Andy Murray has doubled down on his criticism of Stefanos Tsitsipas by joking that his US Open conqueror's bathroom breaks take twice as long as Jeff Bezos' trips to space.

World number three Tsitsipas beat Murray 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a thrilling five-set battle in the opening round at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

The opening-day showdown was overshadowed by Tsitsipas' controversial bathroom break ahead of the decisive fifth set – the Greek star spending around eight minutes off court, much to the frustration of Murray.

Tsitsipas also required a medical timeout for an apparent foot problem after losing the third set to 2012 champion Murray, who was far from impressed following almost five hours of action.

Speaking after the match, Murray – who failed to progress beyond the first round of the US Open for the first time in 15 appearances – said he had lost respect for Tsitsipas and suggested his opponent had deliberately attempted to disrupt his flow. 

Tsitsipas defended his lengthy break, insisting he had played by the rules and that he would speak to Murray face-to-face should the Briton wish to take the issue further.

Rather than resolving the matter, however, Murray aimed another dig at Tsitsipas with a sarcastic message on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday, comparing the stoppage to the 10 minutes and 10 seconds it took billionaire Bezos to fly to space last month.

"Fact of the day. It takes Stefanos Tsitipas (sic) twice as long to go the bathroom as it takes Jeff Bazos (sic) to fly into space. Interesting," he posted.

With the win over Murray, Tsitsipas became the 10th active player to defeat all four members of the 'Big Four' – Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Tsitsipas will meet world number 44 Adrian Mannarino in the second round on Wednesday.

Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers' bullpen did their job on Monday in a 3-1 defeat of the San Francisco Giants to open a series between the National League division leaders. 

The All-Star Burnes allowed four hits and a run in six innings while striking out nine, and Brad Boxberger, Devin Williams and Josh Hader held the team with MLB's best record scoreless the rest of the way. 

Burnes also helped himself with an RBI single in the second inning that gave the Brewers a 2-0 lead as the Giants ran out seven pitchers to get through the evening in a bullpen game. 

It was the third defeat in four games for the Giants, who lost their series in Atlanta over the weekend. 

 

Dodgers down Braves to close on Giants

The Los Angeles Dodgers took advantage of San Francisco's defeat, moving to within 1.5 games of the NL West lead after holding on for a 5-3 victory over the Braves.

Every run in the game was scored via a home run, with the teams combining for seven of them.

Los Angeles started things off with solo homers from Max Muncy, Will Smith and Mookie Betts and a two-run drive by Corey Seager before Atlanta answered with longballs from Jorge Soler, Freddie Freeman and Adam Duvall, but that trio of solo shots was not enough to get the Braves over the top. 

The Tampa Bay Rays won their eighth game in a row and 12th from their past 13, defeating the Boston Red Sox 6-1 as Wander Franco hit a two-run single in his final trip to the plate to extend his on-base streak to 30 games.

The only other players aged 20 or younger to have an on-base run at least that long are Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott and Arky Vaughan.

The New York Yankees fell seven games back of the Rays with an 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in Corey Kluber's first start since May 25.

The former Cy Young winner served up a grand slam to Jack Mayfield as the Angels took an early lead and Shohei Ohtani later added his 42nd home run of the season, but it was Juan Lagares who won it for Los Angeles with an RBI single in the eighth after Giancarlo Stanton had levelled the game with a two-run homer the previous inning. 

 

Punchless Reds lose again

Kyle Farmer went two-for-four with a double and a home run but the rest of the Cincinnati Reds lineup were zero-for-26 in a 3-1 loss to Jon Lester and the St Louis Cardinals.

The Reds have dropped three in a row and are clinging to a half-game lead for the second NL wild card spot. 

 

Vladdy doubles up

Vladimir Guerrero hit his 37th and 38th home runs of the season while bumping his RBI total to 95 as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 at Rogers Centre. 

 

Monday's results 

Minnesota Twins 3-2 Detroit Tigers
St Louis Cardinals 3-1 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 Boston Red Sox
Texas Rangers 4-3 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 8-7 New York Yankees
San Diego Padres 7-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 San Francisco Giants
Houston Astros 4-3 Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Atlanta Braves

 

Braves at Dodgers

The Atlanta Braves (70-60) send veteran Charlie Morton to the mound as they try to bounce back from a series-opening loss against Walker Buehler and the Los Angeles Dodgers (83-49)

Danny Green believes the Philadelphia 76ers without Ben Simmons might cause defensive issues amid uncertainty over his future with the NBA franchise.

