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Update August 2018


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Update August 8, 2018

Britain's Asher-Smith, Hughes win 100-meter golds at Euros

Britain's Dina Asher-Smith celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 100-meter final at the European Athletics Championships at the Olympic stadium in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 7. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Berlin (AP) — British duo Dina Asher-Smith and Zharnel Hughes won the 100-meter sprints at the European Athletics Championships on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Dina Asher-Smith won the women's race in a British record 10.85 seconds, beating home favorite Gina Lueckenkemper (10.98) and defending champion Dafne Schippers (10.99).

Hughes ran a championship record 9.95 in the men's 100, edging compatriot Reece Prescod by one hundredth of a second. Jak Ali Harvey of Turkey was third.

Morhad Amdouni of France won the men's 10,000, while Wojciech Nowicki and Michal Haratyk won gold for Poland in the hammer throw and shot put, respectively.

Earlier on the first day of finals in Berlin, Maryan Zakalnytskyy of Ukraine won the men's 50-kilometer race walk, and world champion Ines Henriques of Portugal won the women's event.


Andujar & Gray lift Yankees over White Sox

New York Yankees' Miguel Andujar hits a home run against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

John Jackson

Chicago (AP) — Miguel Andujar homered and singled in the go-ahead run in the 13th inning, Sonny Gray won in his first relief outing since 2013 and the New York Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Andujar had three hits, including a go-ahead single in the 13th, and Giancarlo Stanton added a two-run shot as New York won its second straight following a five-game skid.

Gray (9-8) pitched three scoreless innings in his first appearance since losing his spot in the starting rotation. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out four. Gray hadn't come out of the bullpen since his rookie season with Oakland.

After Stanton's homer made it 3-1 in the 10th, Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer against Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning.

Didi Gregorius started the 13th-inning rally with a one-out walk against Luis Avilan (2-1). After Gleyber Torres struck out, Luke Voit singled to put runners on first and second. Andujar then singled to left, scoring Gregorius.

Abreu's homer was his 20th this season, making him the 18th player with least 20 homers in each of his first five seasons.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia struck out 12 and allowed a run over 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander became the first player 38 or older with that many strikeouts in a game since Randy Johnson on Aug. 22, 2008, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed one run and four hits in seven innings.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Abreu.

With one out in the fifth, Lopez appeared to lose the no-hitter and shutout on the same pitch. Kyle Higashioka hit a drive to center that looked destined for the bleachers, but center fielder Adam Engel ran back and reached well over the wall to bring it back.

It was the second straight night Engel has taken away an apparent home run. On Monday, he robbed Greg Bird of a potential three-run shot when he made a leaping catch in the fourth inning.

Aaron Hicks broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff double in the sixth.

Andujar's homer leading off the seventh tied it at 1.


Kroenke set for full ownership of Arsenal after Usmanov deal

Arsenal FC majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is shown in this file photo dated Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Rob Harris

London (AP) — American sports magnate Stan Kroenke will take full ownership of Arsenal after winning a power struggle with a rival billionaire by securing a deal valuing the English Premier League club at 1.8 billion pounds.

Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov, who was denied a place on the Arsenal board by Kroenke despite building up his stake to 30 percent, has accepted defeat and agreed to sell up to the majority shareholder. Kroenke, who also owns the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, currently owns 67 percent of Arsenal and has taken a bank loan to spend 550 million pounds on Usmanov's shares.

The deal with Usmanov takes Kroenke beyond the 90 percent threshold that allows him to mount a mandatory bid for the remaining shares to gain 100 percent of the London club.

United States-based investment vehicle Kroenke Sports and Entertainment said it received an "irrevocable undertaking" from Usamanov's Red and White Securities to accept the offer for its 18,695 Arsenal shares as soon as possible. KSE said the holders of the remaining 3 percent of Arsenal will be entitled to receive 29,419.64 pounds for each share.

The main Arsenal fan group said Kroenke mounting full control "marks a dreadful day" for the club, which is preparing for its first season with Unai Emery as coach after Arsene Wenger's 22-year reign ended.

"Kroenke plans to forcibly purchase the shares held by Arsenal fans. Many of these fans are AST members and hold their shares not for value but as custodians who care for the future of the club," the Arsenal Supporters' Trust said in a statement. "Kroenke's actions will neuter their voice and involvement."

Kroenke addressed annual general meetings where he was questioned along with other directors in front of shareholders and media. Those partially public forums are now likely to end as Arsenal prepares to become entirely privately owned like most of the rest of the Premier League.

Kroenke dismissed concerns of fans who last saw the team win the Premier League in 2004 and finish sixth last season to miss out on the Champions League.

"KSE believes moving to private ownership will bring the benefits of a single owner better able to move quickly in furtherance of the club's strategy and ambitions," Kroenke's company said. "KSE is a committed, long-term owner of the club."

Kroenke, who — like Usmanov — first started amassing shares in Arsenal in 2007, succeeded in gaining full control in 2011. Usmanov publicly questioned the lack of investment in the squad as he was shut out of any decision-making by Kroenke, who also owns Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.

Usmanov did not explain why he has sold up, having mounted a full takeover bid himself last year that Kroenke rejected, but he did express frustration at the club's current plight.

"I have decided to sell my shares in Arsenal Football Club which could be the best football club in the world," Usmanov said. "I wish all the best and great success to this wonderful football club and to all those whose lives and careers are entwined in it."

Usmanov's business empire spans from mining assets to media. He has a majority share in VKontakte, Russia's most popular social media network with 270 million accounts, and other online assets. The tycoon, who started out with a plastic bags business, also heads the International Fencing Federation.

He is divesting himself of a significant investment in London at a time of bitter diplomatic relations between Britain and Russia. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich did not have his British visa renewed earlier this year amid a crackdown by authorities on associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England that London blames on Moscow.


Jordan Spieth takes another run at career Grand Slam at PGA

Jordan Spieth takes part in a news conference at the PGA Championship golf tournament Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Dave Skretta

St. Louis (AP) — The spotlight was downright searing when Jordan Spieth arrived at Quail Hallow last summer, fresh off a victory at Royal Birkdale that had put him on the precipice of the career Grand Slam.

He didn't wilt. Didn't even wither.

Spieth just didn't win, putting together four consistent-if-unspectacular rounds that left him tied for 28th, well behind good buddy Justin Thomas. It was a good PGA Championship for a player that had come to expect greatness or at least have greatness expected of him.

But it also meant an entire year waiting for another shot at the Slam.

"I think I was probably a little more anxious last year, just because there was a big focus right after winning the Open Championship," Spieth said Tuesday as thunder boomed and rain pelted Bellerive Country Club, washing out many practice rounds. "I was fresh, in form, going to a place where if I worked up the leaderboard I could create a lot of noise."

That noise? It's softened considerably during the last year, and the spotlight that accompanied him to Quail Hallow shines a little less brightly on Spieth in St. Louis.

He's yet to win since Royal Birkdale, the missed cuts becoming too frequent for comfort. He looked as if he might be turning the corner at the British Open last month when he shot 65 on Saturday to surge into contention, but a birdie-less Sunday and final-round 76 dropped him to the wayside.

He followed that with three rounds in the 70s at the Bridgestone Invitational last week, leaving him a full 20 shots off the pace — and outside the top 20 for the eighth consecutive event.

"I'm a little under the radar this year, and I don't mind it," Spieth acknowledged, "but at the same time, this tournament will always be circled until hopefully I win it one day."

The 25-year-old Spieth has only taken that one crack at joining Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods in completing the modern Grand Slam. But history suggests that if he doesn't lift the Wannamaker Trophy soon, Spieth might never accomplish the feat.

Nicklaus needed just three tries after winning the PGA in '63 to win his first British Open, and Player likewise needed three tries after the '65 U.S. Open to win his first British.

Woods needed about a month between the U.S. Open and British Open in 2000, then added the PGA a few weeks later and the Masters the following year to hold all four majors at the same time.

"I only had to think about it for about a month," Woods said of the career Slam. "I had won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the Open Championship was at St. Andrews a month later, so I wasn't really asked a lot, other than, 'What would it be like to complete the career Grand Slam at St. Andrews?'"

He certainly didn't have to endure the questions that followed Arnold Palmer, who tried for more than three decades to finish the Slam at the PGA, or Tom Watson, or spent 24 years chasing it.

Or the questions that have started to follow Rory McIlroy, who needs to win the Masters, and Phil Mickelson, who has played the U.S. Open five times without capturing the only major he's missing.

"Having had a few goes at it, I think less expectations is better," McIlroy said. "Trying to take pressure off yourself, trying to treat it like any normal week, just trying to win the golf tournament that week, sort of put it out of your head that what winning this golf tournament would mean in terms of your legacy and your place in the game. So, yeah, I mean I can probably relate a little bit."

If nothing else, Spieth should have plenty of support this week.

His beloved grandfather, Bob Julius, and most of his mother's side of the family was raised in the St. Louis area. And while Gramps has been there for many of his career-defining moments, there are many distant relatives that will get to see him compete for the first time this week.

"It's really fun," Spieth said, "when you get a chance to play in front of family."

It would be even more fun to make history in front of them.

"I'm sure Jordan feels a little bit different this week than he does the other three majors, but that's normal," McIlroy said. "It's a big deal, but I think, once you get out on the golf course and you start the tournament, all you're thinking about is trying to shoot good scores and hit good golf shots.

"So he's shown over the past few years he's mentally very good, so I'm sure he won't have a problem."


Update August 6, 2018

Hall wins Women's British Open for 1st major title

England's Georgia Hall kisses the trophy after winning the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, in Lytham, England, Sunday Aug. 5. (Richard Sellers/PA via AP)

Lytham St. Annes, England (AP) — Named in honor of a famous Masters victory, Georgia Hall has her hands on one of the big trophies in women's golf at the age of 22.

The Englishwoman reeled in long-time leader Pornanong Phatlum in a gripping final-round duel at Royal Lytham to win the Women's British Open for her first major title on Sunday.

Hull tapped in for a bogey — her first of the day — at the last hole to clinch a two-shot victory over Pornanong. Hall then hugged her playing partner from Thailand before being lifted off her feet by her caddie, father Wayne.

It was fitting that Wayne, a former two-handicapper himself, was on the bag to experience the biggest moment of his daughter's career.

Georgia was born during the 1996 Masters won by English golfer Nick Faldo at Augusta, Georgia. She was named in honor of that victory, which came after Faldo overcame a six-stroke deficit to Greg Norman in the final round.

Twenty-two years later, Hall is the pride of English golf just like Faldo was. And the way Hall kept her composure and kept producing the shots of her life down the stretch, there might be more major titles to come.

Her round of 5-under 67, which included six birdies, saw her finish on 17-under 271.

"I was loving it deep down, hitting the shots under pressure," said Hall, who barely showed any emotions all round. "To get six birdies in the final round of a major is not bad."

