Update on the latest sports
Men’s semifinals on tap at US Open
NEW YORK (AP) – The men’s semifinals are on tap at the U.S. Open. Top seed Rafael Nadal faces No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro, and No. 6 Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) takes on No. 21 Kei Nishikori (kay nih-shih-KOHR’-ee).
It’s the first time since the 2012 Australian Open that the last four men at a Grand Slam tournament are all past finalists. Nadal won the U.S. Open in 2010, 2013 and a year ago; Djokovic in 2011 and 2015; del Potro in 2009.
This will be the fourth match between Nadal and del Potro in the past five Grand Slam tournaments, including Nadal’s wins in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows in 2017 and a five-set thriller in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in July.
Also on Friday, the men’s doubles final, with Mike Bryan and Jack Sock facing Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.
The weather is expected to improve after a stretch of blistering heat. The forecast is for cloudy skies and a high of 77.
Red Sox and Astros meet at Fenway
UNDATED (AP) – Two of the top teams in the majors meet at Fenway Park Friday night when Gerrit Cole and the Astros take on David Price and the Red Sox in the opener of a three-game set.
Price bruised his left wrist when it was hit by a line drive in his last start Aug. 29 against Miami.
The streaking Astros have won five straight behind slugger Alex Bregman, who has reached base safely in 33 consecutive games. He’s had four home runs in his last five games. Bregman also has an extra-base hit and an RBI in five straight games, the longest such streak for an Astros hitter since 2006.
Houston beat Boston in the playoffs last year on the way to winning the World Series.
Elsewhere in the majors:
– Trevor Story and the first-place Rockies open a pivotal three-game series against the Dodgers at Coors Field with 1 1/2 games separating the NL West rivals. Colorado had a day off following Story’s three-homer outburst in a 5-3 win over San Francisco on Wednesday, which gave the All-Star shortstop a career-best 31 homers this season. He’ll try to resume his powerful pace against resurgent ace Clayton Kershaw, who has a 2.14 ERA since the start of August. Los Angeles expects to be without All-Star closer Kenley Jansen after a team cardiologist recommended the right-hander not travel to Denver, where he’s had heart issues in the past.
– Oakland fans will be keeping an eye on Seattle, where the Yankees play the Mariners. The A’s are 3 1/2 games back of New York for the top AL wild card, but the Mariners are 5 1/2 behind Oakland. Masahiro Tanaka will face Mariners lefty James Paxton. Tanaka is 6-0 with a 2.34 ERA in eight starts against the Mariners. Paxton returned from the disabled list last Saturday and struck out 10 in five innings to beat Oakland.
– After a day off, Oakland opens a series at home against Texas. The A’s send Chris Bassitt to the mound against fellow right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
– Blake Snell (17-5, 2.02 ERA) tries to tie Cleveland ace Corey Kluber for the big league lead in wins when the All-Star lefty pitches for Tampa Bay at last-place Baltimore. Snell, the AL pitcher of the month for August, has won five consecutive starts. He and Kluber are top contenders for the AL Cy Young Award.
– Washington right-hander Joe Ross is set to make his season debut against the Cubs in Chicago. Ross hasn’t pitched in the majors since having Tommy John surgery in July 2017. The 25-year-old has a 3.95 ERA in 48 major league appearances. He’s made six minor league rehab starts, going 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA. With a few spots open in the 2019 rotation, Ross’ performance could influence what the Nationals do this offseason.
Baltimore Ravens rookie out of hospital, has facial injuries
UNDATED (AP) – The rookie Baltimore Ravens kicker injured in an apparent assault has been released from the hospital, and is expected to cooperate with police. Team spokesman Kevin Bryne told The Baltimore Sun on Thursday that Kaare Vedvik suffered a bruise to the back of his head and significant facial injuries.
Vedvik’s injuries had been redacted from the police report released Tuesday. That report said the 24-year-old Norwegian told the team’s security head he couldn’t remember what happened after a teammate called around 3 a.m. Saturday. He was found around an hour later, injured and missing his phone and wallet.
Coach John Harbaugh has said the injuries likely cost Vedvik an NFL job. He’s on the team’s reserve/non-football injury list.
In other NFL-related news:
– Troubled former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has been arrested in Kansas on a suspicion of rape charge. Records show that Randle was booked into Sedgwick County Jail early Friday. Spokesmen for the police and prosecutor’s office and Randle’s attorney in previous cases didn’t immediately reply to phone messages seeking details about his latest arrest. Randle was released on probation in June under a plea deal that allows prosecutors to seek to have him put in prison if he gets into trouble again. He spent most of the past two years in jail, with occasional stints in a state mental hospital, on an array of charges.
Best-of-5 finals begin
SEATTLE (AP) – The WNBA Finals begin Friday night in Seattle. It’s the first trip to the finals for the Washington Mystics and the third for the Seattle Storm.
The best-of-five series pits Mystics star Elena Delle Donna against league MVP Breanna Stewart. It also features the oldest player in the WNBA, 37-year-old Sue Bird of the Storm.
Delle Donne went to the Finals in 2014 with Chicago, as did guard Kristi Toliver with Los Angeles in 2016.
OLYMPIC CYCLIST PARALYZED
German track cyclist Kristina Vogel paralyzed
BERLIN (AP) – German track cyclist Kristina Vogel is paralyzed because of the back injuries she sustained after crashing in training in June. The two-time Olympic champion tells Der Spiegel magazine “no matter how you dress it up, I can’t walk anymore.”
Vogel, an 11-time world champion, suffered a severe spinal injury after crashing onto a concrete track following a high-speed collision with another cyclist on June 26, when she was training for the German Grand Prix in the eastern city of Cottbus.
Vogel also had a serious accident in May 2009, when she was knocked off her bike by a vehicle. She suffered severe injuries and was placed in an artificial coma for two days.
But she returned three years later to win the team sprint for Germany with Miriam Welte at the 2012 London Olympics. Vogel became the first German to win Olympic gold in the sprint in Rio de Janeiro four years later despite a broken saddle.