Simmons' future in Philadelphia is up in the air after struggling in the 76ers' shock Eastern Conference semi-final exit at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA playoffs.

The three-time All-Star – an elite defender whose shooting problems were laid bare during the postseason – has been at the centre of trade rumours involving the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland are a team of particular interest, given reports the 76ers are eyeing their All-Star Damian Lillard.

Green, who signed a new deal to return to Philadelphia for the 2021-22 season, was asked what a Simmons-less 76ers would look like.

"That's going to be tough to say man because we don't know what we're going to get back for him," Green told Howard Beck on the Crossover podcast.

"We may get a point guard, we may get wings. That may change a lot: I might be playing with a different type of point guard, I might be playing with different types of wings, I might be coming off the bench. I don't know who we’re going to get."

Former number one draft pick Simmons had no fourth-quarter field-goal attempts in his last four games of the playoffs last season. He is the only NBA player in the last 20 seasons to have four consecutive postseason games with no field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter during a season in which he was an All-Star.

 

After four seasons in the league, there has been no improvement from the 24-year-old Simmons in one fundamental area – shooting.

An elite defender and creator, debate around Simmons centres on his offence or lack thereof, with the 76ers handicapped by his unwillingness to shoot.

Simmons' field-goal percentage has regressed, dropping from 58.0 in 2019-20 to 55.7 this season – he only managed worse in his 2017-18 rookie campaign (54.5).

He averaged just 10.1 field-goal attempts in 2020-21 – a career low, which dropped to 7.9 in the playoffs. It is the same story with his scoring as it dropped to a career worst 14.3 points per game and 11.9 in the postseason – both career lows.

Then there is Simmons and free throws. He was exposed by rival teams as they regularly sent him to the line, with the Melbourne-born guard making just 25 of 73 shots in the 2020-21 playoffs. His 34.2 free-throw percentage is the lowest ever in a single postseason.

Despite those liabilities, Green said losing Simmons would force some adjustments. 

"And also defensively, I probably become the primary defender," he said. "Not saying it's an issue or a problem for me, but we have one less wing defender with him.

"Now it's me and Matisse [Thybulle]. Not saying that the other guys don't play defence, but you talk about our main defenders. That was a big part of that and a big part of our defence. … Ben, you know, was DPOY [Defensive Player of the Year] for us this year. …

"We thought Ben was able to guard one through five and set the tone for us. If he's gone, that changes a lot not just offensively but defensively as well for me."

The Los Angeles Angels are pushing back Shohei Ohtani's next outing on the mound and Mike Trout may be running out of time for a return to the field this MLB season. 

Ohtani had been scheduled to pitch against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, but Angels manager Joe Maddon said his two-way star's hand is still sore after being hit by a pitch on Saturday. 

X-rays came back negative and Ohtani was in Monday's line-up as the designated hitter, however, the Angels will keep him off the pitching mound for the time being and give Jaime Barria the start against the Yankees. 

"Pitching is problematic, so we'll just have him hit until he's ready to pitch," Maddon told reporters. 

Maddon compared the issue to when Ohtani was hit in the thumb by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout last month, which led to the team moving his next pitching start back a few days. 

The Angels have no plans to shut Ohtani down from either pitching or hitting, Maddon said as the likely MVP is "in the running for some pretty big personal awards right now and I don't ever want to get in the way of anybody’s greatness."

Ohtani entered Monday's game with an MLB-leading 41 home runs and an American League (AL)-best .623 slugging percentage at the plate – not to mention 20 stolen bases – and is 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 19 starts on the mound, striking out 127 in 105 innings. 

Trout – a three-time AL MVP himself – appeared to be nearing a return from a calf injury that has sidelined him since May 17 after running the bases at full speed before Saturday's outing. 

While he felt fine at the time, Trout has experienced soreness since then and Maddon said the time is approaching that the Angels (64-67) might need to talk to him about shutting it down for the season. 

The Angels are fourth in the AL West and 10 games adrift in the Wild Card race.

"It's a possibility, and probably getting closer to having to say something like that," Maddon said. "But he still wants to continue the fight and we're going to honour his wishes. However Mike sees this, we're going to go that way."

The 30-year-old is hitting .333 with a 1.090 OPS and eight home runs in 36 games this season. 

Defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka passed her opening-round test, producing a powerful performance against Marie Bouzkova 6-4 6-1 on Monday.

All eyes were on Osaka following a difficult couple of months due to mental health concerns as a result of "long bouts of depression" since winning the 2018 US Open.

Osaka withdrew from May's French Open having won her first-round match, after she was fined and threatened with further punishment – and possible expulsion from the grand slam – for skipping obligatory media duties.

The Japanese star subsequently pulled out of Wimbledon before returning for the Olympic Games, though she suffered a surprise loss on home soil in Tokyo and was reduced to tears during a news conference in Cincinnati.

But as fans returned to Flushing Meadows for the first time in two years after the 2020 event was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, Osaka looked comfortable under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights with the likes of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and Hollywood star Alec Baldwin in the crowd.

Bouzkova kept pace with Osaka in the opening set, not overawed by the occasion, but she came unstuck on serve in the 10th game.

While fending off one set point, Bouzkova was unable to save another, slicing a backhand into the net as Osaka closed out the set on her opponent's racquet.

With a set under her belt having reeled off 21 winners in the opener, Osaka stepped it up a gear – winning seven consecutive games before Bouzkova avoided a bagel.

Bouzkova continued to battle but it only delayed the inevitable as Osaka continued her quest for a fourth US Open crown and fifth slam title.

 

Data slam: Osaka on track to follow in Serena's footsteps

The 23-year-old needed one hour, 33 minutes to book her spot in the next round. Osaka is looking to become the first woman to win consecutive titles at Flushing Meadows since 23-time major champion Serena Williams claimed three in a row from 2012 to 2014.

Osaka is the only woman to win at least one major title over the past four seasons, claiming the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021, as well as the US Open in 2018 and last year.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Osaka – 34/23
Bouzkova – 10/8

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Osaka – 4/1
Bouzkova – 2/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Osaka – 3/6
Bouzkova – 0/8

Andy Murray said he has lost respect for Stefanos Tsitsipas in a scathing criticism of the world number three's excessively long bathroom break at the US Open.

Tsitsipas rallied past three-time grand slam champion Murray 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a thrilling five-set battle in the opening round of the major at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Murray's career has been devastated by injuries – the 34-year-old underwent hip resurfacing in 2019 but he has continued to be plagued by fitness problems – however he turned back the clock in a heroic display on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the former world number one led two sets to one before Tsitsipas' comeback.

But the opening-day showdown was overshadowed by Tsitsipas' controversial bathroom break at the end of the fourth set – the Greek star spent around eight minutes off court, much to the frustration of Murray.

Tsitsipas also required a medical timeout for an apparent foot problem after losing the third set to 2012 champion Murray, who was far from impressed following almost five hours of action.

"It can't be a coincidence that it's happening at those moments. I don't believe it [Tsitsipas' foot] was causing him any issue at all," said world number 112 Murray after failing to progress beyond the first round of the US Open for the first time in 15 appearances.

"The match went on for another two-and-a-bit hours after that. He was fine, moving great I thought. It's just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match. I'm not saying I necessarily win that match [without Tsitsipas' delays], for sure, but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks.

"I rate him a lot. I think he's a brilliant player. I think he's great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all, and I lost respect for him."

"If people don't care enough about it to change, that's fine," Murray said of players taking long breaks.

"Look, I'll speak to my team about it. I'll listen to what, I don't know, fans, players and everything are saying about it. Maybe I'm being unreasonable. Maybe I'm overreacting to something because I lost the match.

"But yeah, right now sitting here I feel like it's nonsense and they need to make a change because it's not good for the sport, it's not good for TV, it's not good for fans. I don't think it's a good look for the players either.

"I'm sitting in here after a match like that against one of the best players in the world, and rather than talking about how fantastic he is, how good he is for the game, how great it was for me that I was able to put on a performance like that after everything that's gone on the last four years – I'm sitting in here talking about bathroom breaks and medical timeouts and delays in matches.

"That's rubbish, I don't think that that's right. I said I don't want to do press tonight because I know I'm going to sit here and it's going to seem like I'm just smashing him. Yeah, that's annoying for me because sounds like sour grapes because you've lost a match and everything.

"I would have said the same thing if I'd won, I promise. It was nonsense, and he knows it."

San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance will miss a week after suffering a small fracture in his finger, head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday.