Hall, who receives a check of $490,000, became the first English major winner since Karen Stupples won this event in 2004, and the fourth overall along with Laura Davies and Alison Nicholas.

She followed Stupples and Catriona Matthew — in 2009 at Lytham — as the only British winners of the Women's British Open since it achieved major status in 2001.

Roared on under blue skies by the large gallery desperate for a home winner, the 39th-ranked Hall started the day a shot behind Pornanong, who led after the second and third rounds.

From the moment Pornanong curled in a long left-to-right putt at the second hole to answer Hall's 15-foot birdie at the first, it had the makings of a duel in the Lytham sun.

And a two-player race for the year's fourth major was definitely established when both picked up a shot at No. 4 and Pornanong followed Hall in birdying No. 6. That regained a two-shot lead for Pornanong, who had also birdied the par-3 fifth hole.

Hall was always chasing but was given hope when Pornanong bogeyed No. 8 to reduce her lead to one shot. Then, when Hall rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 13, they were tied for the first time since the first hole.

Hall took the outright lead for the first time in the tournament after a 20-foot putt for birdie at the 16th hole and went down the last with a three-shot lead after Pornanong, ranked No. 97 and also seeking her first major and LPGA title, missed a two-foot putt to make double-bogey at No. 17.

Hall played safe in three-putting from distance in front of Royal Lytham's storied clubhouse and celebrated her first win on the LPGA Tour. She had never won on the Ladies European Tour, either.

"It is too good to be true," Hall said. "It was my goal when I was nine to win the British Open. I am so happy.

"I just had to stay calm and patient. It was very close up to the last two holes and I holed all the putts today."

Ryu So-yeon of South Korea was third on 13 under after a final-round 70.


Alvarez KO's Kovalev to win 175-pound title

 Sergey Kovalev, left, of Russia, goes down for a second time after a punch by Eleider Alvarez, of Colombia, during the seventh round of their 175-pound boxing bout Saturday, Aug. 4, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Dan Gelston

Atlantic City, N.J. (AP) — Eleider Alvarez rocked Sergey Kovalev with a right that dropped the Russian on his rear.

He never let up in his first shot at the title.

After three years of waiting for a light heavyweight title fight, Alvarez left Kovalev crumpled on the canvas, enveloped by a victory celebration. He dropped Kovalev three times in a brutal seventh round and won the 175-pound championship by knockout at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday night.

Alvarez ran his record to 24-0 (12 KOs) and sprinted around the ring as Kovalev stumbled back to his corner. Alvarez got the KO at 2:45 in the seventh as the sellout crowd of 5,642 at Etess Arena went wild for boxing's newest champion.

"I knew it was my chance and I wanted to take it right now," Alvarez said.

Alvarez won the WBO light heavyweight title and ended Kovalev's latest reign atop the division. Alvarez, who once had surgery on his right hand, found the power in that hand to level Kovalev with a right and send him to the canvas. Alvarez, a Colombian, pounced and pounded away at Kovalev when he beat the 10 count and knocked him down two more times before referee David Fields ended the fight.

"It was a two (punch) combo that I have been throwing my whole career and we worked on it in camp," Alvarez said. "I have always practiced that in camp and we thought it would work in this camp."

Dmitry Bivol unanimously outpointed Isaac Chilemba to retain the WBA version of the 175-pound title. There had been hopes to match Kovalev (32-3-1) against Bivol in a unification bout, perhaps later this year.

Alvarez caught Kovalev, who hasn't been the same since consecutive defeats to Andre Ward, and put those plans on ice. His third knockdown left Kovalev on all fours, and he sat motionless on the canvas as Alvarez took a victory leap into his corner. Kovalev was taken to a hospital.

Alvarez had used wins over Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute to earn a title shot he believed was years in the making.

"I wanted to show that I could stay strong and do good things," Alvarez said. "His punches were not as hard as they were in the beginning of the fight."

Bivol took it 116-112 on one scorecard, while two others had it 120-108, in convincing victory.

"Chilemba is a good fighter and he had champion spirit tonight," Bivol said.

Bivol, a Russian, worked the body and caught Chilemba in the sixth with a pair of quick jabs to the head. But he was never in a hurry to finish the fight and the restless crowd booed when the bout stagnated in the eighth round.

Chilemba, with former four-class champion Roy Jones Jr. in his corner, hung tight and kept the fight from completely getting away from him. He failed to throw the power punches in the later rounds he needed for a knockout to win the fight

Kovalev walked through the arena to a rousing ovation about two hours before the card was set to start on HBO, and Bivol already had his sights set on what would have been the biggest fight of his career.

"If the fans want that fight, it will happen," the 27-year-old Bivol said. "I just want to fight the best fighters."

Who knows who he'll get next?

The 35-year-old Kovalev could get a rematch — he was ahead on all three scorecards — but was dazed in the seventh and never mounted a comeback against the right and a left hook.

It was a thrilling ending to boxing's return to the boardwalk for the first time in four years. Kovalev also headlined that Nov. 8, 2014 card and beat Bernard Hopkins in a championship bout on the last major night of boxing in Atlantic City.

The sport was flattened as the casinos dried up — five shuttered over that span — before a recent rebirth that included the June opening of the Hard Rock. The legalization of sports betting in New Jersey should only help the city land better cards.

Kovalev had a bit of a following in New Jersey — he fought in three different AC venues in 2014 — and had rolled to a 30-0-1 record until his career as derailed by the losses to Ward.

"I lost my mind when I started to get famous," Ward said this week.

Now, he lost his title.

Kovalev was originally slated to fight Marcus Browne until legal issues with the challenger raised concerns about moving forward with the bout.

Eleider proved quite the super sub — and now, champion.


Thomas doesn't break sweat in winning finale at Firestone

 

Justin Thomas watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 5, in Akron, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Doug Ferguson

Akron, Ohio (AP) — Nervous at the start, Justin Thomas was in full control at the Bridgestone Invitational to the end. He had a four-shot lead and faced a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole that would only determine his margin of victory.

And then he nearly lost it.

He marked his ball, turned toward the back of the green and saw his grandparents, Paul and Phyllis Thomas, who had never seen him win since his joined the PGA Tour.

Paul Thomas is a career club pro who played himself at Firestone in the 1960 PGA Championship. His grandmother is one of his biggest supporters who navigated her way around the hills of Firestone using a walker in 90-degree heat.

Thomas bowed his head to collect his emotions, which were stronger than when he won the PGA Championship last summer.

"I just got a huge knot in my throat and I just had to put my head down," he said after closing with a 1-under 69 for his first World Golf Championship title. "I've never gotten like that on the golf course before. You just don't know if they're ever going to see me win if I don't win here. So it was pretty cool to get it done."

They saw a one-man show Sunday that sent Thomas to Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis with high hopes of joining Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship in stroke play.

Playing in the final group with Rory McIlroy, the 25-year-old Thomas never let anyone closer than two shots of the lead. He opened made only two birdies and left the mistakes to everyone with range of him. McIlroy finished the front nine with consecutive bogeys and never recovered. Ian Poulter started three shots behind and shot 74. Jason Day made a run with three straight birdies to start the back nine, only to play the final six holes in 5-over par for a 73.

Tiger Woods was never in the picture.

In the final World Golf Championship at Firestone, on the South course where Woods set a PGA Tour record with eight victories, he tried to end with a bang and turned in a dud. Woods made two double bogeys and three bogeys on the back nine and salvaged a 73 to finish 15 shots behind.

"Things could have certainly gone better," Woods said. "But it is what it is, and on to next week."

Thomas could not have asked for a better week. Winless the last five months without feeling as though his game were in disarray, he got the result he needed ahead of the final major of the year. He joined Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson as three-time winners this season.

He lost in a playoff at the Mexico Championship. He lost in the semifinals of the Match Play. At the Bridgestone Invitational, he became the 21st player to win a World Golf Championship and a major.

"It was kind of one of the few things left that I felt I needed to knock off or felt that would have been nice to add to the resume, for sure," Thomas said. "To win on a golf course like this, a championship golf course and always against a very tough field, it just felt great."

Sweetest of all was seeing his grandparents, especially the embrace after he tapped in for par to finish at 15-under 265. Thomas turned his head and placed it comfortably on his grandfather's shoulder.

So ended a finale at Firestone that otherwise lacked drama. Thomas had not finished better than a tie for 28th in his two previous appearances at Firestone. He wound up winning the last one.

"I'm glad I finally played well around here, just in time to leave," he said.

Firestone has held tour events since the Rubber City Open in 1954. The World Series of Golf began in 1962, and it became an official PGA Tour event in 1976. In many respects, it was the precursor to the World Golf Championships by bringing in winners from around the world.

Bridgestone shifted its title sponsorship to the PGA Tour Champions, which will bring its Senior Players Championship to Firestone next year. The World Golf Championship instead will move to Memphis, Tennessee.

Kyle Stanley got within two shots of the lead until bogeys on the 13th and 14th holes. Stanley closed with a 68.

Johnson, the world's No. 1 player who was coming off a victory in the Canadian Open last week, started the final round 10 shots behind and shot 29 on the front nine. A birdie at No. 10 put him three shots behind, but that was all he had.

Johnson bogeyed the last hole for a 64 and shared third with Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, who also had a 64.

Thomas won for the ninth time in his career and moves to No. 2 in the world, with a shot to regain the No. 1 ranking next week.


Dutch win 8th Women's World Cup field hockey title

Netherlands' Malou Pheninckx , right, and Ireland's Chloe Watkins vie for the ball during the Women's Hockey World Cup final at The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, in London, Sunday Aug. 5. (Paul Harding/PA via AP)

London (AP) — Ireland's first Women's World Cup field hockey final ended in defeat as the Netherlands retained the title with an emphatic 6-0 victory on Sunday.

Ireland, the second-lowest ranked country in the tournament, were unable to produce a fairy-tale ending at Lee Valley Hockey Center.

Goals from Lidewij Welten, Kelly Jonker, Kitty van Male, Malou Pheninckx, Marloes Keetels and Caia van Maasakker capped a dominant performance from the Dutch as they won the competition for a record eighth time.

The Netherlands team hasn't lost since the Olympic final two years ago.

This was Ireland's first World Cup since 2002, and their previous best result was 11th in 1994. Ranked 16th, Ireland topped a group including Olympic champions England and were first into the quarterfinals.

Ireland began brightly but did not manage a shot at goal until the final quarter and the Netherlands, who lifted the trophy on home soil four years ago, soon showed their superiority.

Welten put Alyson Annan's team ahead in the seventh minute, turning to hit a powerful shot through a crowded circle and past Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran at the near post.

Jonker found the bottom-left corner to double the lead in the 19th, while superb blocks from Irish pair Shirley McCay and Roisin Upton following penalty corners prevented further goals.

The free-scoring Dutch, who registered 29 goals in five matches to reach the final, put the result beyond doubt with two quick goals in the final stages of the second period.

