players from the two affected flights — arriving from Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi — were in a strict 14-day quarantine, unable to leave their hotel rooms or practice, health authorities and tournament organizers said Saturday.,Health authorities initially said two positive COVID-19 cases — a coach and a member of the air crew — emerged from a charter flight from Los Angeles and the other positive test was a coach on the flight from Abu Dhabi.,On Sunday, Victoria state’s COVID-19 quarantine commissioner Emma Cassar told a news conference another positive test, from a member of a television broadcast team, had been returned off Los Angeles flight.,Tennis Australia confirmed there were 24 players on the flight from Los Angeles and 23 on the flight from Abu Dhabi.

The executive committee for the Central Coast Section, the governing body for high school athletics in five northern California counties — San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz — and a few private schools in San Francisco, approved plans this week for sports teams to return to practice amid the coronavirus pandemic.,A handful of sports are scheduled to return to competition Jan. 25, though no competition can be held until local stay-at-home orders are lifted, and the section left it up to leagues to move the seasons of all sports as they see fit.,The only downside for leagues moving low-contact sports — those allowed to play in the state’s purple tier — into the section’s Season 1 (Jan. 25 start date) is missing out on the possibility of playoffs.,The North Coast Section, which announced its plans Thursday to rearrange its whole schedule to allow low-contact sports first, eliminated playoff plans for both seasons.,But the East Bay’s Diablo Athletic League already announced Friday afternoon that it was rearranging its schedule to move purple-tier sports up in its calendar to allow for more competition.