Though incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo has been the presumed starter throughout camp, Shanahan showed in Sunday's pre-season finale against the Las Vegas Raiders that he plans to use both of his QBs over the course of a game. 

In revealing that Lance was injured after hitting his throwing hand on another player's helmet, Shanahan did not sound concerned about how it would affect the big picture. 

"It wasn't bothering him much, because he just thought it was jammed on a helmet," Shanahan told reporters. "And then when you get all the images on it – when they showed it to me, it's a microchip of a bone that's off.

"He chipped it, which is a small chip fracture, which is worse than a jam. That's why it's not going to just heal on its own. He can't take snaps and do all that stuff right now.

"We're just going to rest it for seven days, they say, and that should make it heal and hopefully it'll be good next Monday when we get into practice."

Garoppolo and Lance rotated quarterback duties on the first two drives of the 34-10 win over the Raiders, with the veteran starting but Lance coming in after three plays for a change of pace. 

Lance completed six of 13 passes for 46 yards, while Garoppolo was four-of-seven passing for 64 yards. 

Neither quarterback had a touchdown pass or an interception, but each ran for a TD in the final tune-up as they previewed an unorthodox look that could give defences trouble. 

"I just wanted to get live action with it," Shanahan said of using both QBs on a single drive. "We've done it in practice a couple of times and this was the last time before we're going to get in the regular season. So it's the last time you can have the opportunity to do it. I kind of wanted to do it with this game."

The 49ers open the season at the Detroit Lions on September 12.

The Miami Dolphins have long been tipped as a potential landing spot for Deshaun Watson, but head coach Brian Flores seemingly called into question the viability of a deal for the Houston Texans quarterback after insisting he wants "high character" people around the team.  

Watson is the subject of investigations by Houston police and the NFL and faces 22 civil lawsuits after a series of women accused him of assault or sexual misconduct. Watson has strenuously denied the accusations, and no charges have been filed against him.

The 25-year-old QB made it clear following last season that he wanted out of Houston, but the emergence of the allegations against him beginning in March threw his future into doubt mere months after he signed a four-year, $156million contract extension. 

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Flores did not directly address speculation about Watson, but he was asked about acquiring players who might bring off-the-field concerns. 

"There are a lot of things we weigh when we're making decisions – fit on the team, overall talent, salary cap," Flores said. "When we're talking about a player or players, we're always trying to do what is best for the Miami Dolphins.

"There are a lot of variables. We want a group that is tough, smart, competitive, loves to play and is team-first. Those are the types of guys we're looking for.

"We have a high standard for the people we have in the organisation. We want people with high character throughout the building."

Watson has mostly practiced on his own throughout Texans camp and has not appeared in any preseason games, but Tuesday's NFL deadline to reduce rosters from 80 to 53 players could spur action. 

That could mean allowing him to keep a precious roster spot and pay him his $10.5m salary even while he remains on the sidelines in hopes his legal issues are resolved, or Houston could trade him and let another team figure it out.

The Texans reportedly have sought a package that includes three first-round picks in any deal for Watson but are seen as unlikely to net a huge return given the questions surrounding his status. 

Watson is coming off a dominant season for a team that finished 4-12, as he led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards while compiling a career-best 70.2 completion percentage and 33 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. 

He also ran for 444 yards and three more touchdowns as he made the Pro Bowl for the third successive season. 

Topping 4,000 yards for the second time in his career as he racked up 4,823 to lead the league, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

Fifth in the NFL in air yards per attempt (9.27), according to Stats Perform data, Watson did an excellent job of balancing his aggressiveness with smart decision-making.

Indeed, he threw a pickable pass on just 2.28 per cent of his attempts, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL.

Considering the opener against the New England Patriots looms less than two weeks away, Tua Tagovailoa figures to begin the season as Miami's starting quarterback regardless of any other moves the Dolphins might make. 

Flores is trying to keep his team's focus on the task at hand in the meantime. 

"There are always rumours, there's always speculation, there's always some form of distraction," he said. "As a team we've got to block that stuff out and play."

Stefanos Tsitsipas was able to breathe a sigh of relief on Arthur Ashe Stadium after the third seed rallied past former world number one Andy Murray 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a thrilling five-set battle.

French Open runner-up Tsitsipas and 2012 champion Murray was one of the standout matches in the opening round at Flushing Meadows and the near-five-hour showdown did not disappoint as the latter turned back the clock in New York on Monday.