Tournament top scorer Van Male smashed in her eighth of the competition from close range and, moments later, Pheninckx was allowed too much space to fire the ball high into the net. Keetels later tapped home a fifth and Van Maasakker adding another from a penalty corner.

Earlier Sunday, Spain beat Australia 3-1 in the bronze-medal match.


Zverev beats de Minaur for 2nd consecutive Citi Open title

Alexander Zverev, of Germany, returns the ball against Alex de Minaur, of Australia, during the men's finals in the Citi Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Aug. 5, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Howard Fendrich

Washington (AP) — Alexander Zverev's second Citi Open title in a row is merely the latest sign that he is separating himself from the other up-and-coming youngsters in tennis.

That doesn't mean he is sure that guys such as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal are worrying just yet.

"You've got to ask them. I don't think Roger's too concerned about it," Zverev said with a smile. "He's somewhere in Switzerland right now, enjoying ... his milk from his cow."

Zverev became the first man in nearly a decade to win consecutive titles at Washington's hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open, overpowering Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4 in the final Sunday.

Juan Martin del Potro won the Citi Open in 2008 and 2009.

Zverev hit six aces, and never faced a break point en route to his ninth career ATP title and third of 2018.

"He hit me off the court today," de Minaur said.

Two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova won the women's final, erasing four match points in the second set on the way to a 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 victory over Donna Vekic. Kuznetsova also won the title in Washington in 2014.

Germany's Zverev is 21, and Australia's de Minaur is 19, making for the youngest final on the ATP World Tour since 20-year-old Rafael Nadal beat 19-year-old Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells, California, in 2007.

"I'm sure these kind of trophies will be in your hands very soon," Zverev told de Minaur.

Even though Sunday's finalists are close in age, Zverev held quite an advantage in size and experience.

He is 6-foot-6, ranked No. 3 and one of only five active players with at least three Masters titles (the others are Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray). De Minaur is 5-foot-11, ranked 72nd and yet to win a tour-level title of any sort.

"Sascha Zverev is the future of pro tennis," said tournament co-founder and chairman Donald Dell, using Zverev's nickname. "He's chasing Federer and Nadal for the No. 1 spot."

Zverev — who beat his older brother, Mischa, in the third round — put on a dominant performance on a steamy afternoon with the temperature hitting 90 degrees. The sun was a contrast to all of the rain during the week that jumbled the schedule and led to Andy Murray's withdrawal before facing de Minaur in the quarterfinals.

Zverev broke de Minaur's serve in the opening game and again to lead 4-0 after all of 15 minutes. They would play another full hour, but the outcome seemed rather clear from that moment.

Zverev won 26 of 29 points when he put a first serve in, and 37 of 48 serving points in all. Of the 11 he lost, four came via double-faults. He finished the first set with a flourish, smacking a pair of aces at 123 mph and 114 mph.

When de Minaur was serving, meanwhile, Zverev generated 11 break points, converting three.

Zverev's booming groundstrokes were too much to handle for de Minaur, whose body language often told the tale of how things were going.

With both at the net early in the second set, Zverev took the point with a crisp volley, and de Minaur rolled his eyes. A couple of points later, de Minaur pushed a forehand long, dropped his head and screamed at himself. After a 125 mph ace flew past, de Minaur nodded.

Zverev was far less demonstrative, although when he struck a down-the-line forehand passing shot to break for a 2-1 edge in the second set, he looked toward his father in the stands and yelled, "Let's go now!" while shaking his right fist.

Soon enough, the victory was complete and the title defense successful, the latest step Zverev has taken in a steady march toward the top of his sport.


Update August 4-5 , 2018

Bogey-free Pornanong leads Women's British Open after 2nd 67

Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum sizes up a putt on the 15th green during day two of the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham, England, Friday, Aug. 3. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Lytham St. Annes, England (AP) — Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand is standing out at the Women's British Open for more than just her pink golf ball.

The 97th-ranked player has yet to drop a shot in two straight rounds of 5-under 67 that will give her a one-stroke lead heading into the weekend at the year's fourth major.

While first-round leader Minjee Lee and Mamiko Higa encountered problems down the stretch at a rainy Royal Lytham to give up two-shot leads on Friday, Pornanong played a steady hand and put her pink ball in all the right places — explicitly, out of the many bunkers that define the course.

The 28-year-old Thai missed a 10-foot putt for birdie in front of the clubhouse on the 18th green but that didn't get her down. She was 10 under par overall.

"I've had a game plan," Pornanong said. "I try to plan every shot, every hole."

It's given her a great chance of winning a first major title, and claiming a first victory on the LPGA Tour. Her last win was on the Asian Tour in January 2015 and she has only one top-10 finish all year.

Pornanong's only top-10 at a major was a tie for seventh at the U.S. Women's Open in 2014.

She has already put some distance between many of the big names in women's golf.

Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn was seven shots back after rounds of 71 and 70, No. 6 Shanshan Feng (71-71) was one stroke further back, and No. 2 Inbee Park (76-74) missed the cut.

Only six players were inside five shots of Pornanong. They have pedigree, though.

In a three-way share of second place on 9 under is Lee, who was clear at 12 under before she double-bogeyed No. 16 and dropped another shot at No. 17 to post a 70.

Lee, the Australian at a career-high ranking of No. 8, was runner-up on the Gullane links in the Ladies Scottish Open last week.

Home favorite Georgia Hall (68) was in the tie for second place along with Higa, who was leading by two strokes on 11 under when she lost her ball in a gorse bush at No. 17 and wound up with a double-bogey 6.

Third-ranked Park Sung-hyun, who won the Women's PGA Championship last month, is lurking in sixth place on 7 under after rounds of 67 and 70. Seventh-ranked Ryu So-yeon, a two-time major champion, is on 6 under after two rounds of 69.

Brooke Henderson of Canada aced the par-3 ninth hole on her way to a 70, which put her in a six-way tie for eighth place on 5 under.


India pinning hopes on Kohli to win gripping test vs England

India's Ishant Sharma celebrates with teammates the dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow during the third day of the first test cricket match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, Aug. 3. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Birmingham, England (AP) — India's hopes of victory in the first test against England once again rest with captain Virat Kohli.

Kohli, a brilliant century-maker in the first innings, is underpinning the tourists' quest to chase down a target of 194 in what could be a tight finish to a riveting match at Edgbaston.

India ended day three on 110-5, still needing another 84 runs to win, with Kohli unbeaten on 43. Dinesh Karthik was with his captain on 18.

If India were to pull off a first victory in seven attempts at Edgbaston, it would almost single-handedly be down to Kohli. He ran out England captain Joe Root on the opening day, then rescued India's first innings with a gritty knock of 149 that ended a sorry run of test scores on English soil.

Kohli has scored exactly half of India's runs (384) in the match. This from a player whose top score from 10 innings in the five-test series in England in 2014 was 39.

England began the day on 9-1, lurched to 87-7, and then needed a first test half-century from 20-year-old swing bowler Sam Curran to get to 180 all out.

India were reduced to 78-5 — four of the wickets coming  from catches by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow — but Kohli and Karthik battled to reach stumps unscathed, with their partnership up to 32.

The last hour, played in fading light and overcast, muggy conditions, was tense, with Kohli reining in his shot-making, knowing how important it was to be there on Saturday morning.

Curran's 65-ball knock of 63 was the opposite, a wonderful salvo that featured two sixes — one coming over extra cover off paceman Ishant Sharma to bring up his fifty.

The innings was all the more impressive because England were in such trouble when he came in, after Sharma had taken three wickets in five balls either side of lunch to plunge the hosts from 85-4 to 87-7.

Curran was given a standing ovation when he was last man out, caught behind by Karthik.

"It's been a special day," said Curran. "I had goosebumps down there in front of the fans when they were singing 'Barmy Army'. It's going to be close tomorrow, the first hour will be crucial, you'll win or lose the game in that first hour."

Sharma claimed 5-51 and offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who dismissed Alastair Cook with the last ball of day two and then removed Keaton Jennings (8) and Root (14) early on Friday, picked up 3-59.

India started their second innings nervously with Murali Vijay — dropped in the slips on 1 by Dawid Malan, who also had two spills in the first innings — trapped lbw by Stuart Broad for 6.

Shikhar Dhawan (13) nicked Broad to make it 22-2 before Ben Stokes, Curran and Jimmy Anderson enticed edges to remove Lokesh Rahul (13), Ajinkya Rahane (2) and Ashwin (13) and leave India 78-5.

However, with Kohli still there at the close, India will be confident of sealing the deal on Saturday.

"I hope they don't need me, and Virat and Dinesh will do the job," said lower-order batsman Sharma. "The good thing is I have scored 50 in county cricket (for Sussex), so I am just carrying that confidence."


Thomas, Fleetwood, Poulter share lead at Firestone

Justin Thomas watches his tee shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club, Friday, Aug. 3, in Akron, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Doug Ferguson

Akron, Ohio (AP) — Nobody has a better scoring average Saturday on the PGA Tour than Tiger Woods, and the Bridgestone Invitational would be a good time to keep that up.

Woods might not have a choice.

Neither will Rory McIlroy, Jason Day or anyone else wanting to keep pace.

Tommy Fleetwood took advantage of another soft day of good scoring at Firestone with a 7-under 63. So did PGA champion Justin Thomas, who was particularly sharp with his putter for a 64. They shared the lead with Ian Poulter, who had a head start with his career-low 62 and backed it up decently enough Friday with a 67.

They all played early and finished at 11-under 129.

No one could catch them, mainly because there was just enough breeze to cause just enough doubt.

Even so, 45 players from the 71-man field were under par, a rarity at Firestone. Woods, whose last victory was five years ago when he won this World Golf Championship for a record eighth time, got within four shots of the lead with a tee shot to 2 feet on the par-3 12th hole. He went 1 over the rest of the way for a 68, leaving him five shots behind.

Is another Saturday move in the works.

"I'm going to have to," Woods said. "The golf course is playing very soft, very receptive. And when you're able to hit 5-irons and they only roll out about a foot, the guys are going to put up good scores. There's 40-plus guys under par. That's never the case here at Firestone. So tomorrow is going to be one of those days I'm going to have to go out there and post a low one and see what happens."

Fleetwood, the runner-up at the U.S. Open, was most pleased to see nothing higher than 4s on his scorecard. He made it look easy, except for a few times he was slightly out of position, and hit perhaps his best shot with a 6-iron to a back-left pin that settled 3 feet below the cup.

"My irons, I just tended to hit exactly where we were picking the spots and I holed a few putts," Fleetwood said. "You've got days like that where it's going well, and you've just got to make the most of them."

Day, who threw away a chance to win at Firestone two years ago, did make as many as he would have liked. He still had a 66 playing in the same group with Woods, and joined Kyle Stanley (68) two shots behind the leaders.

