Update on the latest sports


Djokovic continues pursuit of Grand Slam; Osaka considers another break

NEW YORK (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) continues his pursuit of the calendar Grand Slam when he faces Kei Nishikori (kay nih-shih-KOHR’-ee) on Saturday.

Djokovic has won all 23 matches he’s played at the four most important tournaments in tennis in 2021. That means he is five victories away from a 28-0 mark that would make him the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four major tennis singles championships in one season. Djokovic would become the first man since 1969 to win a calendar-year Grand Slam. He would also pass Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most major titles among men. He tied them with 20 after winning this year’s Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Americans Reilly Opelka and Jack Sock also try and advance in the men’s draw.

Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty tries to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in her U.S. Open career when she plays Shelby Rogers. Barty has a 5-0 career mark against Rogers, with four wins against her over a three-month span this year. Barty skipped the tournament last year, when it was played without fans.

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka says she is thinking of taking another break from tennis after her title defense at the U.S. Open ended with a third-round loss to Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez. Osaka served for the victory late in the second set but got broken there and then lost her composure in the three-set defeat. She repeatedly tossed her racket and later was warned by the chair umpire after hitting a ball into the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium. By the end, she heard some boos from the fans for taking too long between points. Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion. She took a mental health break earlier this year.


Five season openers match ranked teams

UNDATED (AP) — It’s a big day in college football, with five season openers that match ranked teams.

The jewel of Week 1 comes Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, where No. 3 Clemson faces No. 5 Georgia.

No. 1 Alabama opens its national title defense against No. 14 Miami in Atlanta.

The Big Ten decided to open its season with a bunch of conference games, including No. 12 Wisconsin against No. 19 Penn State and No. 17 Indiana at No. 18 Iowa.

The 21st-ranked Texas Longhorns host No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette in the debut of head coach Steve Sarkisian.


Kiffin to miss Ole Miss opener after positive COVID-19 test

UNDATED (AP) — Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin will miss the opener against Louisville with a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

Kiffin announced the positive test on Saturday, two days ahead of the Rebels’ opener in Atlanta.

Kiffin says he, his staff and his players are all fully vaccinated. He said no other members of the team are expected to miss the game because of COVID-19.


Doubleheader for Mets and Nationals

UNDATED (AP) — The Mets and Nationals are set to make up a postponed game from the season’s opening weekend as part of a Saturday doubleheader at Nationals Park. All three games of the April 1-4 series at Washington were called off amid a Nats’ COVID-19 outbreak, and it’s taken until the final month of the regular season to squeeze in all the makeups.

New York right-hander Marcus Stroman is set to face Washington right-hander Erick Fedde (FEH’-dee) in the first seven-inning game. The Mets will give the ball to righty Tylor Megill in the nightcap against a Nats starter to be determined.

The Mets have won five straight after beating the Nationals 6-2 Friday night in the 10th inning.

Elsewhere on Saturday’s schedule:

— Tampa Bay is hoping to get standout rookie Wander Franco back in the lineup against Minnesota two days after he left a game with a headache. The Rays aren’t entirely sure what prompted a headache that forced Franco out of action Thursday, although it may have been a tag applied by Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez on Wednesday. Tests were negative but Franco was held out of the lineup Friday. Rays right-hander Chris Archer is set to make his third start after missing four months with right forearm tightness. Left-hander Andrew Albers starts for the Twins. He is coming off a win over Milwaukee on Aug. 27 in his first start since Sept. 30, 2017 with Seattle. The 35-year old, who spent parts of 2013 and 2016 with Minnesota, hadn’t won a game for the Twins since Aug. 12, 2013.

— Dodgers lefty Julio Urías (oo-REE’-uhs) starts against San Francisco for the fifth time this year. He’s 1-1 so far, and was tagged for season highs for seven runs and 11 hits by the Giants on May 29. Urías leads the majors in wins this year going into this matchup at Oracle Park between clubs competing for the NL West title. The 25-year-old has won seven straight decisions. His previous career high for wins was five as a rookie in 2016. He blossomed in the postseason last year, going 3-0 with a save in six games as Los Angeles won its first World Series championship since 1988.


Verstappen takes pole ahead of Hamilton

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch driver Max Verstappen has won the pole position for Sunday’s Netherlands Grand Prix, to the delight of his Orange Army of fans.

The Red Bull driver’s final lap Saturday was just good enough to beat Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton by .04 seconds and his teammate Valtteri Bottas by .034.

Verstappen’s orange-clad fans stood and roared when he went past the main grandstand area and sealed his season-leading seventh pole of the season. That is four more than F1 record holder Hamilton.

Hamilton missed out on record-extending 102nd career pole but leads Verstappen by three points in the standings.