Murray's career has been devastated by injuries – the 34-year-old underwent hip resurfacing in 2019 but he has continued to be plagued by fitness problems.

However Murray, who only had one pair of shoes, soaking wet with sweat, took a positive approach from the start and earned a surprise two-sets-to-one lead against the slam hopeful.

Murray, though, was made to rue his inability to capitalise on two set points at 6-4 in the second-set tie-break – leaving the door open for world number three Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas held his nerve as the prospect of a first-round boilover beckoned, but it was not without controversy after the Greek star took his time in the bathroom between the fourth and fifth seeds, frustrating Murray.

It is the first time in 15 US Open appearances world number 112 Murray lost in the opening round in New York.

"It is not easy," Tsitsipas – who celebrated his ATP Tour-leading 49th victory of the year – said in his on-court interview. "I had to make lots of sacrifices to come back.

"I think the atmosphere was great today, with a lot of positive tennis. The New York crowd is known to be one of the best crowds in the world.

"The fact we are able to compete out here with an electric crowd today is something we have been waiting for."

Tsitsipas, who will meet Adrian Mannarino in the second round, added: "I hope I am able to keep my game at the same level as I managed today.

"Hopefully I will be back here on this court."

The New Orleans Saints do not know where they will open the NFL regular season, but they are doing all they can to stay focused after Hurricane Ida ravaged the city on Sunday. 

Ida made landfall on the Louisiana coast as a powerful Category 4 storm, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. 

The entire city of New Orleans lost power on Sunday but Gayle Benson, who owns the Saints and the NBA's Pelicans, said in a statement Monday that her teams' facilities suffered only superficial damage.

The Saints relocated operations to the Dallas area over the weekend at the invitation of the Cowboys, and head coach Sean Payton said they will remain there at least through Wednesday. 

They are scheduled to host the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season opener on September 12, but Payton told reporters all options are on the table if playing at home is not feasible. 

"Obviously we’ll have a plan B," he said. "And, you know, there are a lot of other things probably from a priority standpoint that are more important for our city.

"But that all being said, we fully anticipate starting the regular season with Green Bay and then the question would be where that game's at."

Speaking to reporters before practice on Monday, Payton noted his team's concern over their homes and belongings left behind. 

"Left behind are obviously apartments, condominiums, homes. Those are all physical things. Nonetheless, they're still home for so many people," Payton said. "I think to some degree that going out and being able to practice today is going to be good for everyone, because from afar, there’s only so much you can do."

The Saints cancelled their final pre-season game, which was to be played at the Superdome against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

NFL rules mandate teams give players this weekend off from practice, and Payton indicated he did not expect the Saints to be back at their home facility when work resumes next Monday. 

Benson said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has accepted the Saints' offer to use their facilities and will stage assistance efforts out of the NFL and NBA teams' practice facility in suburban Metairie. 

Benson also said she will donate $1million to a relief fund that will help the region recover from the storm. 

"Our team is safe and focussed on preparing for, and winning, the first regular game against the Green Bay Packers," Benson said. "We look forward to returning to New Orleans to continue those preparations as soon as our government leaders say it is safe to do so.

"Fortunately, the Caesars Superdome received only minor damage and will be prepared to host games as soon as the city's infrastructure will allow."

Carson Wentz is one of three players to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced on Monday.

Quarterback Wentz had only returned to practice last week following surgery to deal with a broken bone in his left foot, an injury that initially seemed set to rule him out for the start of the new NFL season.

"I'm optimistic, but we'll see how it responds," Wentz said after his first appearance on the practice field since July 29, having undergone the procedure on August 2.

"It's going to be up to the doctors, for sure. At the end of the day, as long as there's nothing that I can do to injure myself and make it worse, I know I've played through a lot worse. But it's going to come down to what the doctors say."

The former Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller was due to begin full-team reps as he stepped up his recovery, with the Colts aiming to get a better indication over his health ahead of Week 1 of the regular season, but that plan has now been scuppered.

When exactly Wentz will be available again, along with center Ryan Kelly and wide receiver Zach Pascal, who are the others to be placed on the list, is unclear.

Those players or members of staff who have been vaccinated can return after two negative test results 24 hours apart from each other, per NFL's health and safety protocols.

However, if someone from an NFL team tests positive having not received the vaccine, they will have to serve a 10-day isolation period. Anyone unvaccinated deemed to be a high-risk close contact must isolate for five days, as well as continue to return negative test results.

