WAMC Sports Report 8/31/23: Frances Tiafoe makes third round of U.S. Open
Frances Tiafoe loves the spotlight that comes with playing at night in Arthur Ashe Stadium and he has picked up another victory in that setting to reach the U.S. Open's third round. He quickly grabbed a lead and never let go while getting past Sebastian Ofner of Austria 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in a tad more than 1 1/2 hours on Wednesday. Tiafoe only faced one break point and saved it. He volleyed terrifically. His outmatched opponent needed some help from a trainer for a bothersome neck. Novak Djokovic, Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff all won in straight sets but No. 7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas lost.
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki has reached the third round at the U.S. Open by beating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-5, 7-6 (5). Wozniacki is a 33-year-old from Denmark who won the 2018 Australian Open and reached No. 1 in the rankings during her first stint on tour. She walked away from the sport in early 2020 to start a family and now she and her husband, former NBA player David Lee, are the parents of two children. After a hiatus of 3 1/2 years, Wozniacki returned to competition this month and now is back at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2019. She was the runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2009 and 2014.
BASKETBALL WORLD CUP
In yesterday’s FIBA Basketball World Cup action, the U.S. topped Jordan 110-62, and Puerto Rico beat China 107-89. Tomorrow, the U.S. will play Montenegro at 4:40 a.m., and the Dominican Republic faces Puerto Rico at 8 a.m.
The New York Yankees ended a 10-series winless streak as Gleyber Torres homered for the third straight game in a 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers. DJ LaMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton also homered for the Yankees, who have won the first three games of the four-game set. They hadn’t won a series since sweeping three games from Kansas City from July 21-23 and hadn’t taken a road series since winning two of three at Oakland from June 27-29. Stanton reached 20 homers for the 12th time in 14 seasons.
DJ Stewart homered twice, then forced in the winning run when he was hit by an Aroldis Chapman pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning as the New York Mets beat Texas 6-5 and dropped the Rangers into third place in the tight AL West. Texas lost for the 10th time in 13 games and fell from a first-place tie with Seattle, also dropping behind Houston. Texas overcome a 3-0 deficit to take a 5-3 lead on Jonah Heim’s two-run single off Adam Ottavino, but Stewart hit a two-run homer against Jose Leclerc in the bottom half.
Framber Valdez retired the first 10 Boston batters on Wednesday and took a shutout into the sixth inning to help the Houston Astros beat the Red Sox 7-4 and complete their first sweep at Fenway Park. Houston has won five straight as it fights for a third consecutive AL West title. The Astros entered the day essentially tied with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners. All three teams remain in contention for the AL wild-card spots if they falter. The Red Sox lost for the fifth time in six games and are in fifth in the race for the three AL wild-card berths.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper has hit his 300th career home run, going deep against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday to become the 158th player in major league history to reach that mark. Harper hit the milestone homer against Matt Moore in the eighth inning for his 15th homer of the season. The two-run drive, in Harper’s 1,481st game, put Philadelphia ahead 8-7. He homered in three straight games for the second time this month and has 10 homers in August. The two-run drive, in Harper’s 1,481st game, put Philadelphia ahead by a run, but the Phillies would cough up that lead in the ninth and lose 10-8.
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane anticipates edge rusher Von Miller to be activated after spending the NFL-minimum four weeks on the physically unable to perform list. And the GM didn't rule out Miller making his debut in Week 5, when the team plays Jacksonville in London. Miller has been sidelined since tearing a right knee ligament in November. Beane on Wednesday also announced a move to address the team’s depth at middle linebacker. The Bills are preparing to sign Christian Kirksey to the practice squad. And the GM says the Bills plan to bring in a quarterback to compete with backup Kyle Allen.
Rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt seemingly wasn’t satisfied exceeding training camp expectations for the New York Giants. The third-round draft pick put more pressure on himself Wednesday, changing his jersey number from 84 to 13. For those not familiar with Giants’ history, that’s the number Odell Beckham Jr. had with New York in five-year, highlight-filled stint. Hyatt said he was a Beckham fan as a youth. Beckham had 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games as a rookie. Hyatt caught 15 TDs for Tennessee last season. Beckham is now with Baltimore.
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor will miss the first four games this season and general manager Chris Ballard isn't sure if or when the 2021 NFL rushing champ might return. But the Colts want him back. Ballard says the Colts are hoping to patch up the differences that have emerged during Taylor's ugly contract dispute that led to a trade request. Taylor wanted an extension before starting the final year of his rookie deal. He was even allowed to find a trade partner. But when nothing materialized Taylor remained on the physically unable to perform list with an ankle injury.
