Toto Wolff has revealed only paperwork is preventing Mercedes from announcing their 2022 driver line-up, with George Russell expected to join Lewis Hamilton.

Much of this season has been dominated by talk around the second Silver Arrows seat, with the incumbent Valtteri Bottas under pressure from Russell.

Bottas finished third at the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday to move up to third in the drivers' championship, but Russell claimed his first Formula One podium in the previous race at Spa.

The Williams man – a junior Mercedes driver – is now expected to make the step up, with Kimi Raikkonen's imminent retirement potentially opening space for Bottas at Alfa Romeo.

Alex Albon, who drove for Red Bull in 2019 and 2020 and remains on their books, has been linked with Russell's Williams seat.

Asked after Sunday's race if Mercedes' next move could be confirmed as soon as next week, at the Italian Grand Prix, team principal Wolff told Sky Sports: "Yeah, I think there's a pretty good chance – at least 50-50. The reason for waiting is the signature on the paper."

First, however, Mercedes still have a fight on their hands this year, just ahead of Red Bull in the constructors' championship but with Max Verstappen leading Hamilton in the drivers' standings.

Red Bull's superior pace was evident at Zandvoort, where Verstappen became the first Dutchman to win his home event.

"When [the other team] have the quickest car on track, whatever you try on strategy is difficult," Wolff said.

"Credit to Max, credit to Red Bull, they were really faultless today."

Of Monza, the Mercedes boss added: "I think [it will be] good. It's so close together, and here Max was the quickest, his home track, you see the crowds.

"Monza is maybe going to be a bit of a different environment. We feel that we are still in the run for the championship."

Max Verstappen revelled in living up to the hype after becoming the first home winner of the Dutch Grand Prix. 

On a fine weekend for the Red Bull superstar, Verstappen reclaimed the Formula One world championship lead from Lewis Hamilton as he made history at Zandvoort. 

Already one of only two Benelux drivers to triumph in the region, the Dutchman coasted to victory to celebrate in front of a euphoric orange-clad crowd. 

"I've never seen a reaction like that in all my career, to any driver," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports. 

Verstappen, who passed 1,000 laps leading in his F1 career en route to finishing 20.932 seconds clear of Hamilton, said over the cheers of his noisy supporters: "As you can hear already, it is just incredible. 

"The expectations were high going into the weekend and it's never easy to fulfil that, but I'm so happy to win here, to take the lead as well in the championship. 

"It's just an amazing day with the whole crowd. It's incredible." 

This was Verstappen's seventh victory of the year – all of which have come in Europe, where he had only five prior triumphs. 

"It's definitely a very good day," he said. "The start was very important – I think we did that well. 

"Then, of course, Mercedes tried to make it difficult for us, but we countered them all the time really well. We can be really pleased with the whole team performance today." 

Hamilton pitted three times in all, eventually settling for the fastest lap as Mercedes' strategy failed to make up the deficit to a faster Red Bull car. 

The Silver Arrows' premier driver was one of just three men on the grid born when F1 last visited Zandvoort in 1985. 

It now becomes only the fifth circuit Hamilton has raced at in F1 without winning, but he enjoyed the experience. 

"What a race, what a crowd. Honestly, it's been an amazing weekend," Hamilton said. 

"Max did an incredible job, so congratulations to him. I gave it absolutely everything today, flat out, pushed as hard as I could, but they were just too quick for us." 

The Baltimore Ravens are set to be without a key cog in their running game after J.K. Dobbins was lost to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Dobbins was taken off on a cart during the Ravens' win over the Washington Football Team in their preseason finale last Saturday, meaning he will miss his second year in the league after an extremely encouraging rookie season.

The Ravens have enjoyed the benefit of the most efficient running game in the NFL in each of the past two seasons.

However, their position as the league's best in that regard could be under threat without the services of a running back who looked primed for a breakout year in 2021.

Dobbins' dynamic rookie year

Baltimore's second-round pick last year, Dobbins finished his rookie season with 805 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 134 attempts.

His rushing average of 6.01 yards per carry was the best in the NFL among running backs, with his team-mate Lamar Jackson (6.32) and Kyler Murray (6.16) the only two players to rack up yardage on the ground at a more efficient rate.

Running with a combination of burst, elusiveness and balance, Dobbins excelled at staying on his feet after contact from a defender.

He led running backs with an average of 2.68 yards after contact per attempt and was also third in yards before contact per rush with 3.43.

In other words, Dobbins' short-area speed allowed him to quickly advance to the second level of the defense, where his ability to evade defenders enabled the former Ohio State star to consistently gain critical additional yardage.

And, following his injury, it is debatable whether the Ravens have the players in their running back room to effectively replace his skill set.

