We're nearing the halfway point of this year's major tennis tournament season with an international field of top-ranked players. For the men the top five are Novak Djokovic (Serbia), Rafael Nadal (Spain), Roger Federer (Switzerland), Andy Murray (Great Britain), and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France). On the ladies' side the best of the best are Victoria Azarenka (Belarus), Maria Sharapova (Russia), Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland), Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic), and Serena Williams (USA).
If it's the first Saturday in May, it has to be the running of the Kentucky Derby. And to make it even more exciting this year, the classic horse race falls on May 5 - the day of celebration known as Cinco de Mayo. The 138th running of the "greatest two minutes in sports" takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and is the first leg of racing's Triple Crown. The Preakness follows two weeks after the Derby at the Pimlico Race Track in Maryland and the Belmont Stakes, in New York, are 3 weeks after that, the last and longest of the three races. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.
Animal Kingdom was the 2011 winner of the Kentucky Derby, ridden by John Velaquez (his first derby win). An attendance record was set last year, with 164,858 race fans on hand to catch the Run for the Roses.
Spring has truly sprung this year. And what is more a sign of spring than that (un)official Cleveland holiday, the Indians' Home Opener? Cleveland's big day begins on Thursday, April 5 at 3:05 pm when the Tribe takes on the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field. The scheduled starting pitcher for the Indians is right-hander Justin Masterson.
The first scheduled MLB game is on Wednesday, April 4, featuring the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals playing the Miami (formerly Florida) Marlins. The 7:05 pm game marks the beginning of the 2012 season and will be played in Marlins Park, the new home of the Miami team. Also new this year in Miami is manager Ozzie Guillen, formerly of the Chicago White Sox.
THE BIG DANCE
Sharpen your pencils and get your bracket forms ready because March Madness is almost upon us. The annual NCAA Division I basketball championship will be decided in New Orleans at the Superdome on Monday, April 2. The defending champions are the Connecticut Huskies, who beat Butler 53-41.
Welcome to the first edition of the WPPL sports blog, The Sports Section. Here you will find a variety of information about sports, athletes, and coaches, plus interesting news from the wide world of sports. If you are looking for library materials about sports, we have a broad range of formats to choose from - look for the call (Dewey) numbers 796-799.