Kenny Atkinson’s tenure as coach of the Charlotte Hornets is over before it started. A person with direct knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press on Saturday that Atkinson, citing family matters, has reversed course and will not take over as coach of the Hornets, The move comes more than a week after the Golden State assistant had agreed to a four-year contract. But the contract was never signed, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither Atkinson nor the Hornets revealed any details of the talks or agreement publicly. The Hornets having to reopen their search is not ideal for a multitude of reasons. Among those is the fact that they have three picks, including two in the top 15, of Thursday’s draft. Charlotte may have to make the No. 13, No. 15 and No. 45 selections without a coach in place. The Hornets had talked to several other candidates in their search to replace James Borrego, who was fired in April at the end of his fourth season. Darvin Ham, Mike D’Antoni and Terry Stotts were known to be on Charlotte’s radar. Ham was hired as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s unclear whether D’Antoni or Stotts would still be interested in Charlotte, or whether the Hornets intend to approach either again. Atkinson’s decision came two days after the Warriors won the NBA championship. One Golden State assistant — Mike Brown — is leaving to become head coach in Sacramento.
Osaka pulls out of Wimbledon
Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Wimbledon, citing a lingering problem with her left Achilles tendon and marking the second consecutive year she’s decided to sit out the women’s competition of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. Osaka has not played an official match since losing in the first round of the French Open. After that defeat, Osaka said she was leaning toward missing Wimbledon because the professional tennis tours aren’t awarding ranking points for the event — a response to the All England Club’s decision to bar all players from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine … Coco Gauff missed out on reaching a first grass-court final when the 18-year-old American lost to Ons Jabeur, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, in the semifinals of the Berlin Open in Germany. Jabeur recovered from 3-1 down in the first set and dominated the second to set up a final against Belinda Bencic, who ousted Maria Sakkari, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4, in their semifinal … Top-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck will face Italian veteran Sara Errani in the final of the inaugural women’s Veneto Open in Gaiba, Itlay. The 47th-ranked Van Uytvanck beat Harmony Tan, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 in the semifinals. Errani, a French Open finalist a decade ago who is ranked No. 213, defeated sixth-seeded Diane Parry 6-3, 6-4 , to advance … Matteo Berrettini was unfazed by a rain delay in beating Botic van de Zandschulp, 6-4, 6-3, to reach the Queen’s Club men’s final in London for a second straight year He will play Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, who knocked out two-time champion Marin Cilic, 6-3, 6-3, for the championship on Sunday … Top-ranked men’s player Daniil Medvedev beat Oscar Otte, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, to advance to the final of the Halle Open in Germany. The Russian will play Hubert Hurkacz in Sunday’s final after he beat Nick Kyrgios, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4).
Korda eagles 18th to take lead in LPGA Meijer Classic
Defending champion Nelly Korda made a 22-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th for a 6-under-par 66 and an one-shot third-round lead in the LPGA Meijer Classic, with six majors champions topping the leaderboard in Belmont, Mich. Korda also eagled the par-5 eighth and had three birdies and a bogey. She was at 18-under 198 at Blythefield Country Club. Jennifer Kupcho, two strokes ahead of playing partner Korda entering the day, had a 69 to drop a shot back. She rebounded from her first bogey of the week — on the par-4 17th — with a two-putt birdie on 18 … Aldrich Potgieter, a 17-year-old South African, built an enormous lead over 18 holes and withstood a big rally by Sam Bairstow to win the men’s British Amateur at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and secure his spot in three majors. Potgieter had a 4-under-par 66 in the morning round to take a 7-up lead over Bairstow, only for the English golfer to claw his way back into the mix. Potgieter’s lead was down to two holes with four to play when Bairstow took double bogey on the 15th that ended his hopes. Potgieter closed it out with a par on the 16th. Potgieter became the youngest British Amateur champion since 16-year-old Matteo Manassero in 2009, and the third South African winner in 127 years of the championship. The victory gets him into the British Open next month, along with the Masters and the US Open next year.
Coloradans win Mt. Washington race
A pair of Colorado residents repeated as winners of the 61st annual Mount Washington Road Race in Pinkham Notch, N.H., which had to be cut in half because of the treacherous weather conditions at the summit of New England’s highest peak. Joseph Gray, 38, of Colorado Springs, topped the men’s field for the sixth time in 27 minutes, 33 seconds, on the 3.8-mile course from the base of the mountain to the halfway point of the Mount Washington Auto Road. Kim Dobson, 38, of Eagle, Colo., topped the woman’s field for a record seventh time, finishing in 31:59.
Northwestern’s Nance transfers to UNC
Northwestern forward Pete Nance says he’ll transfer to North Carolina’s men’s college basketball team. The 6-foot-10, 225-pound senior announced his commitment to play his fifth year for the Tar Heels in a social-media post Saturday. It’s a significant addition for UNC, offering a potential replacement for departing starter Brady Manek from a run to last season’s NCAA championship game. Nance averaged 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Wildcats last year, including 45.2 percent from 3-point range … Katie Ledecky started the United States’ medal collection at the world swimming championships with a gold by reclaiming her title in the women’s 400 meters in Budapest, Hungary. The Americans finished the first day of racing with two gold, one silver and three bronze. Ledecky clocked 3 minutes, 58.15 seconds — nearly two seconds off the world record — for her fourth world title in the 400 freestyle after 2013, 2015 and 2017. The American relay team of Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held, Justin Ress and Brooks Curry won the men’s 4x100 freestyle final, clocking in at 3:09.34 …Three-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce equaled her world-leading time of the year in winning the women’s 100 meters in 10.67 seconds at the Diamond League track and field meet in Paris. American Devon Allen won the men’s 110 hurdles in 13.16 … The Toledo Mud Hens held on for a 2-1 win, handing the host Worcester Red Sox their first four-game losing streak in June in Triple A baseball … The Portland Sea Dogs routed the host Reading Fightin Phils, 9-3, in Double A.