Can Edwards step up?

Gus Edwards will likely take the bulk of the workload in Dobbins' absence and there are numbers that suggest the drop off may not be that steep.

Edwards was eighth with an average of 2.27 yards after contact per attempt last season, while his 3.06 yards per carry on rush attempts where there was a run disruption – which is where a defender wins his matchup against a blocker – was superior to Dobbins' 2.51.

However, Edwards averaged 2.78 yards before contact per attempt, speaking to his lack of burst compared to Dobbins. His missed tackle rate per touch of 0.144 was also vastly inferior to Dobbins' 0.237.

Edwards has proven himself an elusive runner, but not to the same extent that Dobbins was last year. Lacking the acceleration to get the second level as quickly as Dobbins can, Edwards does not have the upside of his less experienced team-mate.

Limited seasoning is an issue for the man with whom Edwards is set to share the ball-carrying burden.

Justice Hill has only 70 carries to his name in his NFL career. Of those, 58 came in his rookie year in 2019, and Hill was below the average for backs with at least 50 rushing attempts in yards before contact per attempt (2.41), yards after contact (1.55) and yards per carry on runs with a disruption (1.97).

With little experience and underwhelming production, there is not much to suggest Hill can help fill the void left by Dobbins and, if Edwards is unable to rise to the challenge, the pressure will be firmly on quarterback Jackson through the air and on the ground.

Jackson looks to take flight

Jackson's position as the top runner by yards per carry last season could hardly be considered a surprise, the 2019 MVP having consistently confounded defenses on the ground since entering the league in 2018, with his upside as a runner in the open field enabling the Ravens to operate one of the most diverse rushing attacks in the NFL.

The threat of Jackson continually forces defenses to hesitate at the mesh point when he either hands the ball to the back or keeps it himself. As long as Jackson is on the field, the Ravens running backs should have the opportunity to capitalise on the doubt he puts in the minds of defenses.

Yet if defenses manage to do a better job of mitigating Jackson's impact as a runner than they did last year or in his MVP season, then he will need to take another leap throwing the ball after a somewhat underwhelming 2020 in that regard.

Jackson delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 78.3 per cent of his passes last year, just above the average for quarterbacks with 100 pass attempts of 78 per cent. He was also disappointing as a downfield thrower, posting a passer rating of 89.1 on throws of 21 or more air yards that was 17th among quarterbacks with at least 25 such passes.

More consistency from wide receiver Marquise Brown, who won his matchup with a defender on plays where he was targeted only 58 per cent of the time in 2020, would greatly aid Jackson's cause. The Ravens star will also hope rookie first-round pick Rashod Bateman can return from groin surgery in time for Week 1 and quickly display the form that saw him finish fourth among Power 5 receivers with 25 targets or more in big play percentage (50.4) in his last full college season in 2019.

Dobbins' injury is far from a death knell for a Ravens running game that will always be a concern for opposing defenses with Jackson at quarterback, and Edwards' previous numbers indicate he can keep it operating at an efficient rate. There is now a distinct lack of depth in the backfield, though, and – minus the dynamism Dobbins provides – it would greatly aid Baltimore's quest to be the AFC's Super Bowl representative if the Ravens can win games on the back of Jackson's rapport with his receivers.

Max Verstappen sprinted back to the top of the Formula One world championship with a historic home win at the Dutch Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton questioned Mercedes' scrambled strategy.

Verstappen had claimed a precious pole position at Zandvoort, where the tight confines of the circuit make overtaking extremely difficult.

So it proved on Sunday, even as Mercedes sought various different paths to glory.

Hamilton pitted twice and appeared to intimate he would like to stop again, but the sheer pace of Verstappen's Red Bull kept him in the clear, becoming the first Dutch driver to win in his own country.

It was comfortable from the first corner, where Verstappen moved across to block Hamilton before racing away into the distance, soon passing 1,000 laps led in F1.

Hamilton pushed hard before stopping, yet Verstappen responded immediately and gained 0.9 seconds in the pit lane.

With Valtteri Bottas starting from third, Mercedes were at least able to slow Verstappen for a time by having their second man hold the race up for around two laps.

But Verstappen passed Bottas in front of the grandstand to the delight of the orange-clad crowd and quickly again opened up a gap to Hamilton that had closed to under a second.

With that deficit only increasing, Mercedes gambled and brought Hamilton in again to make use of his second set of medium tyres, yet he returned to the race in traffic among the back markers, meaning any advantage was minimal as Verstappen again followed his rival in – although having to switch to hards.

Red Bull retained control of the race, which Mercedes finally conceded, calling in Hamilton for a third time to claim the additional point for the fastest lap – still not enough to keep Verstappen off the summit.

