Update on the latest sports


Zverev wins opening match

NEW YORK (AP) — Alexander Zverev has opened his bid for a second straight U.S. Open final appearance with a win in his opening match. Zverev needed only 1 hour, 40 minutes to beat Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. Zverev won the first two sets last year in the final against Dominic Thiem before losing the match. It was Zverev’s first Slam final. Zverev won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and is one of three players with four titles this season.

The German knocked off top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Tokyo Games. Djokovic is trying to become the first man since 1969 to win a calendar-year Grand Slam. He plays Tuesday night.

In other Tuesday matches:

— Karolina Pliskova and Reilly Opelka were among the early winners on the second day of the U.S. Open. Pliskova, a 2016 finalist, beat Caty McNally 6-3, 6-4 in her first-round match as the former world No. 1 tries continues her rebound from several lean years on the tour. Pliskova lost the Wimbledon final this year and fell to 0-2 in major finals. Opelka, one of 15 Americans playing in bottom half of the draw on Tuesday, defeated Soonwoo Kown 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-4.

— Mackenzie McDonald, another American, beat David Goffin 6-2, 7-5, 6-3. McDonald needed surgery for a torn hamstring tendon a little more than two years ago and couldn’t walk for weeks.


Cardinals look to move closer to Reds

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cardinals are steadily surging, making a late-season playoff push. St. Louis is now within 2 1/2 games of the Reds for the second NL wild-card spot after a 3-1 win at Cincinnati on Monday night. Miles Mikolas, who had been out for much of the year because of an injured right forearm, starts for St. Louis at Great American Ball Park against Sonny Gray, who has strung together a season-high 13 consecutive scoreless innings over his last two starts.

Among the other games on the schedule:

— Salvador Perez has homered in five straight games, matching the Royals record set by Mike Sweeney in 2002. Perez has a pair of grand slams during his home run streak. He’ll try to extend the string when Kansas City hosts Cleveland. The 31-year-old catcher has a career-high 38 homers this season, tied with Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for second in the majors behind Shohei Ohtani.


Báez, Lindor apologize for thumbs-down jab at Mets fans

NEW YORK (AP) — Javier Báez and Francisco Lindor have apologized to Mets fans after Báez revealed that a thumbs-down celebration gesture adopted by players was in part a dig at New York fans who have booed the underperforming ballclub.

Báez and Lindor took turns saying they were sorry before first pitch of a game Tuesday against the Miami Marlins. That followed a stern statement from team president Sandy Alderson on Sunday night disavowing the gesture. There also was a team meeting Tuesday in which players said they would stop making the gesture.


Saints could open their season in Dallas

DALLAS (AP) — Coach Sean Payton says the New Orleans Saints are investigating the possibility of remaining in the Dallas area for up to a month and opening their regular season against Green Bay in the Cowboys’ home stadium.

The Superdome appears to have been spared significant damage from Hurricane Ida. But there are logistical challenges with staffing an NFL game at the dome in the near future because of the widespread damage in the New Orleans area.

Payton says the TCU and SMU football programs have reached out with offers of their facilities to the Saints.


AP source: Pats cut Newton, clearing way for Jones to start

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — A person with knowledge of the move says the New England Patriots have released quarterback Cam Newton. That clears the way for rookie Mac Jones to open the season as New England’s starter.

Newton’s release comes hours before NFL teams had to reduce rosters to 53 players and brings an abrupt end to his stay in New England. The Patriots are trying to rebound from a disjointed 2020 season. Newton finished 7-8 as the starter and the Patriots went 7-9 overall after Tom Brady’s departure.

Veteran players say Jones has impressed them in training camp with his work ethic. Jones won a national title last year at Alabama.

Elsewhere in the NFL:

—A person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press the New York Jets have traded tight end Chris Herndon to the Minnesota Vikings. Herndon was a fourth-round pick of the Jets in 2018 out of Miami. NFL Network first reported the trade Tuesday as teams whittled their rosters to the maximum 53-player limit.

— A person familiar with the deal says the Denver Broncos have traded speedy wide receiver Trinity Benson to the Detroit Lions in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round picks in the 2022 draft. The Lions also received a sixth-round pick in 2023 from the Broncos. Benson was a longshot from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, who spent the last two years on Denver’s practice squad.

— The Green Bay Packers won’t have David Bakhtiari for the start of the season. The All-Pro left tackle is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament and his agent, Mark Humenik, says Bakhtiari will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list. The designation means Bakhtiari won’t be available for at least the first six weeks. That leaves reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers without the player who has protected his blind side for the last nine seasons.


Rajon Rondo re-signs with Lakers for another title push

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rajon Rondo has re-signed with the Los Angeles Lakers to pursue another championship ring. The Lakers are bringing back Rondo on a one-year contract.

The veteran point guard played an important role as a reserve and a team leader on Los Angeles’ 17th NBA championship team during the 2019-20 season, his second with the Lakers. The 35-year-old Rondo agreed to a buyout with Memphis last Saturday and quickly rejoined a title contender. The Clippers traded Rondo to the Grizzlies two weeks ago along with Patrick Beverley in the deal sending Eric Bledsoe back to LA.


Blackhawks D Murphy agrees to 4-year contract extension

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to a four-year contract extension with defenseman Connor Murphy. The deal runs through the 2025-26 season and carries a $4.4 million salary-cap hit. The 28-year-old Murphy has turned into one of Chicago’s most reliable defensemen. He had three goals and 12 assists while averaging a career-high 22:09 of ice time over 50 games last season.