Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports headlines from Wednesday, highlighted by a new wave of American tennis players taking the world by storm and continuing their runs at Wimbledon.
We also will take a look at the Netherlands punching a ticket into the World Cup Final where they will meet the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, and Eli Manning honoring his former teammate Jared Lorenzen, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 38.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Fourth of July, Thursday!
New Wave of American Tennis Talent Keeps Rolling At Wimbledon; Gauff and Opelka Advance to Third Round
We may look back on this Wimbledon as being the coming-out party for the next generation of American tennis stars.
Fresh off her upset win over her childhood idol Venus Williams, 15-year-old Coco Gauff followed that performance by beating former Wimbledon semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova on Wednesday in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
Gauff’s incredible run, which began last week when she became the youngest player to go through qualifying to advance to Wimbledon, moves on to the third round where she will face Polona Hercog, who defeated American Madison Keys.
Read more on Coco Gauff in Heavy’s Five Fast Facts.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, 21-year-old unranked American Reilly Opelka shocked three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller on Wednesday, 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.
The 6-foot-11 Opelka rallied from being down two sets to one to reach the third round where he will face #15 Milos Raonic, who made it to the Wimbledon final in 2016.
Opelka is the tallest player in ATP history, tied with Ivo Karlic. The American had a blistering serve in his arsenal on Wednesday, making 23 aces, with one serve reaching 142 miles per hour.
The Netherlands Set to Face USWNT in World Cup Final After Outlasting Sweden in Extra Time
The Netherlands booked their spot in Sunday’s World Cup Final against the U.S. Women’s National Team after knocking off Sweden in Wednesday’s semifinal match.
Jackie Groenen scored in the 99th minute and propelled the Dutch to a 1-0 extra-time victory.
The goalies were the star of regulation, making a few clutch saves to keep the game scoreless.
The Netherlands’ Sari van Veenendaal just got a piece of Nilla Fischer’s shot in the 56th minute to push it wide where it deflected off of the post.
In the 63rd minute, it was Sweden’s goalie Hedvig Lindahl who leaped to save a header from Vivianne Miedema off the crossbar.
The reigning European champion Dutch team will face the defending World Cup champion U.S. women’s team in Sunday’s final. The game is scheduled to begin at 11am ET and can be seen on FOX.
Former Kentucky, NFL Quarterback Jared Lorenzen Dies at Age 38
Former Kentucky and NFL quarterback Jared Lorenzen passed away at the age of 38 on Wednesday, his family confirmed in a statement. Lorenzen had been dealing with multiple health issues and was hospitalized last Friday, ultimately being admitted to the ICU with heart and kidney issues, according to CBS Sports.
The statement that was released by Lorenzen’s family read:
“It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jared Lorenzen would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all of your support and prayers over the last six days. We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Jared today, July 3, 2019. Again, we appreciate all of the warm wishes and prayers, but as a family, we would request your respect and privacy. We will offer arrangement information in the coming days. Please keep Jared’s family, and especially his children, in your thoughts and prayers.”
Lorenzen was a record-setter in college, throwing for 10,354 yards and 78 touchdowns for Kentucky from 2000 to 2003. He remains the program’s leader in passing yards, attempts and completions. Lorenzen weighed over 300 pounds and had a rocket arm, making him a unique football talent that would go on to become a fan favorite.
Although he went undrafted out of school, Lorenzen signed with the New York Giants as a free agent in 2004. He would go on to appear in four NFL games and served as Eli Manning’s backup during the 2007 championship season that ended with the Giants shocking the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
“Jared was a great teammate and friend,” Manning said. “We competed against each other in college and came to the Giants together. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will always remember his competitive spirit and his good nature. Jared has left us all way too soon.”
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- U.S. Men’s Soccer Team beats Jamaica 3-1 to advance to Sunday’s Gold Cup Final, where they will meet Mexico
- USWNT’s jersey breaks Nike sales record for soccer jerseys
- Bryce Harper gets 1,000th hit and 200th homer on same base hit
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest
Coney Island will be the center of attention on Thursday at high noon for the annual Fourth of July tradition. Eleven-time champion Joey Chestnut will be at it again to defend his title. Chestnut put down 74 hot dogs in 2018 to take home the title while women’s champion Miko Sudo had 37.
TV: ESPN 2 (12pm ET)
Wimbledon: Second Round Continues
Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are all in action on day 4.
TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at 6am ET)