Update on the latest sports
Djokovic-Berrettini in Wimbledon rematch
NEW YORK (AP) — Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) faces what’s expected to be his toughest test yet of the U.S. Open as he tries to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam with a quarterfinal against Matteo Berrettini in a rematch of the Wimbledon final.
The No. 1 seed faces No. 6 Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals tonight.
Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev has made it back to the U.S. Open semifinals a year after finishing as the runner-up. The 24-year-old from Germany saved a set point in the opener and wound up beating unseeded Lloyd Harris 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Zverev will take a 16-match winning streak into his contest against either Novak Djokovic or Matteo Berrettini in the final four on Friday.
On the women’s side, British teenager Emma Raducanu (rah-doo-KA’-noo) becomes the first qualifier in the professional era to reach the U.S. Open semifinals.
The 150th-ranked Raducanu followed Billie Jean King in 1979 and 2009 champion Kim Clijsters (KLY’-sturz) as the only women outside the top 100 of the rankings to reach the U.S. Open semifinals.
Raducanu will play No. 4 Karolina Pliskova (PLIHSH’-koh-vah) or 17th-seeded Maria Sakkari (SA’-ka-ree) in the semifinals tonight.
Both the Pliskova vs. Sakkari AND the Djokovic vs. Berrettini matches are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Eastern tonight.
Earlier today, Coco Gauff and Caty McNally knocked off the top-seeded team of Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-wei to reach the women’s doubles semifinals. Gauff and McNally, seeded 11th, won 6-3, 7-6 (1). With Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu in the women’s singles semifinals, Gauff 17, and McNally, 19, added to the success of teenagers in the U.S. Open. They will play the fifth-seeded team of Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Luisa Stefani of Brazil.
Marmolejos, Mariners score 4 in 9th, avoid sweep by Astros
HOUSTON (AP) — José Marmolejos hit a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning and J.P. Crawford padded the lead with two-run homer as the Seattle Mariners avoided a sweep with an 8-5 win over the Houston Astros.
Houston won the series opener Monday 11-2 and rallied Tuesday night for a 5-4 victory in 10 innings.
With the score 4-all, Luis Torrens singled with one out in the Seattle ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Dylan Moore. Jarred Kelenic walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch by closer Ryan Pressly.
Marmolejos grounded a single to center to put the Mariners ahead and Crawford homered off reliever Blake Taylor. Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and recently signed Marwin Gonzalez homered for the AL West-leading Astros.
Yankees star Derek Jeter inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Former Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter, Colorado star Larry Walker, Ted Simmons of the Cardinals and Brewers, and the late labor executive Marvin Miller were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jeter missed by one vote of being a unanimous pick in his first year on the ballot, but that was far from his mind on this day. Jeter, who noted at the start of his speech that 10 Hall of Famers had died in the past 20 months, was greeted by a sea of Yankees fans.
The ceremony was delayed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic and it didn’t matter much to Walker, the second Canadian elected to the Hall of Fame. He gave up hockey when he was 16 to focus on baseball. He was selected in his 10th and final year on the writers’ ballot after a stellar career with Montreal, Colorado and St. Louis that included 383 homers and three batting titles.
The 72-year-old Simmons, who starred in a 21-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee and Atlanta, punctuated his speech to thank four pioneers of free agency — Curt Flood, Catfish Hunter, Andy Messersmith, and Marvin Miller — for “pushing the boundaries of player rights.”
Vikings sign RT Brian O’Neill to contract extension
UNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed right tackle Brian O’Neill to a contract extension, securing their most reliable blocker for the long term. Financial details of the deal weren’t immediately available.
O’Neill was drafted in the second round out of Pittsburgh in 2018 and would have been eligible for free agency next year. He cracked the lineup as a rookie and has started 42 games in his first three seasons. During his span as a starter, the Vikings have the third-most rushing yards in the NFL.