'We've gone too soon'

Sergio Perez's miserable performance in qualifying meant he spent his Sunday attempting to close on the midfield, leaving Verstappen alone at the front.

Meanwhile, Mercedes had two men in contention, and Toto Wolff outlined plans for a split strategy.

It was Hamilton who stopped early in Mercedes' first tactical manoeuvre and, when that did not work, the Silver Arrows soon called the defending champion in again – another failed move that frustrated Hamilton.

"We haven't got an advantage," he said. "We've gone too soon on this. There was still so much life left in that last tyre and we rushed it."

More Russell regret

George Russell was bidding to become the first Williams driver to earn back-to-back podiums since Bottas in 2014, although simply collecting points in a third consecutive race was a far more realistic objective after his crash in Q2.

Even that proved beyond the Briton, though. A five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane all but ended his hopes.

There may be news to lift the spirits in the coming days, with an announcement from Mercedes regarding their 2022 line-up anticipated, but this was a weekend to forget.


IN THE POINTS

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +20.932secs
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +56.460
4. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +1 lap
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1 lap
6. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1 lap
7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +1 lap
8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +1 lap
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +1 lap
10. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1 lap

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 224.5
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 221.5
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 123
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 114
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 108

Constructors

1. Mercedes – 345
2. Red Bull – 333
3. Ferrari – 182
4. McLaren – 170
5. Alpine – 90

Ian Foster and Dave Rennie backed the law change over red cards in the Rugby Championship after New Zealand completed a Bledisloe Cup sweep over Australia on Sunday.

Jordie Barrett scored the game's opening try in Perth, setting New Zealand on the way to a 38-21 triumph that means they have won all three Tests against their trans-Tasman rivals this year.

However, the full-back did not last long after scoring, dismissed for dangerous play after catching Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete in the face with a boot while catching a high ball.

All Blacks boss Foster felt the decision to send off Barrett was a little harsh, particularly as it could lead to a suspension that has an impact on the rest of the Championship campaign.

"I was pretty surprised to be honest [that he got the red card]," Foster told the media. "We'll go and have a good look at it, but certainly we'll be putting together a case for that one.

"He just lost balance and you could see he tilted and you could see what happened.

"I feel for the refs in situations like this, because technically they saw things and they make their decisions. I get all that. Have we got a technique problem? No."

While Barrett did not feature again, the tournament is experimenting with a ruling where players who have been sent off can be replaced by a substitute after a 20-minute period.

The initiative allowed the All Blacks to be back at full strength early in the second half, by which time they were comfortably in charge of proceedings.

"It's why all the SANZAAR countries were pretty united in wanting to carry on this global trial," Foster said of the trial.

"It's easy to ask me my opinion because we were the ones on the end of it, so we probably benefited by only having a 20-minute red card. I get that.

"But we were keen supporters of that even before the game and today probably justifies that."

Wallabies head coach Rennie felt the red card was the right call, even if Barrett had not been malicious in making contact with Koroibete, but also backed the initiative on trial.

The hosts still trailed 18-0 at half-time and while they did cross three times after the break, New Zealand eased clear to claim a bonus-point victory that puts them top of the table after two rounds.

"I think it's good that we have a 20-minute red card at the moment, because it's certainly not malicious," Rennie said.

"But based on law, when you field a ball, kick your foot out and hit someone in the head, there's going to be repercussions for that. So, I think the decision is probably accurate, and the fact it's only 20 minutes is a good thing."

Tom Brady has confirmed he contracted coronavirus shortly after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl and predicted this season will be even more challenging for the NFL. 

The 44-year-old led the Buccaneers to glory in February – his record-extending seventh Super Bowl ring – and celebrated accordingly with his team-mates over the following days, including a boat parade for the newly crowned champions.

Brady has since been fully vaccinated, along with the whole roster, as the Bucs get ready for a new campaign. 

With vaccinated players permitted to leave their hotels on the road and visit families this coming season, however, as well as fans returning to stadiums, the veteran quarterback believes the changes could have an impact. 

Asked if he already had coronavirus, Brady told the Tampa Bay Times: "Yeah. And I think it's going to be challenging this year. 

"I actually think it's going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we're doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans. 

"It's not like last year, although we're getting tested like last year. It's going to be, I definitely think guys are going to be out at different points and we've just got to deal with it." 

Four Bucs players have already gone on the reserve/COVID-19 list: Ryan Succop, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Leverett and Earl Watford. 

Head coach Bruce Arians and his team are seeking to become the first since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004 to retain the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

Tampa Bay open the season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 9 and Brady, who is preparing for his 22nd season at the age of 44, reiterated last week he has no plans to retire just yet. 

