Maria Sharapova was granted a wild-card invitation for the US Open's main draw, one of eight women given entry into the 128-player field by the United States Tennis Association. The former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five major titles, including the 2006 US Open, will be participating in her first Grand Slam tournament in more than 1½ years. She sat out 15 months because of a drug ban. The USTA didn’t consider her suspension in awarding the wild card, saying it was following past practice of granting them to former US Open champions who needed them, such as Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Cljisters, and Juan Martin del Potro. Sharapova, who has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invites beginning in April, has only played nine matches this year. The US Open starts in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 28.
Injuries, upsets rule Western & Southern Open
Milos Raonic (left wrist injury) became the seventh player ranked in the men’s top 10 to withdraw from the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, right before fellow seeded players David Goffin, Tomas Berdych, and Jack Sock were knocked out in first-round matches. Juan Martin del Potro upset No. 10 Berdych, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0 . No. 46 Yuichi Sugita topped the 13th-seeded Sock, 7-5, 6-4, and Nick Kyrgios beat No. 9 Goffin, 6-2, 6-3. 14th-seeded John Isner uncorked 16 aces in defeating fellow American, and wild-card, Tommy Paul, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round. Ivo Karlovic joined him there with a 6-4, 7-6 (11-9) upset of eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. On the women’s side, second seed Simona Halep dispatched American qualifier Taylor Townsend, 6-4, 6-1, while Wimbledon semifinalist and seventh-seeded Johanna Konta beat Kiki Bertens, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the third round. Ninth seed Venus Williams cruised into the second round by dispatching fellow American Alison Riske, 6-2, 6-0. Williams will next face Ashleigh Barty, who beat American qualifier Varvara Lepchenko, 6-4, 6-4. Qualifier Aleksandra Krunic, upset 12th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko, 6-4, 6-2, while No. 10 Agnieszka Radwanska lost to unseeded Julia Goerges, 4-6, 4-6. Natalia Vikhlyantseva advanced with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win over Donna Vekic, Alize Cornet beat American Catherine Bellis, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-2, and 15th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova overcame Shuai Peng, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Also reaching the women’s second round were American wild card Sloane Stephens, 6-4, 7-6 (5) over Lucie Safarova; Elena Vesnia, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victor over Caroline Garcia, and qualifier Francoise Amanda, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 winner over fellow qualifier Magda Linette. In other men’s first-round action, eleventh-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta ousted Paolo Lorenzi, 6-3, 6-3, Alexandr Dolgopolov defeated Kevin Anderson, 6-4, 7-6 (6), Karen Khachanov beat Diego Schwartzman, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, David Ferrer outlasted American Steve Johnson, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3, Albert Ramos-Vinolas got past qualifier Mikhail Youzhny, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, and American wild-card Jared Donaldson beat Roberto Bautista Agut, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Gillette Stadium potential 2026 World Cup site
Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium made the list of 49 potential stadiums across three countries to host games in the 2026 World Cup. The committee that is hoping to bring the World Cup to the United States, Mexico, and Canada announced that it will review interest and select a short list of possible host cities in September. The bid ultimately sent to FIFA is expected to include up to 25 venues, but it is expected 12 cities will be designated as official hosts. Morocco is also bidding to host the tournament, which will be the first World Cup with a 48-team field . . . United States defender John Anthony Brooks injured his thigh in his competitive debut for Wolfsburg and could miss the Bundesliga club's opener against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. Brooks went off in the 37th minute of the visitors’ 1-0 German Cup win over fourth-tier club Eintracht Norderstedt . . . The Colorado Rapids fired head coach Pablo Mastroeni and replaced him with interim head coach Steve Cooke. The Rapids are 6-12-4 this season, their fourth under Mastroeni, who took over in 2014 following a 16-year MLS playing career . . . Trent Alexander-Arnold's free kick and an own goal helped Liverpool spoil Hoffenheim's debut in European competition by winning 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League playoff at Sinsheim, Germany . . . Mahir Madatov scored in the 26th minute as host Qarabag FK moved closer to its first appearance in the Champions League group stage by beating FC Copenhagen, 1-0, in the first leg of their playoff at in Baku, Azerbaijan . . . Yuki Abe scored a penalty with two minutes left in regulation as Japan’s Urawa Reds beat Brazil's Chapecoense, 1-0 in the Suruga Bank Championship in Saitama, Japa. Chapecoense was playing its first competitive match overseas since all but three of its players were killed in a November plane crash near Medellin, Colombia.
Lugo joins list of Mets starters on disabled list
The New York Mets put starter Seth Lugo on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 12, with a right shoulder impingement, the latest injury to the team's rotation. Lugo had been scheduled to pitch Wednesday night against the Yankees at Citi Field, but Robert Gsellman (strained left hamstring) is coming off the DL to start in Lugo's place. Lugo, who is is 5-3 with a 4.85 ERA, joined starters Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler on the DL. Steven Matz also missed considerable time this season . . . Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco will miss 3-6 weeks with a broken bone in his left foot suffered Monday when he was hit by a pitch by Cubs starter Jose Quintana . . . Indians lefthander Andrew Miller (right knee patella tendinitis) is set to pitch one inning of rehab this week before being activated prior to the team’s weekend series in Kansas City.
Jones, Sun topple Dream for sixth straight win
Jonquel Jones had 20 points and 13 rebounds for her seventh straight double-double, and the Connecticut Sun beat the Atlanta Dream, 96-75, for their sixth straight victory. Jasmine Thomas made four 3-pointers and added 18 points in the Suns’ first win in Atlanta since since June 7, 2015 . . . American Lexi Thompson has a virus, and captain Juli Inkster is worried about the star golfer’s status for this weekend's Solheim Cup in West Des Moines, Iowa. Inkster says Thompson has had a sore throat the past three days and been limited in practice. Thompson had to skip a news conference Wednesday. Thompson is the highest-rated player in the biennial tournament between the top American and European female golfers. The Solheim Cup begins Friday at Des Moines Golf and Country Club . . . Missouri defensive end Nate Howard was arrested Monday after failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket he received in March. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Howard already was suspended and facing a felony drug charge from his arrest in June in Columbia, Mo. . . . Top basketball prospect Marvin Bagley III will enroll at Duke for the fall semester after petitioning the NCAA last month to reclassify and become eligible for the upcoming season . . . Auburn quarterback-turned-receiver John Franklin III is transferring to Florida Atlantic, according to reports . . . Luis Nery of Mexico defeated Japanese boxer Shinsuke Yamanaka with a fourth-round technical knockout to claim the WBC bantamweight title in Kyoto, Japan. Nery improved to 24-0 with 18 knockouts. Yamanaka, making his 13th title defense, fell to 27-1 with two draws . . . Former NASCAR and IndyCar driver John Andretti has started another round of chemotherapy in his fight against colon cancer. The 54-year-old made his diagnosis public in early May and, in late June, tweeted that doctors found that his spleen and gall bladder were cancer free.