The Colts start the new season with a home game against the Seattle Seahawks on September 12.

Ross Brawn has defended the FIA's handling of the Belgian Grand Prix and insisted drivers deserved to be awarded points from the shortest race in Formula One history.

Torrential rain prevented any competitive racing at the Spa-Francorchamps track on Sunday, with Max Verstappen awarded the victory when the red flag was raised after just two laps were completed behind the safety car.

Lewis Hamilton, who was third behind George Russell, branded the event a "farce" and claimed the drivers were only sent out for financial reasons.

Regulations ensured only half the usual points were awarded, but Fernando Alonso stated it was "shocking" that any were given out on a "terrible day”.

F1 managing director of motorsport Brawn knows the outcome was "not ideal" but did not see any alternative.

"I feel terrible for the fans, who turned out in their thousands and braved consistently wet conditions in the grandstands to support their heroes," said Brawn in his column. "They showed such dedication and will never forget this weekend.

"Unfortunately, the weather worked against us. It was relentless. The FIA tried everything they could, sending the cars out twice behind the safety car to assess the conditions. It wasn't so much the intensity of the rain that was the problem, more that it was consistent which led to very poor visibility.

"It's pretty rare to see a weekend where the weather has been so intense, so consistently. Every effort was made to get the race under way safely and normally, there is a window when you can bring the safety car in, but that wasn't possible.

"At the end of the day, safety comes first. And it wasn't safe enough to continue the race. So the FIA did the best they could in what have been very challenging circumstances, of which we've not seen in decades.

"Half points were awarded. It's not ideal but if you can't reward someone for the race, reward them for the bravery in qualifying.

"A lap like George Russell did in qualifying in the absence of a full race should be rewarded. As I say, it's not ideal, but it's where we are. The weather just wasn't in our corner on Sunday."

Nicole Grant is of the view that the new additions to the board of the Jamaica Amateur Gymnastics Association will bring the required dynamism needed to take the sport forward in Jamaica.

The Jamaica Table Tennis Association finds itself in a race against time to raise approximately US$33,000 to fund a 12-member team to the Pan American Youth Championships set to serve off from September 12-19 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Jamaica plans to send U19 and U15 teams to the championships but according to JTTA President Andrew Lue, while the association has a team on paper, they need to raise the funds that will enable them to confirm participation by September 3.

“We have received permission for all players in the team events to also play singles, doubled and mixed doubles so it’s an excellent opportunity for not only the athletes but for Jamaica to gain international ranking points. The US$33,000 (approximately J$5million) will go towards travel, accommodations, entry fees, gear, Covid tests and stipends,” Lue told Sportsmax. TV.

“International competitions are an integral part of our strategic development and Olympic road map for Paris 2024.”

The full team includes Tsenaye Lewis, Kelsey Davidson, national women’s champion Solesha Young, Neveah Scott, Joel Butler, Jon Pierre Daley, Christopher Lyn, Jayden Ebanks, Brian Blake, Matthew Fung, Garu Whyte and Rasheed Clarke.

There are four players to each team, Lue explained, U19 girls, U19 boys and U15 boys. The players who have qualified to play singles are Davidson, Lewis and Alessio Tulloch. However, Tulloch is unable to go and will be replaced by Rasheed Clarke, who won the U19 title at the recent national championships.

However, everything depends on if the JTTA can raise the money required.

YouTube star-turned-boxer Jake Paul survived the biggest test he has faced inside the ring after withstanding former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Paul (4-0) was sent to the ropes by boxing debutant Woodley, who landed an overhand right in the fourth round to rattle the 24-year-old in Cleveland on Sunday.

However, Paul overcame the adversity to score a split decision 77-75, 78-74, 75-77 for his fourth professional boxing win.

"He's a tough opponent ... it was a tougher fight than I expected," Paul said afterwards. "My legs felt weird since the locker room, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

"All respect to Tyron, he's a tough opponent. This is a dream come true."

Paul was not happy one judge awarded the fight to Woodley, adding: "Let's be honest, that's bull****.

"Especially in my hometown. Like, where's that judge at? He hit me with one [real] shot the whole fight."

Woodley demanded a rematch post-bout, the 39-year-old saying: "I feel like I won the fight.

"F*** the Fury fight – me and Jake need to run that back. I want a rematch."

There has been talk of Paul facing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury's younger brother Tommy (7-0) in his next boxing bout.