"I'll know when the time's right. If I can't … if I'm not a championship-level quarterback, then I'm not gonna play," he told Peter King's Football Morning in America. 

"If I'm a liability to the team, I mean, no way. But if I think I can win a championship, then I'll play." 

New Zealand cruised to a Bledisloe Cup clean sweep in 2021 thanks to a 38-21 victory over Australia in Perth, despite the first-half dismissal of Jordie Barrett. 

The All Blacks had lost 47-26 on their previous trip to Optus Stadium in August 2019 but there was to be no repeat result for the Wallabies, who had already lost twice to their trans-Tasman rivals in Auckland last month. 

Beauden Barrett kicked a pair of penalties to make it 6-0 to the visitors before putting his boot to good use in open play too, a clever grubber creating the chance for brother Jordie Barrett to get the opening try of the game. 

However, the full-back's involvement in the contest only lasted a further 12 minutes. Claiming a high ball, he caught Marika Koroibete in the face with an outstretched boot while still in the air, leading to a contentious red card for dangerous contact with the head. 

Despite being down to 14, New Zealand extended their lead before the break to 18-0 when David Havili grabbed the first of his two tries, the other coming just after the hour mark as the second half saw a glut of points. 

Folau Fainga'a gave Australia hope 10 minutes after the interval with a try that Noah Lolesio converted, yet the All Blacks responded impressively, moving the ball across the line for wing Will Jordan to waltz over. 

They also exploited turnovers ruthlessly, both Havili and substitute George Bridge crossing after Australia had lost possession, the latter benefiting from a superb kick into space by TJ Perenara.  

In between, Anton Lienert-Brown went over from Akira Ioane's inside pass near the touchline, New Zealand easing to a bonus-point triumph that sends them top of the Rugby Championship standings after two rounds. 

Substitute Nic White forced his way over for a second Wallabies try, while they had the last say in terms of the scoring with Tom Banks' 79th-minute effort converted by Reece Hodge, but the hosts were already condemned to another heavy loss that leaves them bottom of the table. 


Where there's a Will, there’s a way

Jordan's second-half try means he has now scored in six consecutive Test appearances, the best streak by any player from a Tier 1 nation since the beginning of 2010. His latest effort was put on a plate for him by his team-mates, with the impressive Ioane breaking free of a tackle to create the simple finish after some neat handling had stretched the Australian defence out wide.

Barrett off, All Blacks still march on

Koroibete was certainly at the centre of the early action. He had already seen a try ruled out by the TMO by the time he was hit by Jordie Barrett's boot. However, the Wallabies were unable to capitalise when having an extra man on the field, with the competition's rules allowing a replacement to come on after a 20-minute period.

Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev refused to get carried away about his chances of winning his maiden major title despite easing into the US Open fourth round on Saturday.

The German fourth seed was leading 3-6 6-2 6-3 2-1 when Jack Sock withdrew with a groin issue which had been plaguing him throughout the match.

Zverev's walkover victory extended his winning run to 14 matches, dating back to his Tokyo 2020 gold medal triumph along with last month's Cincinnati Masters victory.

Reigning champion Dominic Thiem along with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all withdrew from the US Open prior to the tournament, opening the door for a first time winner.

"I’m on a 14-match winning streak now," Zverev said during his on-court interview. "I’m playing well. That’s all I want to say, I don’t want to say anything else.

"We all know that Novak is the big favourite, we all know that Daniil [Medvedev] is playing incredible tennis, we all know that there are a lot of other players out there that are playing incredible tennis.

"I think my fourth-round match against Jannik Sinner is going to be extremely entertaining because he’s a young guy that is very hungry and I feel like that’s going to be a high-level match."

Zverev also spoke about his drive to succeed at majors, having struggled earlier in his career.

The German was runner-up at last year's US Open and made the semi-finals at this year's French Open and last year's Australian Open.

Zverev's hopes for going deep at Flushing Meadows will be aided by the premature end to his match with Sock, having won in straight sets in the first two rounds over Sam Querrey and Albert Ramos Vinolas.

The Olympics gold medalist was full of praise for Sock, who has been plagued by injuries, after a dominant opening set.

"Jack I think played the best set of tennis I've ever seen him play," Zverev said. "I did one unforced error in the whole set and I lost it, 6-3, without having really any chances.

"If he would have kept it up I probably would not have won the match… Afterwards when he gets injured, it's a shame because otherwise it would have been an incredible match I think."

Shohei Ohtani hammered his 43rd home run of the 2021 MLB season to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

The Japanese two-way star delivered the homer with the Angels leading 1-0 and runners on first and second at the bottom of the sixth inning.