McIlroy was another shot behind after a finishing a day of frustration with two birdies. He was in position to make birdies, especially that 380-yard drive he launched at the 482-yard eighth hole that left him only a sand wedge in. It came up short, rolled down a slope and left him 45 feet away. He blasted a 319-yard drive down the middle at the 10th, only to hit sand wedge just over the green and made bogey.

His finish began with a tee shot on the 17th hole that landed closer to the 16th fairway. His approach went into the front bunker, and he holed out for birdie. Then, he stuffed one on the 18th for another short birdie at a 67.

"An adventure to say the least," McIlroy said. "I was 1 under standing on the 17th tee and I think if I had to finish 1 under, it would have felt like the worst I could have shot today. So to get those two birdies on the last two holes is obviously very nice and gets a couple closer to the lead."

Woods opened with a bogey, bounced back with three birdies over his next four holes and looked like he might make a move with his birdie on the 12th. Two holes later, he faced such an awkward lie from the top collar of a bunker that he wasn't sure how to stand or how hard to hit it. He hit it too hard, through the green, made bogey and missed birdie chances coming in.

This is only the fourth time he has been five shots or closer going into the weekend this year, but there are plenty of others around him. Also five shots back were Jon Rahm of Spain, who had a sloppy finish for a 70, Tony Finau (68) and Players champion Webb Simpson (65).

The only regret for Thomas was a mistake that didn't cost him as much as it could have. He was in the rough off the tee at the par-5 16th and still had some 284 yards to reach the green, with a pond in front. The distance wasn't an issue, but Thomas said later that odds were against him making a birdie, and the safer route would have been to lay up and rely on his wedge.

He hit 3-wood too far right and into the water.

"We were lucky to get up-and-down for 6, but that was a stupid decision," Thomas.

The rest of his game, especially with the putter, was sharp.

"It was definitely one of the better putting days I've had in a while," Thomas said. "I just hit a lot of quality putts. That's what's most important. I've had days where I've missed more but putted better. ... To me, that's not as frustrating as what I was doing yesterday — just hitting bad putts."


Ricciardo to leave Red Bull for Renault at end of F1 season

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia waits in his car during the third free practice session for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, northeast of Budapest, Saturday, July 28. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

Milton Keynes, England (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo is leaving Red Bull for Renault at the end of this Formula One season.

The Australian driver, who has won seven races since joining Red Bull in 2014, has agreed to a two-year deal with Renault.

Ricciardo says "it was time for me to take on a fresh and new challenge."

Replacing Carlos Sainz, Ricciardo will partner Nico Hulkenberg at the French manufacturer.

Ricciardo says "there is a lot ahead in order to allow Renault to reach their target of competing at the highest level but I have been impressed by their progression in only two years."

The 29-year-old Ricciardo is already familiar with Renault, whose engines have powered Red Bull's cars.

Ricciardo is fifth in the 20-driver standings after 12 of the season's 21 races.


Defending champ Zverev edges Nishikori in DC QF; Murray out

Alexander Zverev, of Germany, reacts during his match against Kei Nishikori, of Japan, in the Citi Open tennis tournament, Friday, Aug. 3, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Washington (AP) — Defending champion Alexander Zverev returned to the Citi Open semifinals by coming back for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 7 seed Kei Nishikori at the rain-drenched tournament Friday.

Only two other men's and women's quarterfinals were completed before all play was called off on a wet day that also included three-time major champion Andy Murray's withdrawal.

The No. 1-seeded Zverev, who beat his older brother, Mischa, in the third round, also eliminated 2015 Washington champion Nishikori at the hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open a year ago en route to the title.

Germany's Zverev, 21, improved to 14-2 in his four appearances at the Citi Open.

On Saturday, he'll face 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. The No. 10 seed Tsitsipas beat No. 3 David Goffin 6-3, 6-4.

Tsitsipas is coming off his first run to the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament, last month at Wimbledon.

On the other half of the draw, Murray pulled out of his quarterfinal after winning a trio of three-setters and lamenting a schedule that had him start his latest victory at midnight.

Murray cited fatigue when he withdrew Friday, hours before he was supposed to face 19-year-old Alex de Minaur, who was given a walkover into the semifinals. The remaining men's quarterfinal between No. 16 Andrey Rublev of Russia and unseeded Denis Kudla, who is from nearby Arlington, Virginia, never got started because of rain and was pushed to Saturday.

In the only women's quarterfinal that concluded, Andrea Petkovic got past No. 6 seed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8). The other three women's matches were moved to Saturday.

Storms earlier in the week forced some men to play twice in one day.

Murray's third-round victory over Marius Copil ended just past 3 a.m. on Friday, after rain delayed the start of Thursday's action for 2 hours. Afterward, Murray told a small group of reporters that he "potentially" could withdrew from the tournament.

He also announced Friday that he was going to skip next week's Toronto Masters.

Murray is working his way back into form after having surgery on his right hip and being sidelined for 11 months.

"I'm exhausted after playing so much over the last four days, having not competed on the hard courts for 18 months," said Murray, whose three matches each lasted more than 2 hours. "I also need to be careful and to listen to my body as I come back from a long-term injury."


Update August 3 , 2018

Poulter leads at 62, with Woods 4 behind at Firestone

Ian Poulter plays from a bunker on the ninth hole during the first round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club, Thursday, Aug. 2, in Akron, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Doug Ferguson

Akron, Ohio (AP) — Ian Poulter was annoyed upon realizing he had never finished better than 13th at Firestone, so he took a step toward doing something about it Thursday with an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead in the Bridgestone Invitational.

Tiger Woods found himself fighting his swing. He settled for a 66.

Such was the difference of two players with vastly different memories on the stout South course at Firestone.

Woods is an eight-time winner, already a PGA Tour record for most victories on one course. Back at this World Golf Championship for the first time in four years, he made a 50-foot birdie putt and two other long putts to offset some average iron play.

It was his best opening round of the year, and he needed it just to keep pace with everyone else on a soft and vulnerable course that led to 45 players in the 71-man field breaking par. The average score was 68.37, the lowest for the opening round at Firestone since it became a WGC in 1999 and the lowest for the first round of any PGA Tour event this season.

"I didn't quite hit it as well as I wanted to," Woods said. "But I fought out a score today, which was good."

Poulter is playing Firestone for the 14th time, and he came across a sheet showing his yearly results. At least he hasn't missed the cut, mainly because there is no cut at these tournaments. He tied for 13th his first year, 10 shots behind. It never got any better.

"Yeah, it fires me up," Poulter said after saving par from a bunker on his last hole for a bogey-free round. "It's frustrating to look at. I actually thought I had a better finish than that, so it really annoyed me. ... I wrote them all down, they were that bad.  I was like, 'Seriously, how can you play a good golf course this many times and not really have a result?' So not to even finish in the top 10 is pretty poor."

It's just a start, but it was a good one.

His 62 matched the lowest first-round score at Firestone, first set by Adam Scott in 2011, and it was one off the course record for any round.

Rickie Fowler and Kyle Stanley each had a 63, while Jon Rahm, Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay were another shot behind. Seven players were in the group at 65, which included Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jason Day.

Poulter missed a 10-foot putt on No. 8, his second-to-last hole. He was in no mood to quibble.

"If you would have offered me this at the start of the day, I would have snapped your arm for it," he said. "Yeah, we can be greedy and say I'd love to have holed that putt on 8 to have tied the record. But 8 under par's a pretty decent round for me around this golf course."

Woods seems to put together decent scores even when he feels his game is slightly off.

"It's nice to shoot rounds like I did at the Open and like I did today, put together rounds where I may not feel the best, but I'm able to post a score," Woods said. "That's how you win golf tournaments. You're not going to have your best all four days, and it's a matter of that bad day being 2-, 3-under par instead of being 2-, 3-over par. And then everyone has their hot days."

Woods is coming off a tie for sixth at the British Open, where he had the lead for about 30 minutes in the middle of the final round until he fell back with a double bogey. He took a vacation in Switzerland and showed up at Firestone for nine holes of practice on Wednesday.

But he knows this course as well as anyone.

"I've had so many great memories here," Woods said. "Hopefully, I can have one more."

This is the final year for the World Golf Championship at Firestone. It moves to Memphis, Tennessee, next year.

McIlroy played in the group ahead of Woods and struggled to get the ball in play over the first half of his round. He figured it out, which he had to on a day like this.

"You can't find this golf course any easier than we had it today," McIlroy said. "It's soft. It's probably the softest I've ever seen it. ... So you needed to take advantage of the conditions today. It looked like most of the guys have done that, which is good."

Not all of them.

Jordan Spieth was 3 over through 14 holes until two late birdies allowed him to salvage a 71. Dustin Johnson, the world's No. 1 player coming off his third victory this year at the Canadian Open last week, could only manage a 69. In his first start since winning the British Open, Francesco Molinari had a 70.


Kohli mixes grit, brilliance to play starring role for India

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli follows the ball after playing a shot during the second day of the first test cricket match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Thursday, Aug. 2. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Birmingham, England (AP) — Virat Kohli rode his luck before delivering a batting exhibition in a brilliant innings of 149 to keep India in sight of England on a gripping second day of the first test at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The India captain made England pay dearly for dropped catches when on 21 and 51, blazing to his 22nd test century — and first in England — to end a sorry run of scores on English soil. In fact, his total beat the combined scores in his 10 previous innings in England from India's five-test tour in 2014.

After he was the last man out with about 30 minutes left of the day, Kohli was given a standing ovation around Edgbaston, with England fans also showing their appreciation of one of cricket's box-office talents. Kohli opened his shoulders late in his knock and finished with a total of 22 fours and a six off his penultimate ball as he successfully hogged the strike to demonstrate his excellent game management.

Thanks to Kohli, India were eventually dismissed for 274 — for a first-innings deficit of 13 runs — having been 59-3, 100-5 and 169-7 at various stages.

England, who started the day by adding just two runs to their overnight 285-9, ended it by closing on 9-1 in their second innings after offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin bowled Alastair Cook for 0, in a virtual repeat of the opener's first-innings dismissal.

The hosts lead by 22 runs with nine second-innings wickets remaining heading into the third day.

England swing bowler Sam Curran took three wickets in eight balls before lunch — removing Murali Vijay (20), Lokesh Rahul (4) and Shikhar Dhawan (26) — to reduce India to 59-3, before the tourists were given a testing first hour of the afternoon session against a ball that swung around.

Two more Indian batsmen departed, with Ben Stokes taking the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane (15) and Dinesh Karthik (0) in consecutive overs, but Kohli just about survived. He was dropped by Dawid Malan at first slip on 21, edged three times short of fielders behind the wicket, then glanced another edge through the right hand of the diving Malan when on 51.

In going past 39, he'd already bettered his top score from the 2014 tour and soon England were on the defensive, spreading the field. Kohli proceeded to dominate the bowling with a variety of shots to the boundary.

As he steadily ran out of partners, Kolhi managed to keep the strike in what proved to be a memorable 225-ball knock before being caught by Stuart Broad off Adil Rashid.

