Update on the latest sports

FRENCH OPEN

Novak Djokovic, Nadal advance; Sakkari stops 2020 champ Swiatek

PARIS (AP) — Novak Djokovic has set up another showdown against Rafael Nadal at the French Open. They will meet in the semifinals. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has reached his 40th Grand Slam semifinal after beating ninth-seeded Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. Djokovic converted his third match point and then let out a huge roar.

The quarterfinal was delayed for about 20 minutes in the fourth set Wednesday while the first spectators allowed to attend a French Open night session were cleared out of the stadium because of a COVID-19 curfew.

Shortly before 10:55 p.m. both players packed their bags and walked off down the tunnel while fans shouted out in frustration. Play resumed at just after 11:15 p.m. amid a cathedral-like silence.

Earlier, Nadal dropped a set in Paris for the first time in two years but defeated No. 10 Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0. His French Open set streak is over but his pursuit of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title remains very much intact.

The other men’s semifinal will be Stefanos Tsitsipas against Alexander Zverev.

In other action, Maria Sakkari ended defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek’s 11-match winning streak at Roland Garros in the quarterfinals.

Sakkari reached her first Grand Slam semifinal by beating Swiatek 6-4, 6-4. Sakkari next will face unseeded Barbora Krejcikova on Thursday.

Krejcikova got to her first major singles semifinal by stopping the run of 17-year-old Coco Gauff 7-6, 6-3. Gauff was the youngest French Open women’s quarterfinalist in 15 years. She made 41 unforced errors that included seven double-faults.

All four women left are first-time major semifinalists so there will be a new Grand Slam champion in Paris. Thursday’s other pairing has No. 31 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova facing unseeded Tamara Zidansek.

NBA PLAYOFFS

Boosted by big crowds, Suns try to win again vs Nuggets

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns fans are enjoying the franchise’s return to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.

As COVID-19 restrictions have eased, more and more fans are packing into the arena each night. On Monday, there was a sellout crowd of 16,319 that watched the Suns rally past the Denver Nuggets 122-105 in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Suns have won three of four home playoff games so far in the postseason. Game 2 is on Wednesday in Phoenix.

NBA NEWS

Nets’ Harden to miss Game 3; Pacers fire Bjorkgren as coach

NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn’s James Harden will miss Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals because of the right hamstring injury that forced him out of the series opener.

Harden left 43 seconds into that game with tightness but the Nets haven’t missed him, taking a 2-0 lead over the Bucks. Game 3 is Thursday in Milwaukee.

Harden missed 20 of 21 games late in the season because of the hamstring, after it was strained after he first experienced tightness.

Coach Steve Nash says the All-Star guard is progressing and he was optimistic for his return. There is no timetable for that.

In other NBA news:

— The Atlanta Hawks’ recent home success provides good reason for optimism in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Hawks are upbeat despite their inability to stop Joel Embiid in the first two games. The Hawks split two games at Philadelphia to open the series. They hope to continue their recent home dominance in the next two games in Atlanta, including Friday’s Game 3. Atlanta has won 13 consecutive home games, the NBA’s longest active home winning streak. The Hawks won both home games while taking their first-round series against the New York Knicks in five games.

— The Indiana Pacers have fired Nate Bjorkgren after missing the playoffs in his only season as coach. The Pacers went 34-38 and their season ended with a 142-115 loss to Washington in the play-in tournament that ended their run of five straight playoff appearances. Team president Kevin Pritchard chose afterward to take some time to evaluate the coaching position and has made his decision.

NHL PLAYOFFS

Varlamov’s strong play has Islanders on brink of semifinals

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Islanders have a chance to close out another series in front of their home fans tonight, when the host the Bruins for Game 6 of their series, up three games to two.

After a strong regular season, Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov found himself on the bench while rookie Ilya Sorokin was shining in the first round of the playoffs. But when Sorokin lost the series opener against Boston, New York coach Barry Trotz turned back to Varlamov and the veteran goalie has been stellar since.