Ohtani skied his three-run shot over center field from his first Kolby Allard pitch to set up with the win.

The homer was crushed with 107.2 mph exit velocity and travelled a projected 426 feet, per Statcast.

Ohtani now leads the MLB for home runs with 43, three ahead of in-form Kansas City Royals slugger Salvador Perez, with Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr third on 39.

The 27-year-old is homing in on history, with no Angels player ever ending a season top of the HR charts, while he may eclipse Troy Glaus' franchise record of 47 from 2000.

The win improves the Angels record to 67-68 but they are well back in fourth in the American League (AL) West and Wild Card race.

 

Perez hits homers 39 and 40

Ohtani may have padded his MLB home run lead, but Perez moved into second spot with his 39th and 40th blasts in the Royals' 10-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Perez produced the home-run double despite a neck contusion which prevented him from catching.

Alex Verdugo walked it off for the depleted Boston Red Sox with a hit to deep right-field as they won 4-3 over the Cleveland Indians, with Rafael Devers homering earlier. The Red Sox are 79-59 and second in the AL Wild Card race.

Adrian Houser sent down the Milwaukee Brewers' first shut-out in seven years as they defeated the St Louis Cardinals 4-0. Houser had seven strikeouts and allowing only three hits.

Trea Turner and Corey Seager hit homers as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 6-1 over the San Francisco Giants to improve their Wild Card hopes, while Kyle Seager blasted the Seattle Mariners to a 8-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks to stay in the hunt.

The Toronto Blue Jays survived a late scare as the Oakland Athletics piled on five ninth-inning run to win 10-8 and boost their Wild Card aspirations.

 

Yankees almost held hitless

The New York Yankees had not been held hitless in a game since June 11 2003 but they appeared destined to end that run near the end of the seventh inning against the lowly Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. Gleyber Torres delivered a seventh-inning RBI single after 25 Yankees were held hitless. Joey Gallo then had an eighth-inning two-run homer but the Orioles won on Pedro Severino's sacrifice fly in a blow to the Yankees' Wild Card hopes.

 

Rays' rookie Wander keeps streak going

It seems like there is no stopping Tampa Bay Rays' rookie Wander Franco, after he extended his historic on-base streak to 34 games with an RBI single in his side's 11-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. Franco, who was absent on Friday due to a headache, had two runs with an RBI double on Saturday.

 

Saturday's results 

New York Mets 11-9 Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles 4-3 New York Yankees
Chicago Cubs 7-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays 11-4 Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox 4-3 Cleveland Indians
Washington Nationals 4-3 New York Mets
Miami Marlins 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 St Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox 10-7 Kansas City Royals
Seattle Mariners 8-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies 7-6 Atlanta Braves
San Diego Padres 10-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Angels 4-1 Texas Rangers

 

Dodgers at Giants

It is hard to look past the Giants and Dodgers meeting again in the third and final game of their series.

Top seed Ashleigh Barty insisted nerves did not get the better of her as she let slip a 5-2 lead in the third set to bow out of the US Open after a shock third round loss to Shelby Rogers on Saturday.

World number 43 Rogers stunned the 2021 Wimbledon champion 6-2 1-6 7-6 (7-5) in a seesawing contest that lasted two hours and eight minutes.

Barty had a double-break lead in the third set and served for the match, before Rogers stormed back to win the next four games and triumph in a tie-break in front of a raucous Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd who cheered home the American.

It was the fourth time in the tournament that Barty had been broken serving for the match.

"No, I felt comfortable on the court," Barty told reporters when asked if there was an element of nerves. "I think that tension is natural. But I felt fine.

"I just didn't quite have enough physically or mentally in the tank but that's okay.

"We've had a great year so far. We're looking forward to celebrating the good stuff that we've done, learning from the hurt, learning from the experiences, and moving on."

Barty's third round exit adds to her ordinary record at Flushing Meadows, having never progressed further than the fourth round.

The Australian, who was absent from the US Open in 2020, was beaten by China's Wang Qiang in the 2019 fourth round as second seed, and went down to Karolina Pliskova at the same stage in 2018.

Barty would not be drawn on her record at Flushing Meadows, instead preferring to focus on her strong year, having been on the road for the past six months.

"The last six months have been a roller coaster," she said. "I think back to the very first match that I played on this trip. I was 5-2 down in the third set in the first round of Miami. Tennis has a funny way of evening things out, doesn't it?

"You can't win every single tennis match that you play. I'm proud of myself and my team for all the efforts we've put in in the last six months. It's been pretty incredible. I don't think we could have asked for much more honestly. I wouldn't change a thing.