Cook's dismissal brought about stumps, with Keaton Jennings 5 not out.

England will hope Jos Buttler will be able to bat on Friday after he went to the hospital during the lunch interval for an X-ray on his left middle finger, which he injured while fielding. The X-ray showed there was no break and Buttler recovered sufficiently to return to field.


Minjee Lee shoots 7-under 65, leads Women's British Open

Australia's Minjee Lee gestures on the 18th green during day one of the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham, England, Thursday, Aug. 2. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

Lytham St. Annes, England (AP) — The big thing missing for Minjee Lee in her impressive season is a strong performance at a major championship.

She might get it at the Women's British Open.

The No. 8-ranked Australian shot a 7-under 65, including a right-to-left putt for eagle from 25 feet on the par-5 15th hole, to lead by one stroke after the first round at Royal Lytham on Thursday.

Mamiko Higa was a shot behind after a 66, while five players — Georgia Hall, Teresa Lu, Park Sung-hyun, Lee Mi-hyang and Pornanong Phatlum — were a further stroke back on a day that started with showers and a breeze before brightening up.

Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn bounced back from a double-bogey 6 at the second hole to shoot 71. Second-ranked Inbee Park dropped four shots in her first five holes in a 76.

Only a series of missed putts stopped Lee from winning the tuneup for the fourth major of the year, last weekend's Ladies Scottish Open on the links at Gullane where Jutanugarn eventually prevailed by one shot.

Still, a closing 66 was another encouraging sign for Lee. She has had one win — at the Volvik Championship — two runner-ups and five top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour this season, is second on the tour's points standings, and arrived at Lytham in a career-high No. 8 in the rankings.

After finishing 25th, 34th and 25th in the first three majors of 2018, Lee is finally in a good position to seriously challenge for a first major title, especially if she keeps up her impressive performance on the greens after needing only 26 putts in the first round.

She was 3 under at the turn after birdies at Nos. 4, 6 and 8, and reached 7-under with that curling eagle putt at No. 15. Another birdie at the next took her further clear, only for a bogey at the par-4 17th to spoil her card.

"I definitely holed a lot of putts from far away, so that really helped me today," she said.

"I knew I was hitting it really well coming into this week so I went out there and played my game, which is all I can control. Just having fun out there was my main goal."

Lee's best result at a major is a tie for third at the ANA Inspiration last year.

Higa, ranked No. 51, also had just one bogey on a course where avoiding the 206 bunkers was the priority. That dropped shot came at the 8th hole but she recovered with three birdies in the following six holes.

Chinese player Yu Liu made the first charge of the day, with three straight birdies from No. 4 and back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 moving her to 6 under and into a two-stroke lead at the time. The 18th hole proved her undoing after she pushed her drive into the thick rough, chipped out into a bunker then three-putted for a triple-bogey 7.

Liu's 69 put her in a group on 3 under that also included Brooke Henderson of Canada, Moriya Jutanugarn and two-time major winner Ryu So-yeon. Helped by a hole-in-one at No. 9 with an 8-iron from 140 yards, England's Florentyna Parker also shot a 69.

Michelle Wie withdrew midway through her first round because of a right hand injury. The American golfer was 7 over after 12 holes.

Wie, who is ranked No. 18, said in a post on Twitter she "gave it all" but "couldn't handle the pain any longer."


Sibling rivalry: Alexander Zverev beats brother Mischa in DC

Alexander Zverev, of Germany, smiles as he hugs his brother Mischa Zverev, foreground, after defeating him 6-3, 7-5, during the Citi Open tennis tournament in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 2. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Howard Fendrich

Washington (AP) — Seems safe to say Alexander Zverev has never hugged an opponent quite the way he did after beating older brother Mischa 6-3, 7-5 to reach the Citi Open quarterfinals Thursday night in their first ATP main-draw match against each other.

Alexander, 21, is seeded No. 1 and the defending champion at the hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open. Mischa, who turns 31 in a few weeks, was seeded No. 15. They had met twice before in qualifying matches, most recently in 2014, but never during the real rounds of a tournament.

"It was just fun," Mischa said. "That's all I can say."

The dynamics were a bit different from a usual match. They both know the other's on-court strengths and weaknesses so well. There wasn't much emotion from either man. And not much cheering from spectators, who maybe had a hard time picking which Zverev to pull for. Instead of using simply a last name to refer to a player, the normal practice, the chair umpire used first names, too. As in: "Game, Sascha Zverev," using Alexander's nickname.

The most interaction between the siblings came during a 15-minute rain delay in the second set, when they exchanged a few words about whether or not play should resume — and then when the last point arrived. Alexander hit a short shot that Mischa chased but put into the net. Mischa continued around to the other side and walked up to Alexander for a lengthy embrace.

They shared some words, then walked off the court together, and Mischa grabbed Alexander by the scruff of the neck.

This was not quite Zverev vs. Zverev in a Wimbledon final, as they had dreamed about and pretended to play a decade ago in their backyard. Still, it was a unique moment, with their father, Alexander Sr. — the man who taught both how to play tennis and coaches them to this day — sitting in a front-row seat in a corner of the stadium.

It was by far the most intriguing matchup on another dreary, rainy day, when play began about 3 1/2 hours late because of a shower.

A weary-looking John Isner hit serves in the low 90s mph and was broken twice in the opening set during a 6-4, 7-6 (6) loss to 152nd-ranked Noah Rubin in the second round. The No. 2-seeded Isner was coming off a title in Atlanta last week and a semifinal run at Wimbledon last month. Isner credited Rubin with having more energy.

Their all-American matchup was supposed to be played Wednesday, but was postponed because of a thunderstorm.

Rubin, whose right sneaker fell apart during a point in the second set, was scheduled to play his third-round match later Thursday against 16th seed Andrey Rublev.

Alex de Minaur eliminated No. 11 Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-5, and No. 10 Stefanos Tsisipas beat James Duckworth 6-3, 6-4.

In the women's draw, Nao Hibino withdrew before her match against No. 6 seed Belinda Bencic because of an injured abdominal muscle. Two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova won, as did No. 7 seed Donna Vekic, who edged Fanny Stollar 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (13).

The Zverevs' contest was the first brother vs. brother match on tour since Gerald Melzer beat Jurgen Melzer in the quarterfinals at Kitzbuhel, Austria, two years ago.

Mischa is ranked No. 42, is a lefty, likes to go to the net and is 6-foot-3.

Alexander is No. 3, a righty, prefers baseline exchanges and is 6-foot-6.

What they have in common is so compelling.

While there have been some famous sets of siblings in tennis — the Williams sisters and McEnroe brothers come to mind immediately, of course — it is rather rare for two people from one family to reach the highest level of any professional sport. Consider this: When each Zverev reached the third round at the French Open in June, they were the first pair of brothers to make it that far in Paris in 39 years.

The Zverevs have helped each other along the way, practicing together for years. They're also doubles partners in Washington.

"On the practice court, when we played, it was always serious," Alexander said. "It was never like, 'Oh, he's younger than me, so I'm just going to give him a few points here and a few points there.' When he could, he would try to beat me 6-0, 6-1."


Update August 2 , 2018

Moment of magic from Kohli stops England in their tracks

England captain Joe Root is run out after a throw from India captain Virat Kohli on day one of the First Test match at Edgbaston, Birmingham, Wednesday Aug. 1. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

Birmingham, England (AP) — A moment of magic from Virat Kohli helped give India the upper hand on the opening day of the first cricket test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Home team England were in command after winning the toss in their 1,000th test match, but captain Kohli swooped on the ball with the score on 216-3, running out opposite number Joe Root for 80 with a direct-hit throw on the turn from midwicket after Jonny Bairstow had called for an ambitious two.

Root's dismissal sparked a collapse as England lost six wickets for 67 runs to end the day on 285-9.

Behind Root as he walked back to the pavilion, Kohli celebrated by blowing a kiss, mouthing some fruity advice and putting his finger to his lips.

He also produced a 'bat-drop' mime to mock a similar gesture last month from the England captain, after he had helped clinch the one-day series in Leeds with a second successive hundred for the hosts.

Bairstow, who had shared a stand of 104 for the fourth wicket with Root, chopped a ball from Umesh Yadav on to his stumps for 70 before Jos Buttler was trapped lbw by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for nought.

Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid and Stuart Broad then also fell cheaply, leaving Sam Curran 24 not out at stumps alongside James Anderson (0).

Curran was given a lucky let-off when he was dropped by the diving wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik off Shami's penultimate ball of the day.

Ashwin was the chief destroyer for India, taking 4-60, while fast bowler Mohammed Shami chipped in with 2-64 on a wicket of even pace and true bounce that was good for batting.

India's powerful top-order will now be expected to pile on the runs when they bat.

Root was extremely disappointed to fall 20 runs short of his 14th test century, but he achieved a notable milestone, displacing Alastair Cook as England's quickest to 6,000 runs in this format.

Only Cook (13) fell in the first session of the day, his front-foot defence defeated by a perfect off-break from Ashwin as he was clean bowled in the seventh over.

Keaton Jennings survived on nine when Ajinkya Rahane dived in front of Kohli in the slips, but could not hold the edge.

The return of Shami for his second spell did for Jennings (42) and ended a 72-run second-wicket stand with Root in curious circumstances.

The opener pushed the ball down into his crease and then on to his foot before it trickled back on to the base of the stumps.

Dawid Malan then fell lbw to Shami for eight to leave England on 112-3.

"It is an opportunity missed," Jennings said of England's batting display. "It was a mixed-bag day. Hopefully we can come out tomorrow and land the ball in the right area.

"Unfortunately, that's cricket," he added of Root's run out. "It was a little bit sombre (in the dressing room after)."

India caused a surprise at the start by picking only one spin bowler.

"You can't say that we will miss an extra spinner," said Ashwin. "We have to play with what we have got, believe in the team selection and work harder, without thinking of what you are missing."


Jutanugarn adapting to links ahead of Women's British Open

In this Sunday, July 29, 2018 photo, Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn putts on the 16th green during day four of the 2018 Women's Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club, in East Lothian, Scotland. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)

Steve Douglas

Lytham & St. Annes, England (AP) - Ariya Jutanugarn is coming round reluctantly to the quirky nature of links golf and that makes the world's No. 1 player an even more dangerous prospect heading into the Women's British Open this week.

In the early stage of her career, Jutanugarn refused to adapt to the fierce winds and undulating fairways that define links courses, and it came at a cost.

"I try to hit the ball so hard," the Thai player said of her past mindset when playing links golf, "and even when the wind blows really hard like right to left, I'm not going to aim right. I'm just going to go at the pin and miss like 30 yards left."

Not anymore.

And the turning point might have come last week at the Ladies Scottish Open.

Jolted by the "yells" of her caddy, Jutanugarn finally started to modify her game by factoring in the wind and playing what she described as "half shots" and "defend shots." The result? A one-stroke win for her first ever title on a links course, a feat she thought she'd never achieve.