Trotz credits Varlamov with being “low maintenance” and having a great mindset to bounce back from a bad game.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Holt walk-off hit for Rangers in 4-3 win over Giants in 11

UNDATED (AP) — Brock Holt hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 11th inning and the Texas Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3. It was the second win in the last 14 games for Texas.

Holt lined a single to center off lefty Jake McGee. Nate Lowe, who had a tying pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, scored the winning run.

Texas is 7-2 in extra innings, and ended its 13-game interleague losing streak that had matched a major league record. Brett Martin got the win pitching both extra innings.

The Giants still have the NL’s best record at 38-23.

MLB NEWS

Baseball Hall delays induction to Sept 8. to allow crowd

COOPERSTOWN, N,Y. (AP) — Baseball’s Hall of Fame is moving this year’s induction ceremony for Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller from July 25 to Sept. 8 so a crowd may attend as coronavirus restrictions ease.

The ceremony will take place outdoors on the Hall’s lawn as a ticketed event with a limit on crowd size.

The inductions were to have taken place in July 2020 but were postponed due to the pandemic. No candidates were elected in 2021.

The Hall’s award presentations will remain on July 24 as an indoor, television-only event.

In other baseball news: — The Texas Rangers have placed closer Ian Kennedy on the 10-day injured list because of a mild left hamstring strain. Kennedy’s last appearance was a 30-pitch outing Friday night, when he got his 12th save of the season.

NFL NEWS

Peyton Manning going into Denver Broncos Ring of Fame

UNDATED (AP) — Peyton Manning has been elected to the Broncos Ring of Fame in recognition of his record-breaking four-year run in Denver that culminated with a victory in Super Bowl 50. Manning will be honored during a game against Washington at Empower Field at Mile High on Halloween, less than three months after his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 8. The six-member selection committee unanimously selected Manning as the 35th member of the team’s Ring of Fame. Last year’s honoree, former coach Mike Shanahan, also will be honored this season after the pandemic prevented his ceremony in 2020.

In other NFL news:

— The San Francisco 49ers cut short their offseason program by a week when coach Kyle Shanahan sent his veterans home for the summer instead of staying in town for a mandatory minicamp next week. Shanahan says he made the decision mostly because of the strong turnout for the voluntary portion of the offseason, instead of as a direct reaction to a pair of injuries that sidelined safety Tarvarius Moore and offensive lineman Justin Skule. Moore tore his Achilles tendon during a noncontact drill and Skule tore his ACL a few plays later in a pass-blocking drill.

— Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush says his recovery from right knee surgery is on track. Bush tore the ACL in his right knee in a win over Cleveland last October. Bush estimates he’s at about “80-90%” and plans to be ready when the Steelers report for training camp in July.

— Washington pass rusher Montez Sweat says he isn’t a fan of the team attempting to persuade players to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Sweat says he “probably won’t get vaccinated” until he has more facts. The NFL allows players, coaches and staff to go unmasked at team facilities when fully vaccinated.

— The Green Bay Packers have added a veteran presence at inside linebacker by signing De’Vondre Campbell. The 27-year-old Campbell comes to Green Bay after starting all 16 games for the Arizona Cardinals last season and posting 99 tackles, including 69 solos. Campbell previously spent four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

— Cleveland Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson has been suspended by the team but won’t lose her job after an arrest for drunken driving. Brownson pleaded no contest to charges stemming from her arrest on May 27.

— Greedy Williams is almost all the way back for the Browns. The third-year cornerback missed all last season with a nerve injury he suffered while making a routine tackle in practice. He’s been cleared to return to the field, but will soon have to test his shoulder with contact. The Browns drafted Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II in the first round this year, partly because of the uncertainty around Williams.

— The NFL wants to expand its international series by holding regular-season games in Germany and has launched a process to identify a partner city. Germany boasts a strong NFL fan base and is one of the world’s largest economies. The NFL has staged 28 regular-season games in London since 2007 and will play two more in October at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Categories: National Sports