The Vikings have drafted an offensive lineman in the first or second round for four straight years. O’Neill is the oldest and most accomplished from that group.
In other NFL news:
— The Baltimore Ravens have signed Le’Veon (LEH’-vee-ahn) Bell to their practice squad, adding another backfield option in the aftermath of J.K. Dobbins’ season-ending injury. Bell was cut early last season by the New York Jets, then rushed for 328 yards in 11 games with Kansas City. He did not play in the Super Bowl for the Chiefs. Bell rushed for more than 1,000 yards three times in five seasons for Pittsburgh. He then sat out the whole 2018 season in a contract dispute. He signed with the Jets and rushed for 789 yards in 2019.
— The Houston Texans will be without kicker Kaʻimi Fairbairn because of an injury Sunday when they open the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fairbairn missed the final preseason game Aug. 28 against Tampa Bay with what the team called a minor pulled muscle in his leg, and coach David Culley said Wednesday that the injury would keep him out of the opener.
Penguins’ Crosby out at least 6 weeks after wrist surgery
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss the start of the regular season after undergoing wrist surgery. General manager Ron Hextall says the surgery was necessary to address a lingering issue. The team estimates Crosby will be out a minimum of six weeks. The Penguins begin training camp later this month and open the 2021-22 season on the road against two-time defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay on Oct. 12.
Stricker fills out US team with 4 more Ryder Cup rookies
UNDATED (AP) — Steve Stricker has filled out his U.S. Ryder Cup team with six captain’s picks.
The list does not include Patrick Reed, who has a 7-3-2 record.
Stricker added Tony Finau (FEE’-now), Xander Schauffele (ZAN’-dur SHOW’-flee), Jordan Spieth (speeth) and Harris English. That was expected. They were next in line in the standings.
He also added Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler. That gives the Americans six rookies, the most for a Ryder Cup since 2008.
Scheffler is the first player since Rickie Fowler in 2010 to be picked for his first Ryder Cup without having won on the PGA Tour.
In other golf news:
— The British Open is heading back to Royal Portrush. The R&A says the world’s oldest major championship will return to the Northern Irish venue in 2025 after a successful staging of the British Open there in 2019 when Irish player Shane Lowry won by six shots. That marked the first time Royal Portrush had hosted the event since 1951. Some 237,750 spectators attended the four days of the 2019 Open and that was a record attendance in the championship’s 161-year history. A record 61,000 spectators attended practice days.
Half of US offers legal sports betting as NFL season begins
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — More than half of the United States now offers legal sports betting, just three years after it was allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys kick off the NFL season Thursday night, gamblers in 26 states plus the District of Columbia are expected to be able to wager on it legally, according to the American Gaming Association, with as many as five additional states offering such bets before the season ends in February with the Super Bowl.
That’s up from 18 states with legal sports betting at the start of last year’s football season. And some of the biggest markets in the U.S., including California and Florida, are moving toward legalization, with New York planning to adopt mobile sports betting at some point.
The explosive growth of the industry comes as more and more companies join the fray, making it more challenging to gain and hold onto market share and profits. And it is making things worse for some people with gambling problems, as the industry is coming up with new ways to bet on sports, including live micro-betting on the outcome of things like the next possession in a football game.
NHL’s Panthers offer deals to 200 FAU female athletes
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers were seeking a female athlete from Florida Atlantic University to be the next college student they sign to an endorsement deal. Unable to choose one, they’re making the offer to more than 200 of them.
The NHL team said Wednesday that it will sign any interested and eligible FAU female athlete to a deal under the new rules that allow college players to capitalize on their name, image and likeness for endorsement opportunities. The offer covers athletes from all 10 FAU women’s programs.
No other major sports franchise is known to have made such an offer. It comes after the Panthers became the first pro team to sign a college athlete as an endorser when they struck a deal with Miami quarterback D’Eriq (dee-EH’-rihk) King earlier this summer.