It fuels her belief that she can add another victory on the links at Royal Lytham & St. Annes when the fourth major of the year starts on Thursday.

"I feel more comfortable," said Jutanugarn, who won the Women's British Open in 2016 when it was staged on a parkland course at Woburn. "I feel better. But I think this type of golf course might not be the one that (I) say, 'Oh, I love this one.' It might not be that way. But I'm getting better."

There has never been more depth to the women's game — 18 different players won in the first 20 events on the LPGA Tour this season — yet it feels like the 22-year-old Jutanugarn is still standing out above the rest.

She has won three times this season, including the U.S. Women's Open in June, and last week's victory in Scotland put her back atop the rankings for the second time in her career. The first time was in June 2017 and it lasted only two weeks, as she struggled to deal with her new-found status and went on to miss the cut at the remaining major championships that year.

There's a widespread feeling that Jutanugarn, now more mature and disciplined, might stay there longer this time.

"Maybe because last year, one of the goals I told my caddie (was) I want to be No. 1 one time in my life. I don't care how long it be, but I want to be," she said. "... So I think that is not the one I'm thinking about, like No. 1 or anything. So right now I feel OK."

The key this week for Jutanugarn and the other 143 players in the field in northwest England will be staying out of the 206 bunkers dotted around Lytham, which is hosting the tournament for the fourth time.

Defending champion In-Kyung Kim said it is her "favorite golf course in the entire world" despite misery at Lytham in the past, including her first experience there in 2009.

"I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' It was true links," Kim said. "I was going into every bunker and I just cried like crazy because I've never experienced not getting out of a bunker. A lot of times I can get out of it, but not here."

"It's very tight golf course," the South Korean added, "and I think it suits my game very well. But at the same time if I don't execute it well, then I'll get punished."

The only member of the world's top 20 missing this week is No. 5 Lexi Thompson, who is taking time out to "recharge my mental batteries" after a tough 18 months that included getting a four-stroke penalty which cost her victory at the ANA Inspiration last year.

It deprives the United States of its best golfer as the country seeks a first Women's British Open champion since Mo Martin in 2014.


De Kock leads South Africa home in 2nd ODI vs Sri Lanka

 

Sri Lanka's Akila Dananjaya follows the ball after playing a shot against South Africa during the second one-day international cricket match in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Aug. 1. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Dambulla, Sri Lanka (AP) — South African opener Quinton de Kock hit 87 to set up a comfortable four-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the second one-day international on Wednesday.

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka made 244 for eight in 50 overs, with captain Angelo Mathews scoring an unbeaten 79.

South Africa then reached their target with 43 deliveries to spare. Captain Faf du Plessis hammered 49 in 41 balls with 2 sixes and 3 fours, while Akila Dananjaya took 3-60.

De Kock struck 13 fours and 1 six in his 78-ball innings and was named man of the match. He shared a stand of 91 for the first wicket with Hashim Amla (43).

Earlier, Mathews combined with Niroshan Dickwella (69) to help Sri Lanka post a respectable total after having slipped to 56-3. The two men added 67 for the fourth wicket.

Fast bowlers Andile Phehlukwayo and Lungi Ngidi claimed three wickets each.

Sri Lanka handed first one-day caps to fast bowler Kasun Rajitha and left-arm spinner Prabhath Jayasuriya, while South Africa picked an unchanged side.

South Africa lead the five-match series 2-0. The third game is in Kandy on Sunday.


Murray edges Edmund at Citi Open; Zverev brothers to meet

Britain’s Andy Murray gestures during his match against fellow countryman Kyle Edmund during the Citi Open tennis tournament Wednesday, Aug. 1, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Howard Fendrich

Washington (AP) — Andy Murray is showing signs of returning to his old form, right down to the return winner he delivered on the last point of his first victory over a top-20 player in more than a year.

Murray took a more aggressive approach as he works his way back from hip surgery and moved into the third round at the Citi Open by beating No. 4 seed Kyle Edmund 7-6 (4), 1-6, 6-4 on Wednesday.

Murray is a three-time major champion and former No. 1 who was sidelined for 11 months because of his right hip. He missed the second half of 2017, had an operation in January, then returned to the tour briefly in June. One of his three matches that month was a loss on a grass court to Edmund, the Australian Open semifinalist who has supplanted Murray as Britain's highest-ranked man.

When they played last time, Murray, said, "Any time Kyle was dictating the points, I wasn't tracking enough balls down. I felt a bit slow to the balls. Today, I was able to defend and dig up a few more shots and that made a big difference."

There is still work to be done by Murray, of course. He is ranked 832nd, has played only five matches in 12 months, and needed three sets for each of his victories in Washington's hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open.

Unlike in his opening match Monday, when he felt he was too defensive, Murray made a point of attacking more against Edmund.

"Regardless of the result, we wanted to at least be dictating more points, trying to use my forehand, be close to the baseline," he said. "And I think I did that, especially in some of the important moments in the third set."

He got the measure of Edmund's serves late, earning two break points at 4-3. Another arrived at 5-4, thanks to a defensive lob that drew a long overhead from Edmund, followed by a double-fault. That brought match point, and Murray pounded a cross-court backhand winner off an 83 mph second serve, then let out a loud yell.

Also moving into the third round was No. 1 seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev, and his next matchup is a rare one: On Thursday, he'll face his older brother, No. 15 seed Mischa. It's their first meeting in an ATP main-draw match.

"It's a special day, because not a lot of families can say two brothers played against each other on a such a high level, in one of the biggest tournaments in the world," said Alexander, who finished off a rain-interrupted 6-2, 6-1 win against Malek Jaziri. "Obviously, we both want to win. We won't give each other anything."

The German siblings, who were taught tennis by their father, paired up Wednesday night as a doubles team.

Seeded players exiting the draw included No. 5 Nick Kyrgios, who withdrew with a hip injury, along with No. 12 Karen Khachanov and No. 14 Jeremy Chardy, who both lost. No. 9 Denis Shapovalov defeated Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; and No. 10 Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Jared Donaldson 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

In the women's field, reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens continued her tendency for all-or-nothing showings at tournaments, losing 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round to 91st-ranked Andrea Petkovic.

Stephens was seeded No. 2 at a tournament she won in 2015 for her first WTA title. Now she'll want to get her game going in the right direction before she begins the defense of her first Grand Slam title on Aug. 27.

"Hopefully," Stephens said, "some things connect in the next couple of weeks."

Her best results this season were a runner-up finish at the French Open and a title at the Miami Open. But take away those tournaments, and the American is 10-11 in 2018, including first-round exits at Wimbledon last month and the Australian Open in January.

Against Petkovic, Stephens put only 59 percent of her first serves in play and was broken four times.

Stephens' loss leaves the Citi Open women's draw without either of its top two seeds; No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki withdrew Tuesday because of a leg injury.


Update August 1 , 2018

Boyd throws 8 scoreless innings, Tigers beat Cincinnati 2-1

Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd throws to a Cincinnati Reds batter during the second inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, July 31. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Noah Trister

Detroit (AP) — Matthew Boyd allowed four hits in eight scoreless innings, and Niko Goodrum homered in the fourth to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Homer Bailey (1-8) retired his first 11 batters before Goodrum went deep for his 10th home run of the year. The Tigers never gave up the lead. Boyd struck out seven and walked one before being lifted after 105 pitches.

Shane Greene allowed a run in the ninth but held on for his 22nd save in 25 chances. The game took just 2 hours, 18 minutes.

Boyd (6-9) won his second straight start after going seven in a row without a victory.

Bailey allowed only a hit and a walk through the first seven innings, but the Tigers added two more hits in the eighth, including an RBI double by Mike Gerber. Bailey did end up with his seventh career complete game and first since 2014.

The Reds nearly took the lead in the fourth when Phillip Ervin and Joey Votto hit consecutive one-out doubles, but it appeared Votto's drive might be caught, so Ervin only made it from second to third, and Cincinnati wasn't able to get him home.

In the second, Eugenio Suarez was thrown out at the plate by Detroit center fielder JaCoby Jones.

Suarez hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

The Tigers improved to 2-9 in interleague play this year, and the Reds fell to 10-4.


England choose lone spinner Rashid vs India in 1,000th test

India captain Virat Kohli listens to questions during a media event at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Tuesday July 31. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

Birmingham, England (AP) — England are going into their 1,000th cricket test match with Adil Rashid as their lone frontline spinner and Jos Buttler as vice-captain for the five-game series against India.

The first test starts Wednesday at Edgbaston.

"Looking at the surface, we've decided we only want to go with one spinner, and that's going to be Adil," England captain Joe Root said Tuesday.

"With the amount of right-handers in what we think is going to be India's team, he gives us a very attacking option."

Leg-spinner Rashid will earn his 11th test cap — and the first on home soil. Fellow spinner Moeen Ali misses out.

While Virat Kohli's top-ranked India are often more comfortable with spin, the tourists have toiled on England's greentop pitches which can offer more of a seam and swing threat.

India lost the past two test series in England in 2011 and 2014, and last won in 2007. However, the series could be closely fought if the Twenty20 and ODI contests in July are anything to go by.

India won the T20 series 2-1 before England rallied strongly to win the one-dayers by the same score after losing the first ODI by eight wickets.

The selection of Rashid has proved divisive after he signed a white-ball only deal with Yorkshire earlier this year, with Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott among former Yorkshire and England players critical of the decision.

Rashid last played in a test in December 2016 — against India.

Buttler made a surprise return to the format earlier this summer. He is already deputy to Eoin Morgan in white-ball cricket, and Root looks on the 27-year-old Buttler as a possible future test captain.

"He's obviously vice-captain of the white-ball side. He thinks extremely well about the game, and has a huge amount of respect within the dressing room," Root said.

"Looking very long term, 5 to 10 years, I see him as someone who can really drive this team forward — and I think it's a great opportunity for him to start doing that now."

James Anderson has assisted Root since the start of the last Ashes series after Ben Stokes was dropped from the role following a late-night incident outside a Bristol nightclub last September.

Stokes' trial — on a charge of affray — begins on Monday and the all-rounder will miss the second test at Lord's, which gets underway on Aug. 9.

England announced their selection a day early. Along with Ali, Essex seamer Jamie Porter was the other player to miss out from the 13-man squad, with Surrey left-armer Sam Curran retained.

Kohli plans to shut out the commentary and trust his instincts after struggling on his previous trip to England in 2014, averaging 13.4, compared to his career output of 53.4.

"Back in the day, when I did not know better, these things used to bother me because I used to read a lot," said the 29-year-old batsman. "But ... I genuinely don't read anything ... I have no idea what's going on.

"If I waste my energy on all these things, I'm compromising on my mindset already because when I walk out to bat I have the bat in hand, not people who sit on the outside who write and predict things."

India will not name their team until Wednesday morning, but are likely to select two spinners from Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav.

___

England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.


