Update on the latest sports


Muguruza, Halep take rare strong US Open runs into 4th round

NEW YORK (AP) — Garbiñe Muguruza (GAHR’-been moo-gah-ROO’-thuh) and Simona Halep (HAL’-ehp) have mastered the grass at Wimbledon and conquered the clay at the French Open. Maybe they finally have the answers for the hard courts of the U.S. Open. The two-time Grand Slam champions both pulled out three-set victories Friday to reach the fourth round of the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.

Muguruza beat three-time U.S. Open finalist Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to match her best showing in New York. She’ll next face French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova (kreh-jih-KOH’-vah), who beat Kamilla Rakhimova 6-4, 6-2. Halep fought through a marathon first-set tiebreaker and eventually beat Elena Rybakina 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.

Naomi Osaka returns to the court Friday evening for the first time since the opening night of the tournament when she faces 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez in a third-round match. The defending champion received a walkover into the third round when opponent Olga Danilovic withdrew Wednesday due to illness.

In men’s action Friday, No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev (DAN’-ihl MEHD’-veh-dehv) continued an easy first week at the U.S. Open by routing Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4, 6-3. The 2019 runner-up at Flushing Meadows has lost only 22 games in his three matches thus far. Medvedev improved to 16-4 at the U.S. Open, his best mark at a major.


NHL reaches agreement to send players to Olympics in Beijing

UNDATED (AP) — NHL players are going back to the Olympics.

The league has reached an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and International Ice Hockey Federation to participate in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Under the agreement, the league or players are able to withdraw if coronavirus circumstances change for the worse or there’s an outbreak during the season. If that doesn’t happen, it will be the first Olympic men’s hockey tournament with NHL players since Sochi in 2014 after they skipped Pyeongchang in 2018.

The league and players’ association agreed to Olympic participation as part of their collective bargaining agreement extension last summer pending a deal with international officials.

In other NHL news:

— The NHL plans to punish unvaccinated players more harshly if they test positive for the coronavirus as part of protocols for the upcoming season. Teams will be able to suspend unvaccinated players without pay if they cannot participate in hockey activities. Those who are fully vaccinated will have any COVID-19 positives treated as hockey injuries and still be paid. Coaches and other team staff who closely interact with players are required to be fully vaccinated. A person with knowledge of the new rules confirmed them to The Associated Press Friday.


Cubs’ Ross, Hoyer test positive for COVID-19; Green ejected

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Cubs manager David Ross and president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer have tested positive for COVID-19. A spokesman for the team said Ross and Hoyer are feeling fine and quarantining. Both of them are vaccinated.

Ross and Hoyer likely will have to stay away from the team for at least 10 days, though Major League Baseball has made exceptions for individuals cleared by its medical experts if determined to be not infectious.

Bench coach Andy Green will run the team while Ross is away, but he was ejected by second base umpire Tom Hallion in the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It looked as if Green was upset with Kevin Newman’s slide into second on a potential double play that turned into a throwing error on Cubs shortstop Sergio Alcántara (al-KAN’-tah-rah), bringing home a run. Green threw his hat down after he was thrown out.

Green said before the game that Ross’ close contacts had been tested and there were no other positive COVID-19 tests within the clubhouse.


Former Super Bowl champ David Patten dies in motorcycle crash

UNDATED (AP) — Former NFL receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion David Patten Jr. has died in a motorcycle accident. The 47-year-old was killed in a crash Thursday night outside of Columbia, South Carolina.

Patten played with the Patriots from 2001 until 2004 and was a member of their 2003 and 2004 championship teams. He appeared in 147 career NFL games, catching 324 passes for 4,715 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Patten played 12 seasons in the NFL after signing as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants in 1997. He spent three seasons in New York and also played for Cleveland, Washington and New Orleans.

But his biggest highlights came as a member of the Patriots, making two iconic catches to help New England capture its first Super Bowl win during the 2001 season. He hauled in an 11-yard TD from Drew Bledsoe during the Patriots’ 24-17 win over Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game. He followed that with a leaping 8-yard TD reception from Brady in the second quarter of the Super Bowl. It was New England’s lone offensive TD in the 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams.

In other NFL news:

— The Pittsburgh Steelers have acquired defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon from Seattle in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft. The Steelers made the move to bolster a secondary that has struggled to find a replacement for Mike Hilton, who left in free agency during the offseason. Witherspoon had four interceptions in four seasons with San Francisco before signing a one-year deal with the Seahawks in May. To make room on the roster for Witherspoon, the Steelers released defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux.

— The New York Giants are going to retire the No. 92 jersey of Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan (STRAY’-han) this season. The ceremony will take place on Nov. 28 at MetLife Stadium at a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Strahan spent his entire 15-year career with the Giants and was the captain of their 2007 Super Bowl championship team. He was a four-time All-Pro, a seven-time Pro Bowler and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2001 when he set the league’s single-season record with 22 1-2 sacks.