Miami's GM Chris Grier said conversations with the Indianapolis Colts about 2021 All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor were “exploratory,” and no official offers were exchanged between the two teams. The Dolphins had been linked to Taylor in recent weeks as the Colts sought trade partners for their 2020 second-round pick. Talks fizzled Tuesday as the deadline for roster cuts passed, and Indianapolis placed Taylor on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. Grier also said the team plans to table contract talks with defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa until the end of the season.
Joe Burrow is back at practice more than a month after the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback was sidelined by a strained right calf muscle. The Pro Bowler quarterback put on the pads and participated for the first time since he pulled up limping and then went down to the ground during a scramble on July 27. The 26-year-old Burrow warmed up with the other quarterbacks. The Bengals open Sept. 10 at Cleveland.
Andres Jasson and Monsef Bakrar each scored in the first half and New York City FC beat Montreal 2-0 to snap a three-game losing streak. NYCFC (6-10-11) picked up its first win since a 1-0 victory over Montreal on July 1. NYCFC improved to 5-1-0 against Montreal in the last six meetings, including a 3-1 road win in the conference semifinals last season. Montreal (11-13-2) had a three-game winning streak come to an end. Jasson scored his second goal of the season in the 30th minute. Jasson was left wide open along the right side and he cut back his defender for a left-footed finish. Bakrar scored his first MLS goal in the 37th. He ran to Birk Risa’s pass and sent it through the legs of goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois.
Giacomo Vrioni scored unassisted in the 30th minute and Earl Edwards Jr. made it stand up as New England edged the New York Red Bulls 1-0, upping the Revolution’s league unbeaten streak at home to 14. New England (13-5-7) snaps a three-match losing streak to the Red Bulls (7-11-8), who beat the Revolution 2-1 at home earlier this season. The Revolution won for a sixth straight time at home in their 11-0-3 run. The club’s longest unbeaten stretch at home was 17 spanning the 2014-15 seasons. Vrioni netted his sixth goal of the season for New England. Edwards turned away two shots to earn the clean sheet. Edwards has started three times this season, including the last two after All-Star Djordje Petrovic signed to play for Chelsea of the Premier League.
Inter Miami failed to score for the first time since Lionel Messi joined the team, playing a scoreless draw with Nashville on Wednesday night. Messi failed to convert two free kick attempts in his first Major League Soccer match at home, and it was the first time during his Inter Miami tenure that he was kept off the score sheet. Inter Miami still earned a point in the standings as it looks to make a late-season playoff push. Miami entered the game 11 points shy of the MLS playoff line and needing to move up from 14th to ninth place to make the playoffs. Miami had won its previous nine matches as Messi’s addition gave the team an immediate boost.
The conference commissioners who manage the College Football Playoff have met for the first time since a wave of realignment tore apart the Pac-12. The changing landscape raises the possibility that the number of automatic bids in the 12-team format could be tweaked. This is the final year of the four-team playoff. Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey says more clarity is needed. Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher called honoring conference champions in the new format a ‘bedrock principle.’
The University of Nebraska laid claim to the world record for largest attendance at a women’s sporting event with 92,003 filling Memorial Stadium for the Cornhuskers’ volleyball match against Omaha. The university took aim at the record last spring when it announced it would hold a daylong celebration of a sport that enjoys immense popularity in this state of fewer than 2 million. The event began with an exhibition between in-state Division II powers Nebraska-Kearney and Wayne State and was followed by the Huskers’ three-set sweep of Omaha in a regular-season match. The previous attendance record was 91,648, set during a soccer match in Spain last year.
Spain has spoken loudly through its government, political parties, soccer clubs, players and ordinary citizens to condemn the kiss of a player by the head of its soccer federation that sullied its Women’s World Cup victory. But the apparent abuse of authority by Luis Rubiales has also brought the nation that has made strides in gender equality face-to-face with the sexism that still runs deep in its most popular sport. Now the question is whether the scandal caused by the most powerful man in Spanish soccer can bring about deeper changes in a sport where women have historically been discriminated.
Siena College Cross Country and Track Head Coach John Kenworthy is leaving the private school in Loudonville for the women’s cross country and track head coaching position at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Kenworthy joined Siena’s coaching staff in 2013 and led the Saints to 16 individual MAAC championships, including same-year titles in cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track. Kenworthy’s athletes also excelled academically during his tenure, including the program’s first four U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association All-Academic Selections, as well as Siena’s first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Student Athlete of the Year and first Capital District Sports Women of the Year.
Interim head coaching duties have been assumed by longtime assistant coach Nick Miller, a 2016 Siena graduate and former runner under Kenworthy. Kenworthy thanked college Vice President and Director of Athletics John D’Argenio for supporting the program, and says "The support of the program has allowed us to become one of the best cross country programs in the Northeast, and I couldn't be prouder of my time at Siena. My life has moved in a different direction, but Siena will always be home to me and I look forward to being a fan from afar."
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