Murray tests hip, comes back to edge McDonald in Washington

Andy Murray, of Great Britain, returns against Mackenzie McDonald during the first round of the Citi Open tennis tournament, Monday, July 30, in Washington. Murray won 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Howard Fendrich

Washington (AP) — Andy Murray let out one yell, then another, and violently pumped his right fist. Quite a reaction, considering this was merely a first-round victory over an inexperienced opponent who recently cracked the top 100 for the first time.

Still, this meant something to Murray. It was a test of his surgically repaired hip, and he put aside a deficit and some real rust to win his first hard-court match in nearly 1 years, coming back at the Citi Open to edge Mackenzie McDonald of the U.S. 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

"I enjoyed getting through that one — obviously, you see by the celebration," Murray said after a match that began a little past 10 p.m. Monday because of a rain delay, and ended at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.

"It was great to get through that one," he said, "but in terms of the actual way that I went about the match and played the match, I wasn't that happy with it."

There were stretches when Murray looked very much like exactly what he is at the moment: a guy working his back from an operation in January. Particularly when he was failing to convert any of the five match points he held while serving for the win at 5-4 in the final set. He won on his seventh, though.

Murray is a former No. 1 who owns two Wimbledon trophies plus another from the U.S. Open. But he's ranked just 832nd now, on account of so much time away. He sat out the second half of last season because of the bad hip, and then didn't compete this year until June.

This match was only Murray's fourth of 2018. No. 5 will come in the second round of the Citi Open against Kyle Edmund, the man who overtook him as Britain's top-ranked man during Murray's injury absence.

"I'll certainly have to play better tennis," Murray said.

He pulled out of Wimbledon on July 1 because, he said at the time, it "might be a bit too soon in the recovery process" for his hip to try to compete in best-of-five-set matches.

Against McDonald, he said, "the movements and stuff were fine. I chased balls down. Obviously lasted pretty well."

Murray played just fine for the opening 10 minutes, breaking for a 2-0 lead. And then his game devolved for quite a lengthy spell into a ragged display, filled with six double-faults — two in a row to get broken to 2-1 — and shots that missed the mark.

The 23-year-old McDonald, a Californian who won NCAA singles and doubles titles at UCLA, made it to the fourth round at the All England Club this month, the first time he had made it that far at a major tournament. That put him into the top 100, and he's now 80th.

He took six of seven games in one stretch and was actually one point from serving for the victory, holding a break point while already ahead by a set and 4-3 in the second. Eventually, Murray righted himself, just before rain returned.

In other matches, Noah Rubin got past Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-4, Tim Smyczek beat Ricardas Berankis 7-6 (4), 6-2, and Malek Jaziri defeated Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1. Rubin now faces No. 2 seed John Isner, Jaziri plays No. 1 seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev, while Smyczek meets Zverev's older brother, No. 15 seed Mischa.

In women's results, two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Kristie Ahn 6-2, 6-1, Katie Boulter eliminated No. 5 seed Aleksandra Krunic 6-2, 6-0, and Andrea Petkovic defeated Jamie Loeb 6-1, 6-1.


Nibali has 'successful' surgery on broken back

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Milan (AP) — Vincenzo Nibali will return to training in a few days after undergoing back surgery following a crash in the Tour de France.

Nibali broke his 10th vertebra on the famous climb up to Alpe d'Huez on July 19 when a fan caught their camera strap on his handlebars.

The Bahrain Merida team says its 33-year-old rider "has undergone a successful surgery" at the La Madonnina clinic in Milan.

The statement on Tuesday adds that the operation "consisted of the injection of biocompatible cement into the body of the vertebra."

Nibali will be released on Wednesday and can return to training on a static bike in a few days. He will then resume training on the road with an eye on the Spanish Vuelta, starting Aug. 25, as well as the World Championships road race on Sept. 30.

Nibali won the Tour de France in 2014 and the Giro d'Italia twice, in 2013 and 2016. He won the Vuelta in 2010.


Update July 31 , 2018

Neymar admits exaggerated reactions at World Cup in ad

Brazilian football star Neymar reacts to a tackle during the FIFA World Cup quarter-final match against Belgium in Kazan, Russia, July 6. (AP Foto/Francisco Seco)

Mauricio Savarese

Sao Paulo (AP) — Neymar used a sponsor's ad to admit he exaggerated some of his reactions after being fouled during the World Cup in Russia. The video, published Sunday and broadcast on several Brazilian TV networks, features the striker accepting criticism for the first time and promising to pick himself up.

The striker scored two goals in the tournament and was not too disappointing until his team got knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals, but fans and players have spoken much more about his theatrics on the pitch, which included dives, rolling and frequent arguing with referees.

"You may think I exaggerate. And sometimes I do exaggerate. But the truth is I suffer on the pitch," Neymar said in the ad sponsored by personal care products maker Gillette.

Since Brazil's elimination, Neymar only spoke about the defeat in Russia via Instagram. In the ad he tried to explain why he did not speak right after the Belgium game, which fostered even more criticism of his behavior at home.

"When I leave without giving interviews it is not because I only want the victory laurels. It is because I still haven't learned to disappoint you. When I look impolite, it is not because I am a spoiled kid. It is because I have not learned how to be frustrated," the player said.

Neymar said his football style is akin to a boy's that "sometime charms the world, sometimes irritates the whole world." ''I fight to keep that boy alive inside of me, but not on the pitch," he said.

"You may think I fall too much," Neymar continued. "But the truth is I did not fall. I fell apart," he said, in a reference to Brazil's quarter-finals elimination against Belgium.  "That hurts more than any step on an operated ankle."

The piece ends with Neymar's pledge to be a new man less than a month after Brazil was knocked out of the World Cup.

"I took long to accept your criticism. I took long to look at myself in the mirror and become a new man," Neymar said. "I fell, but only who falls can pick himself up."

Neymar ends his ad asking fans to make a choice.

"You can keep casting stones. Or throw these stones away and help me stand. When I stand, all of Brazil stands with me," he said.

On July 20, at his first public appearance after the World Cup, Neymar did not talk about his exaggerations. Instead, he said he wasn't upset with critics that made fun of his theatrics in Russia.


Bad news for Vettel is Hamilton gets stronger after F1 break

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain gestures after winning the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, northeast of Budapest, Sunday, July 29. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

Jerome Pugmire

Budapest, Hungary (AP) — The bad news for Sebastian Vettel is that Lewis Hamilton usually gets stronger after Formula One's summer break.

Hamilton leads second-placed Vettel by 24 points after winning the past two races, and the German driver needs little reminding his British rival turned around a 14-point deficit at the same stage last year to take the title by 46.

"The second half is always exciting, it's always intense. It gets a bit better on our side," said Hamilton, who won Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position.

"We need to apply more pressure in the second half. This is where we need to turn up the heat."

Two weeks ago, he and his Mercedes team were trailing Vettel and Ferrari in the drivers' and constructors' championships.

Ferrari was lapping up the compliments about having the quickest car on the circuit and Vettel seemed in the ascendancy after taking a superb pole in Germany.

With Hamilton 14th on the grid, because of a hydraulic failure , questions were being asked about the car's reliability.

But thanks to his exquisite driving, and mistakes by Vettel and his team, the situation has turned back in favor of Mercedes.

For all of Ferrari's new-found speed — estimated at times to be nearly 0.5 seconds quicker than Mercedes on some sectors of the track — Vettel remains prone to lapses in concentration and his team makes sloppy errors.

On Sunday, Ferrari botched the pit stops of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen after struggling to fit a tire quickly enough.

Raikkonen also had to drive the whole race — nearly 1 hour, 40 minutes in sweltering heat — without fluids after his team failed to properly attach his drinking bottle.

Earlier in the season, a mechanic's leg was broken by the Finnish driver's car following an unsafe pit release at the Bahrain GP.

In Hungary, Ferrari looked strong in practice only to wilt when rain fell in qualifying . This essentially handed Mercedes a 1-2 on the starting grid, with Valtteri Bottas alongside Hamilton.

In the previous race, rain again played havoc at Hockenheim as a nervy Vettel crashed near the end of the German GP. He had been ahead by almost 10 seconds and under no pressure.

Vettel, however, is convinced he can win the title.

"The pendulum seems to swing once this side, once that side," he said after finishing second on Sunday. "Consistency is the key. I didn't do myself a favor (in Germany) but it is part of racing."

Raikkonen's form is encouraging. While the 38-year-old driver has not won since the opening day of the 2013 season — when driving for Lotus — his third place in Hungary was a fifth consecutive podium finish, and eighth in 12 races.

Overall, he is 14 points ahead of fourth-place Bottas. Ten points separate Mercedes and Ferrari, and Raikkonen's consistency could prove vital in helping his team land its first constructors' title since 2008.

Vettel hopes points will flow freely, once glitches are ironed out.

"Last year we lost the championship because our car wasn't quick enough in the final part of the season," he said. "This year has shown our car is more efficient, our car is stronger and still has a lot of potential to unleash. So I'm quite confident with what's in the pipeline."


QB Matt Ryan looks to regain his MVP form with Falcons

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan. (AP Photo/File)

Paul Newberry

Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP) — Matt Ryan is eager to regain his MVP form with the Atlanta Falcons.

It sure seems possible with Julio Jones in camp, first-round pick Calvin Ridley ready to make an impact and — perhaps most important — a full season in the books with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.

While Ryan put up his seventh straight year with more than 4,000 yards through the air, he didn't come close to matching the best season of his career under previous coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

In 2017, Ryan's yardage dipped significantly (4,944 to 4,095). So did his TDs (38 to 20) and quarterback rating (117.1 to 91.4). His interceptions went up (7 to 12).

Most tellingly, the Falcons went from leading the league in scoring (33.75 points per game) to a middle-of-the-pack 15th position (22.06). Coming off an MVP season, Ryan wasn't even in the conversation for the league's top player.

The slide in production had some people wondering if head coach Dan Quinn would give Sarkisian another chance .

But Quinn was mindful that Shanahan's first season in Atlanta also was a bit of a struggle. He found his groove in 2016, overseeing a dynamic offense that helped carry the Falcons all the way to the Super Bowl and earn Shanahan his first head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers.

"I've got a lot of confidence," Ryan said of Year 2 with Sarkisian. "Obviously, I think Sark is a lot more comfortable with the personnel, knowing what guys to use in certain situations. I think that just comes with experience. We all kind of have a feel for his flavor as well. I think he did a great job for us last year and will continue to do a great job this year."

Quinn is certainly expecting a more comfortable relationship between Ryan and Sarkisian. For good measure, the Falcons also hired Greg Knapp, a former Atlanta offensive coordinator, to serve as quarterbacks coach.

"Like most relationships, there's probably some situations that you need to go through together," Quinn said. "OK, how did that person respond? How did he get through it? Generally as it goes, the communication improves."

For a while, it looked as though Ryan might have to make do without one of the league's top receivers .

