Goods worth $400K stolen from Venus Williams’ Florida home

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) Burglars hit tennis star Venus Williams’ Florida home, stealing $400,000 worth of goods while she was at the U.S. Open, police said Thursday.

The burglary happened between Sept. 1 and 5 at Williams’ 10,000-square-foot (1,000-square-meter) home, which is in a well-to-do gated community, Palm Beach Gardens police said in a statement. Police blacked out from their report what was stolen. No arrests have been made.

Palm Beach County property records show Williams and her sister Serena bought the home new in 2000. It is now valued at $2.3 million.

Venus Williams’ agent, Carlos Fleming, did not respond to an email seeking comment. The burglary was first reported by WPEC-TV.

This is the second time in five months Palm Beach Gardens police did not publicly release information about an incident involving Williams until it was reported by a news outlet.

In June, Williams was involved in a traffic accident near her home that killed a passenger in the other car. Police have said the accident investigation remains open, and she is being sued by the dead man’s estate. Palm Beach Gardens police did not issue a news release or the accident report until the website TMZ published a story three weeks after the crash.

Maj. Eduardo Guillen said it is not the department’s practice to issue news releases about major crimes and fatal traffic accidents involving its residents, something other departments in Florida and nationally do routinely.

“The department is not in the business of randomly releasing information on cases. Ms. Williams is a private citizen within our community and she will be extended the same privacy all our citizens expect,” Guillen said in an email to The Associated Press.

The suburb of about 54,000 residents is mostly middle class, but has wealthy enclaves.

Williams, 37, has had one of her best recent years on the court, finishing second at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open and reaching the semi-finals at the U.S. Open.

Williams has seven career Grand Slam titles and career on-court earnings of nearly $40 million. She has her own clothing line and endorsement deals with Ralph Lauren, Kraft foods, Tide detergent and Wilson sporting goods. She also owns a small percentage of the Miami Dolphins.

Djokovic to start 2023 in Adelaide ahead of Australian Open

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 campaign in Adelaide as he prepares for a shot at a 10th Australian Open crown a year after having his visa revoked on the eve of his title defense.

The 21-time major winner has been granted a visa by the Australian government and has been listed to play at the Adelaide International, which starts Jan. 1.

Serbia isn’t contesting the inaugural United Cup team competition, leaving Djokovic free to play regular warmup tournaments head of the Jan. 16-29 Australian Open.

He’ll be joined in the men’s draw at Adelaide by Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and Andy Murray.

Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka will headline the women’s draw.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles last month confirmed Djokovic had been granted a visa to compete in Australia in January. The 35-year-old Serbian had been facing a possible three-year ban after being deported last January over his stance against COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times, including the last three times he played. Rafael Nadal won this year’s title in Djokovic’s absence.

Djokovic was not vaccinated against COVID-19 when he arrived in Melbourne ahead of the 2022 tournament, but Australia has since lifted strict rules for unvaccinated travelers.

Karolina Pliskova reuniting with Sascha Bajin

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Two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova is reuniting with coach Sascha Bajin ahead of the 2023 season.

Pliskova posted on her website and her Twitter account about the move, which comes about six months after she and Bajin stopped working together. The pair originally teamed up in November 2020.

While Bajin was her coach, Pliskova reached the final at Wimbledon in 2021 before losing to champion Ash Barty. Pliskova also was the runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open, where she defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals before being beat by Angelique Kerber for the trophy.

After splitting from Bajin in July, Pliskova was coached by Leos Friedl. Their results together included a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open.

Bajin has worked as a coach or hitting partner with several top tennis players, including Grand Slam title winners Williams, Naomi Osaka, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

“Thank you for having me back,” Bajin wrote on Twitter. “Let’s go get it.”

Pliskova is a 30-year-old from the Czech Republic who reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings in 2017 and finished this season at No. 31 after going 21-21 with no titles.

Her team also includes fitness specialist Jez Green and physiotherapist Martin Salvador.

Next year’s first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open, begins Jan. 16.