But Paul said: "I haven't gone to the dentist, I haven't gotten my haircut. My teeth are crooked, my nose is crooked, I may need to chill out for a bit. I'm still only 24."

After winning 13 consecutive games, the New York Yankees suffered back-to-back MLB losses following Tony Kemp's late home run as the Oakland Athletics triumphed 3-1.

With the next pitch after Mark Canha's double, Kemp produced the decisive hit in the eighth – his tie-breaking two-run homer lifting the A's on Sunday.

In 16 at-bats against the Yankees this season, Kemp slugged 1.124 and did not strike out once. According to Stats Perform, no other player in history has had a 1.100-plus slugging percentage with zero strikeouts against the Yankees in a season with at least as many at-bats.

Paul Blackburn had earlier tossed down five shut-out innings for the Athletics, before Andrew Chafin closed out the win.

Yan Gomes' fourth-inning run had put the A's ahead before Gary Sanchez scored following fielding errors from Gomes and Mark Chapman on Anthony Rizzo's nine-pitch at-bat.

The result – which completes a split of the four-game series – helped the A's (72-59) move closer in the American League (AL) Wild Card standings, two and a half games adrift as the Yankees (76-54) lead the race.

 

Franco joins exclusive group as Rays crush Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays topped the Baltimore Orioles 12-8 to become only the third team in MLB's divisional era to win 18 games against one opponent in a single season. Joey Wendle delivered a two-homer and six-RBI performance, including a seventh-inning grand slam. Rays rookie Wander Franco, meanwhile, extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a sixth-inning single. Franco's run is the longest active streak in the majors, the sixth longest in American League/National League history and second longest in AL history. It is the longest streak by any player under the age of 21 since Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (43) in 1956.

Javier Baez hammered a two-run home run into the second deck before igniting controversy with a thumbs down gesture to his own fans after receiving boos earlier in the game as the New York Mets won 9-4 against the Washington Nationals.

The Chicago White Sox belted five home runs in their 13-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, including a pair from Luis Robert. Jose Abreu joined Paul Konerko (six) and Frank Thomas (10) as the only White Sox players with six-plus 100-RBI seasons. He became the first White Sox to reach 100 RBI in 125 games or fewer since Jermaine Dye in 2006.

Austin Riley drilled a two-run homer to help the Atlanta Braves to a commanding 9-0 shut-out victory over the high-flying San Francisco Giants.

Yoshi Tsutsugo crushed a walk-off three-run homer to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates past the St Louis Cardinals 4-3.

 

Abreu and Astros suffer blowout

Houston Astros reliever Bryan Abreu had a nightmare as the Texas Rangers powered an eight-run fifth inning in their 13-2 win. Astros pitcher Zack Greinke allowed six runs with nine hits, before Abreu stepped up in the fifth, only to allow seven runs from five hits including an Adolis Garcia grand slam, the Rangers' first since 2019. It was a blowout for the AL West-leading Astros against the Rangers, who are last in the AL West.

 

Salvy hits hot streak

Kansas City Royals star Salvador Perez homered for the fifth consecutive game in his side's 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, tying Mike Sweeney's franchise record from 2002. Perez has also moved into second for home runs in the majors this season, behind only two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani (42) and he has scored eight home runs and 15 RBIs on the Royals' current 10-game trip.

 

Sunday's results 

Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 St Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays 12-8 Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets 9-4 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians 7-5 Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves 9-0 San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 13-1 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 13-2 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 5-0 Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics 3-1 New York Yankees

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Red Sox (75-57) make the trip to Tampa to take on leaders the Rays (82-48) in a crucial clash in the AL East on Monday. Nick Pivetta starts for Boston as Tampa Bay counter with Luis Patino.

Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith agreed to a four-year contract extension, the NFL franchise announced.

Smith – preparing for his 10th season in Minnesota – reportedly signed a new deal worth $64million, which is understood to be the highest for a safety in NFL history.

The five-time Pro Bowler is the Vikings' longest-tenured player but has become one of their most consistent and reliable members, having not missed a game since 2016.

Smith tied a career-high for interceptions (five) last season, along with 89 tackles and five quarterback hits.

The 32-year-old is Minnesota's franchise leader with four interception returns for touchdowns, and his 28 interceptions rank seventh all-time and third among Minnesota safeties in team history.

Minnesota finished with a 7-9 record in 2020, missing the postseason.

The Vikings will open their 2021 season against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 12.

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