"With all of the tough moments that we have had, it's created some of the most enjoyable experiences. I've learnt so much about myself, about them, the way that we work together. It's been truly an incredible six months."

Rogers becomes the first American woman to defeat the world number one in the first week of a major tournament since 1994, when Steffi Graf was shocked by Lori McNeil.

"I'm not sure I can," Rogers said on-court when asked how to describe the comeback from 5-2 down. "I tried to fight for every point. I didn’t want to leave, I said 'make balls, try to stay in this match'."

Rogers will face impressive British qualifier Emma Raducanu in the fourth round, while Barty confirmed she will now take a break but play at next month's Indian Wells.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the Tour Championship due to a left wrist injury.

The world number 10 was well off the pace at one under for the tournament when he withdrew after making par at the 12th hole on the third day at East Lake Golf Club.

Koepka had hit a tree hoot on the 10th hole and appeared troubled afterwards, shaking out his left arm after hitting his tee shot on the 11th.

"Same wrist I had issues with back in '17, '18, so just making sure it's all good," Koepka said.

Koepka, who won the Phoenix Open in February, will receive prize money for finishing 30th at East Lake.

FedEx Cup leader Patrick Cantlay remains in the box seat after extending his lead at the Tour Championship to two shots after the third day in Georgia on Saturday.

Cantlay, who started the week at 10-under par as part of the new format, birdied the 18th hole to finish with a three-under round of 67 to be 20-under at East Lake Golf Club.

The 29-year-old American moved two shots clear of 2021 U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, who had one bogey and three birdies in his round of two-under-68.

Cantlay had a dramatic round, after making three birdies on his front nine to move four strokes ahead, before he stumbled with three bogeys in six holes on his back nine, around three more birdies.

The BMW Championship winner holed a 23-foot putt on the 18th for birdie to restore the lead he held at the start of the week.

"I thought it was big for momentum," Cantlay told reporters after his birdie on the 18th. "It was a nice putt to make, especially being out of position on that hole. I'll take that momentum into tomorrow."

Cantlay is the only player to win three titles during the 2020-21 PGA Tour and remained confident he could close out the victory despite the inflated magnitude of what is at stake, with $15million prize money for the FedEx Cup Playoffs winner.

"The internal drive to win golf tournaments is really what drives me, and so the external factors are not as much of a factor for me," he said.

"I'm going to feel similar to how I feel most any Sunday when I'm coming down the stretch for a golf tournament because my drive to win is strong inside me. The other stuff is just a consequence of that. I don't play the game to make money. I play the game because I want to win golf tournaments."

Americans Justin Thomas and Kevin Na are next best at 15 under and 13 under respectively, ahead of Abraham Ancer and Billy Horschel at 10 under.

Thomas and Ancer both carded top rounds of five-under-65 on Saturday to move up the standings, while world number seven Bryson DeChambeau is nine under after a two-over-72.

Thomas would have recorded his first career bogey-free round at East Lake, if he had not missed a six-foot putt for par on the 18th.

World number two and reigning Tour Championship winner Dustin Johnson moved up to eight under with a two-under-68.

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Xander Schauffele carded three under to also be eight under, alongside Jordan Spieth and Johnson.

Brooks Koepka announced his withdrawal from the Tour Championship, citing a left wrist injury.

Josh Warrington was left "absolutely gutted" after his rematch against Mauricio Lara was abandoned after two rounds in Leeds.

The clash between the British fighter and his Mexican opponent was highly anticipated, after Lara stunned Warrington at Wembley Arena in February, handing him the first defeat of his career.

A big crowd in Warrington's home city was charged up for their second showdown, but it ended in disappointment all round as an accidental head clash in the second round caused Lara a nasty cut above his left eye.

It was announced to the frustrated crowd that a technical draw had been declared by referee Steve Gray because four rounds had not been completed.

"I'm confused," Warrington told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I felt like I could burst into tears and I had a lump in my throat when Steve waved it off.

"I thought I'd caught him in the first round and I could see a little nick there and I thought I'd keep on targeting that.

"I'm just gutted, I'm absolutely gutted."

Warrington said his early impression of the contest was that it was his for the winning.

"I thought to myself, 'how did this guy knock me out?'," Warrington said. "I wanted to give [the crowd] a bit of a show. We had a few game plans but I'm gutted.

"After that first round I thought, 'wow, I'm seeing everything, I'll just dictate this fight and I'll even stop it whenever'."

He spoke of fancying a stoppage in the sixth or seventh round, saying he had "visualised this place going mental", and believes he and Lara could try again before long.

"Obviously I want to get the 'W' again," Warrington said.

"I want to have beaten every man I've ever stepped in the ring with. I want to get that under my belt and win another world title.

