Update on the latest sports
Djokovic faces Federer’s replacement
NEW YORK (AP) – Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has had some memorable matches at the U.S. Open against Roger Federer. Now he plays Federer’s replacement. The top-ranked Djokovic has a second-round match Thursday night against Tallon Griekspoor, who was moved into the main draw when Federer had to withdraw because of a knee injury.
Djokovic is tied with Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 major championships. He is trying to become the first man to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same year since 1969. He had a bit of a bumpy start, losing the second set against qualifier Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune in the first round before easily taking the final two.
Women’s No. 1 seed Ash Barty and men’s Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev play daytime matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where they were victorious Tuesday.
The schedule grew fuller late Wednesday afternoon when heavy rains caused a number of matches to be suspended until Thursday.
Colts activate 3 from COVID list, put 3 on injured reserve
UNDATED (AP) – The Indianapolis Colts have activated three starters from the reserve/COVID-19 list: quarterback Carson Wentz, center Ryan Kelly and receiver Zach Pascal.
All three were put on the COVID-19 list Monday after being deemed a close contact to someone who tested positive for the virus.
The Colts also put four-time Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton, third-string quarterback Sam Ehlinger and receiver Dezmon Patmon on injured reserve. By going on injured reserve after the active roster was cut to 53 all three could return this season.
In other NFL news:
– Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey is retiring from the NFL after 10 seasons, the first nine with the Tennessee Titans and the last with Denver. Casey scheduled his announcement for Thursday afternoon at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, where he became a five-time Pro Bowl pick, six-time defensive captain and a team two-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. His 51 sacks rank seventh in team history and are second only to Jevon Kearse’s 52 sacks since 1999 in the Titans era.
– NFL players will be free to wear social justice messages on their helmets again this season. And “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” will be stenciled in end zones for the second straight year as part of the league’s Inspire Change platform. The NFL will also bring back the “Say Their Stories” initiative, and for the first time each team will highlight its social justice work during a regular-season home game in Weeks 17 and 18. The league also worked with New Era and the Players Coalition to offer an Inspire Change knit hat that can be worn on the sideline during Weeks 17 and 18.
T25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BIG WEEKEND
First big weekend of college football starts tonight
UNDATED (AP) – The first big weekend of college football has arrived. And for the first time since 2005, when Labor Day weekend became college football’s official launch date, the season will open with five games pairing Top 25 teams – including a top-five match-up.
The action starts Thursday night, with No. 4 Ohio St. at Minnesota, No. 22 Coastal Carolina vs. The Citadel, No. 24 Utah vs. Weber St., and No. 25 Arizona St. vs. S. Utah.
The jewel of Week 1 comes Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, where No. 3 Clemson faces No. 5 Georgia.
Elsewhere, No. 1 Alabama opens its national title defense and season as it usually does: At a neutral site against a Power Five opponent. The Crimson Tide and new starting quarterback Bryce Young face No. 14 Miami and D’Eriq King in Atlanta.
The Big Ten decided to open its season with a bunch of conference games that produced two ranked matchups. No. 12 Wisconsin hosts No. 19 Penn State, two Big Ten powers trying to quickly wash away the memory of disappointing 2020 seasons. No. 17 Indiana, ranked in the preseason for the first time since 1969, goes to No. 18 Iowa.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the ranked vs ranked games is one that Texas probably didn’t expect would require such heavy lifting when it was scheduled. The 21st-ranked Longhorns host No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette in the debut of head coach Steve Sarkisian. The Ragin’ Cajuns of the Sun Belt knocked off a ranked Big 12 team, Iowa State, on the road last season.
COLLEGE FOOBALL-TEMPLE-RUTGERS POSTPONED
Temple-Rutgers season opener postponed until Saturday by Ida
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) – The season-opening game between Temple and Rutgers scheduled for Thursday night has been postponed until Saturday after the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped historic rain over the northeastern U.S.
Thursday night’s game was to be the first at the 52,000-plus seat SHI stadium without attendance restrictions since 2019. Crowds were limited last season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sabres re-sign Mittelstadt to 3-year, $7.5 million contract
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – The Buffalo Sabres re-signed center Casey Mittelstadt to a three-year, $7.5 million contract on Thursday.
Mittelstadt, a restricted free agent, was selected in the first round of the 2017 draft. The 22-year-old from Minnesota overcame early career inconsistencies to finish third on the Sabres with 10 goals and fourth with 22 points in just 41 games last season. That’s a jump from 2019-20 when his struggles led to Mittelstadt being demoted to the minors.
Overall, Mittelstadt has 27 goals and 61 points in 155 career games.
Afghan athlete gets her chance in taekwondo
TOKYO (AP) – Afghan athlete Zakia Khudadadi got her chance to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics on Thursday.
Khudadadi, one to two Afghans participating in the Paralympics, lost her first-round match in taekwondo in the 44-49-kilogram weight class to Ziyodakhon Isakova of Uzbekistan 17-12. She also dropped a losers’ bracket match against Viktoriia Marchuk of Ukraine 48-34.
Teammate Hossain Rasouli competed on Tuesday in the long jump, where he finished last. Rasouli is a sprinter, but he arrived several days too late to run in the 100-meter race.
The Afghan athletes arrived in Tokyo days after the Paralympics opened, both fleeing Kabul for Paris, and then on to Tokyo. Neither Khudadadi nor Rasouli have spoken in public since arriving, and officials have allowed them to skip interviews with reporters to protect their privacy.