"We've got to see how long it's going to take to heal. I've had seven months out since the last fight. I'd like to be out sooner but if we can get a quick turnaround we'll have it."

Novak Djokovic powered through to week two of the US Open by sinking Kei Nishikori, a player who must be sick of the sight of the Serbian.

For a 17th consecutive time in their rivalry, Djokovic beat the former world number four, who was runner-up at this tournament seven years ago.

A 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory in three hours and 33 minutes for Djokovic moves him into the fourth round, ever closer to the calendar Grand Slam he is chasing, having already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Nishikori beat Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals in 2014, before losing to Marin Cilic in the final, but that was the last time he got the better of the man from Belgrade.

Djokovic won their 2018 semi-final at Flushing Meadows for the loss of just nine games and a 6-2 6-0 win for the world number one over Japan's Nishikori at the Tokyo Olympics in July suggested this latest clash in New York, the 20th between them, could be similarly one-sided.

Yet it became clear early in this clash that Djokovic faced a substantial test. He trailed 4-2 in the opener and could not save the set, despite forcing a tie-break. A stunning lob from Nishikori gave him two serves for the set, and he held his nerve to move in front.

Djokovic broke in the third game of the second set though and staved off a flurry of break-back points on his way to levelling the match.

When Nishikori served a double fault to allow Djokovic two break points in game four of the third set, it was inviting trouble. Djokovic won the second of those when his low slice and net rush prompted Nishikori to net a backhand.

Against the flow of the match, Nishikori broke back, helped by two consecutive double faults, but order was restored as Djokovic rolled through the next two games to move a set away from the next round.

Nishikori probably needed Djokovic's body to fail him, or for something as bizarre as last year's disqualification to occur, but nothing of the sort happened in set four, the world's best player in a class of his own.

Djokovic said: "I don't think I started off very well. I was too passive and too far back in the court and he was dictating the play. It took me a little bit of time to adjust to his game.

"By the beginning of the second set I felt like I was getting my groove back, getting my rhythm back. I was very pleased with my focus."

DATA SLAM

Nishikori will look back to the second set and ponder 'what if?', because he had seven break points and took none of them. Djokovic had three in that set and took two, and there lies greatness. Tennis comes down to taking chances as they arrive, being clinical, and after the chaos of the first set this was a ruthless Djokovic show.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 45/52
Nishikori – 38/56

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 15/7
Nishikori – 6/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 7/16
Nishikori – 2/13

Sloane Stephens has detailed the online abuse she received after exiting the US Open to Angelique Kerber.

Stephens, who won at Flushing Meadows in 2017, was beaten 5-7 6-2 6-3 in the third round on Friday by three-time major champion Kerber.

The American had defeated outstanding teenager Coco Gauff in her previous match but could not maintain a title challenge in New York.

It was a defeat that prompted a shocking response on social media, Stephens revealed on Saturday.

"I am human," she wrote on her Instagram story. "After last night's match I got [more than 2,000] messages of abuse/anger from people upset by yesterday's result.

"It's so hard to read messages like these, but I'll post a few so you guys can see what it's like after a loss..."

Stephens then shared screenshots of a series of threatening, racist and misogynistic messages aimed in her direction.

She added: "This type of hate is so exhausting and never ending. This isn't talked about enough, but it really freaking sucks...

"I'm happy to have people in my corner who support me. I'm choosing positive vibes over negative ones.

"I choose to show you guys happiness on here, but it's not always smiles and roses."

Emma Raducanu came within one point of a sensational double bagel against Sara Sorribes Tormo and could face Ash Barty next at the US Open.

The 18-year-old Briton came through qualifying to make her Flushing Meadows bow this week.

And now Raducanu is remarkably into week two without dropping a set.

She saved her best performance yet for round three, winning 6-0 6-1 after passing up a match point on Sorribes Tormo's serve that would have sealed a flawless result.

Her place in the fourth round was a fine consolation for Raducanu, who reached the same stage at Wimbledon in July, then appearing in a grand slam main draw for the first time.

A match against Ajla Tomljanovic proved a step too far at the All England Club, but Raducanu may now get an opportunity to advance against another Australian.

If Barty beats Shelby Rogers later on Saturday, the world number one will face Raducanu next week – presumably far away from the Court 17 the teenager was consigned to on this occasion.

Given Sorribes Tormo beat Barty in straight sets in the first round of this year's Olympic Games, Raducanu should have nothing to fear.

"It's been two weeks in New York now," she told Prime Video. "And into the third week – I never thought I'd be here, but I'm just so, so excited."

Raducanu said of her latest triumph: "I was playing very well. I know Sara is an extremely tough opponent – she doesn't make a mistake, so you have to be on your game every single point.

"I had to work so hard, and there were some really, really long deuce games that could have gone either way, so I'm just really happy that I managed to maintain and stay on it and win in the end."

It was a far more comprehensive success than Raducanu was willing to admit, though, with the world number 150 having 11 break point opportunities to her opponent's zero.

Raducanu's blistering forehand averaged 92 miles per hour on serve, while she played 23 winners.

"Honestly, for this one, the plan was I had to hit through her, I had to hit the corners," she added. "If you trade against her, you're probably going to come out second best.

"I just took the game to her and hit more winners than errors today."

Lewis Hamilton knows strategy will be key in a "tough" Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, having agonisingly qualified in second.

The tight confines of this track mean pole position is key, and it was home hopeful Max Verstappen who took it by 0.038 seconds – his seventh of the year and 10th in Formula One.

Hamilton has work to do then, and he does not have the benefit of past experiences at Zandvoort.

The Mercedes superstar is one of only three drivers on the grid who was born when the event was last in F1 in 1985, while he has not raced at this circuit since the 2005 F3 Euro Series.

Having broken down on Friday and missed a session, too, Hamilton's knowledge of the likely race pace is very limited.

"I haven't done any long running, so I don't really know too much of what the track's like with heavy fuel," he explained in a news conference.

"I only have my reference from 2005, and I don't remember that.

"I have no doubt it's going to be tough tomorrow, just from watching these guys – I think Max and his team were quicker than us on the long run.

"It's not a track that you can particularly overtake in, so it's going to be [about] strategy tomorrow and how you can utilise the tyres."

Zandvoort became just the fourth of 34 tracks Hamilton has raced at in F1 without taking pole, but he still enjoyed the experience.

"What a track," he said. "Wow. It is absolutely incredible driving this track, with the banked corners, and today was one of the sessions I've enjoyed most.

"Qualifying here is just phenomenal with the light car. [It was] so close at the end, but obviously yesterday didn't help. I'm glad we got back to where we needed to be today."

Further improvement and a victory on Sunday would make Hamilton the first man to reach 100 F1 wins, but Verstappen is chasing history of his own.

Having last week, at the Belgian Grand Prix, become only the second Benelux driver to win in the region, he could now break new ground as the first Dutchman to celebrate a home victory.

Verstappen acknowledged the importance of his qualifying performance but forecast challenges ahead.

"It's still very difficult to pass around here," he said. "Even in qualifying, everyone was trying to find a gap, not like some other tracks where everyone's trying to find a tow. I do think it's going to be tough.

"But also it's quite tough on tyres around here with all the high-speed corners, so it's not a very straightforward race. There are a lot of laps around here.

"Of course, it's important to be up front."

Primoz Roglic would need an almighty slip up to fail to win the Vuelta a Espana, though Saturday's penultimate stage belonged to Clement Champoussin.

A monster, 202.2-kilometre route culminated in a summit finish on Mos. Castro de Herville, with 23-year-old Champoussin attacking with 1500m remaining to take the first stage win of his professional career.

The Frenchman crossed the line six seconds ahead of Roglic, who had led a chasing pack that caught breakaway leader Ryan Gibbons with around 4km left.

Roglic's second-place finish, two seconds ahead of nearest general classification rival Enric Mas of Movistar, should surely see the Jumbo-Visma rider claim La Roja for a third successive year.

It could all change in Sunday's time trial, but having won gold in such an event at the Tokyo Olympics, Roglic will know a third Vuelta crown is within his grasp.

Should he hold onto his GC lead, which stands at 2:38, Roglic will become only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions, while he will also match Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

Stage 20 belonged to Champoussin, however. After Roglic, Mas, Adam Yates and Jack Haig had caught Gibbons, the AG2R Citroen rider lodged a surprise offensive, catching the quintet cold.

For a moment, with Roglic gaining ground, it looked as though Champoussin - who only turned pro last year - may have gone too soon, but he held on to claim a maiden grand tour stage success.

Behind Roglic, Adam Yates of INEOS Grenadiers just edged out Mas to secure a top-three finish. A dismal day for Miguel Angel Lopez saw him abandon the race with 20km remaining after he failed to keep pace with the general classification group.

STAGE RESULT

1. Clement Champoussin (AG2R Citroen) 05:21:50
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
3. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:08

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 83:11:27
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:38
3. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +4:48

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 179
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 145

King of the Mountains

1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 80
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 61
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 51

What's next?

Sunday's final stage is a 33.8km time trial from Padron to Santiago de Compostela. A consistent climb is followed by downhill, technical sections and a flat straight to the line. 

 

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