Unhappy with his contract, Jones skipped offseason workouts in Atlanta as well as a mandatory minicamp. But on the eve of training camp, he agreed to report after the Falcons figured out a way to give him a bit more money this season, along with a promise to negotiate a new deal in 2019.

No one was more pleased than Ryan to have No. 11 on the receiving end of his throws.

"He's the best teammate you could ask for," Ryan said. "He's just a great worker and such a good teacher for the young guys, too."

Jones is already spreading his knowledge to Ridley , who is expected to take over the third receiver role filled so ably the past two years by Taylor Gabriel.

Ryan is impressed by what he's seen so far from the rookie.

"He's a talented player who can do a lot of different things," Ryan said. "Certainly through the offseason and through the first couple of days of camp, he showcased his talent level. I kind of see him having a really good year for us and really fitting in with the receiving corps that we have."

Ryan certainly has no complaints about his contract. He expects to remain with the Falcons for the rest of his career after signing a new five-year, $150 million deal, the most lucrative in NFL history and the first with $100 million in guaranteed earnings.

To justify all that money, Ryan is focused on being more efficient in the red zone. Far too many times last season, the Falcons settled for field goals instead of touchdowns after driving inside the 20-yard line.

In the early days of training camp, the team already looks much crisper in those situations.

"A point of emphasis for us is improving in the red area, so we can have more touchdowns than we did last year," Ryan said. "We've got a lot of work to do before the season, but it's a good start."

With Jones, Ridley and Mohammad Sanu catching passes, an offensive line bolstered by the signing of free-agent guard Brandon Fusco, and a dynamic backfield duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, Ryan certainly has plenty of options at his disposal.

Enough to play like an MVP.

"We've got a really, really scary offense," Freeman said.


Gracious in defeat, Froome set to aim again at Tour glory

Sky teammates Geraint Thomas, left, and Chris Froome toast with Champagne during the 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, Sunday, July 29. (Marco Bertorello, Pool via AP)

Samuel Petrequin

Paris (AP) — Sitting alone and unnoticed behind a giant board during the Tour de France winner's news conference, Chris Froome patiently listened to Geraint Thomas's answers.

It was an unfamiliar position for Froome, who for the first time in four years did not occupy the podium's first place at cycling's biggest race on Sunday.

Froome, who failed in his bid to win the Tour for a record-equaling fifth time, ended the race in third place, 2 minutes, 24 seconds behind his team Sky teammate Thomas. The 33-year-old Froome also came short in his attempt to win both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same season, but there was no hard feeling.

"After he won the Giro, Chris came here to win the race, that's for sure," Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said. "He did not come here to be third on the podium. But when he realized Geraint was the strongest, he did not start sulking at the back of the bus. Not at all. He said: 'I will now ride as a teammate and I'll do my best for Geraint and the team because of all the work you did for me over the past years'."

Froome was subjected to abuse by some fans on the roads of France this summer after being cleared of a doping case only days before the start. He said he was repeatedly spat at and that spectators punched him and tried to make him fall off his bike.

He crashed in the opening stage — not because of fans — and lost 51 seconds, and he hit the ground again on the cobbled stage in northern France. Froome's fate was sealed in the Pyrenees, where he was dropped by his rivals during Stage 17 to the Col du Portet, but still managed to snatch a place on the tour podium with an impressive effort in the final time trial.

"I've had quite a few emotions throughout this race, moments of disappointment, crashing, moments of joy when we've won stages and taken the yellow jersey," said Froome, who rode the whole season under the cloud of a possible suspension. "That's bike racing. Like any Grand Tour, this has been a roller coaster with ups and downs."

Froome has been the dominant Grand Tour rider in recent years and started as the race's favorite once again, only to be eclipsed by Thomas.

Despite his failure, Froome still believes a double Tour-Giro remains possible. Only seven riders have done it, and the last to achieve the feat was the late Marco Pantani in 1998. This season, Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin also competed at both races and finished second at both.

"Interesting that you mentioned Tom as well, for him to be second in both Grand Tours, I think that it shows it is possible to do both of the races at a really high level, which only leads me to believe it is possible to do both of them," Froome said.

Froome did not reveal whether he would try again for the double next year. It's more likely he will focus on the Tour solely to match the record of five wins shared by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

"I really don't believe Chris is on a downhill trend," Brailsford said. "It was just a blip. He went through an extremely difficult time and still won the Giro. He was obviously disappointed here, but he was dignified throughout. There is no doubt he wants to win a fifth Tour and I believe it's possible."


Update July 30 , 2018

Hamilton wins Hungarian GP to extend lead over rival Vettel

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG GP steers his car during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit, in Mogyorod, northeast of Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, July 29. (Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP)

Jerome Pugmire

Budapest, Hungary (AP) — Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday to extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton was untroubled as he secured a second straight win, fifth of the season and 67th overall.

But Mercedes missed out on a 1-2 as Valtteri Bottas was overtaken by Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen with five laps to go.

Bottas and Vettel touched during the overtaking move, with some debris flying off the Mercedes.

"I got a hit from behind. I wasn't sure what was going on," Vettel said. "Lucky that the car wasn't broken and we could carry on."

In a dramatic finish, Bottas lost control of his car as he bumped Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull off the track as he was about to be overtaken.

Bottas was told on team radio to give the position back to Ricciardo, who finished a commendable fourth after starting 12th. Bottas risked further penalty after being summoned to speak to stewards over the incident.

Ricciardo's teammate, Max Verstappen, launched a series of expletives after engine failure curtailed his race after eight laps.

It is the fourth time Verstappen has failed to finish this season. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner blamed the Renault engine as being substandard. Red Bull is splitting with Renault and working with Honda next season.

Hamilton now leads Vettel by 24 points after 12 of 21 races. They will continue their battle for a fifth F1 title when the championship resumes at the Belgian GP on Aug. 26.

Vettel and Raikkonen drove well considering both endured a botched pit stop because of a slow tire change.

Ferrari team strategy meant Raikkonen pitted twice for new tires and — on a scorching hot day — Ferrari bafflingly forgot to properly attach his drinks supply.

Hamilton secured pole with a brilliant last lap in the rain on Saturday, while Vettel started a modest fourth behind Raikkonen and Bottas.

The long straight up to Turn 1 was Ferrari's best and — ultimately — only chance of overtaking Hamilton. But he comfortably held position while Vettel jumped ahead of Raikkonen and almost caught Bottas.


Undeterred by skeptical fans, Thomas takes Tour title

Tour de France winner Britain's Geraint Thomas, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, passes the Arc de Triomphe during the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race on Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Sunday July 29. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Andrew Dampf and Ciaran Fahey

Paris (AP) — The spits and the jeers. The eggs thrown at team cars. The attempts to unbalance riders while riding up the most grueling climbs.

Geraint Thomas never flinched at whatever fans — or his rivals — threw at him or Team Sky.

The Welsh rider was the steadiest rider from the start, the strongest in the Alps and the Pyrenees. On Sunday he concluded his transformation from a support rider into a champion of cycling's biggest race by claiming his first Tour de France title.

"With the boys, that's the main thing for the whole three weeks, we stuck together through some tough times, stayed strong," Thomas said. "Everything just clicked this race."

Thomas successfully defended his lead of 1 minute, 51 seconds over second-placed Tom Dumoulin in the mostly ceremonial final stage.

Four-time champion Chris Froome, Thomas's teammate, finished third, 2:24 behind. Froome rode next to Thomas as they crossed the line and applauded.

Thomas was a support rider during Froome's four victories but he emerged as Sky's strongest rider in this race when Froome crashed early on and couldn't keep up in the mountains.

Sky — and consequently Thomas — became a target for many fans due to an asthma drug case involving Froome, stemming from last year's Spanish Vuelta. Even though Froome was cleared of doping days before the start of the Tour, that didn't stop some fans from abusing the British team's riders throughout the three-week race.

"When there is negativity like that, it brings us as a team closer together," Froome said. "It feels like it's us against the rest of the world. ... You can choose to let it get to you or you can choose to let it motivate you, and we let it motivate us."

Thomas stormed into the lead by winning back-to-back mountain stages in the Alps, including the iconic climb up Alpe d'Huez, then defended his advantage in the Pyrenees.

During the podium ceremony, Thomas draped the flag of Wales over his shoulders, then ended his victory speech with a mic drop.

"All I can say is that I do it the right way," Thomas said when asked about concerns of alleged doping within Sky. "We train super hard and there's nothing I can say that will prove it. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing. It will stand the test of time."

An all-around rider who began his career on the track, the 32-year-old Thomas helped Britain to gold medals in team pursuit at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics before turning his full attention to road racing.

"I have my own goals and I kept doing what I'm doing and kept focused on that. ... Obviously it's not nice to hear (the jeers) but I do what I do and focus on myself," Thomas said. "It's easy to get wrapped up in or get angry or depressed but I stay in my own world."

Riding a yellow bicycle to match his yellow jersey, Thomas shared glasses of champagne with his teammates during the casual ride into Paris before buckling down to keep up with the other leaders on the jarring cobblestones of the Champs-Elysees.

"It's going to take a while to sink in," Thomas said. "Normally that stage is really hard but today I just seemed to float around it. I had goose bumps going around there. The support from the Welsh, British flags. ... To ride around wearing this (yellow jersey) is a dream."

Norwegian rider Alexander Kristoff with UAE Team Emirates won the last stage in a sprint finish, narrowly beating John Degenkolb and Arnaud Demare.

"I've dreamed about this victory for many years," Kristoff said. "I've been close many times before but never managed to beat the faster guys like (Mark) Cavendish, (Andre) Greipel, or (Marcel) Kittel, but today they're not here, they're out after the mountains, and today I was the fastest, so I'm super happy."

The mostly flat 116-kilometer leg began in Houilles just outside Paris and concluded with nine laps up and down the Champs-Elysees.

Many spectators along the Champs-Elysees held their arms high to record the riders on their smart phones as they went past on the cobblestones, and there were more cheers when 11 jets flew overhead leaving trails in the blue, white and red colors of the French flag.

Street vendors sold chicken, sausages, waffles, cake and sweets, while the smell of crepes filled the air.

Glenn Roberts, from Newtown in mid-Wales, was in attendance with his wife and children. The family timed its summer vacation to coincide with the Tour's finish.

"Thomas was in the yellow when we left Wales but we didn't know if he was going to keep it. We thought Froome was going to win it, if I'm being honest," Roberts said. "It's the best thing a Welshman has ever done in sport."


Jutanugarn wins Ladies Scottish Open for 10th LPGA title

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn holds the trophy after winning the Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club, Gullane, Scotland, Sunday July 29. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)

Gullane, Scotland (AP) — Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn hit six birdies in a final round 5-under 66 to win the Ladies Scottish Open by one shot on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Jutanugarn held off the challenge of Australian Minjee Lee at Gullane to claim her 10th LPGA title and third this year.

Jutanugarn finished on 13-under 271 and is projected to move top of the world rankings, ahead of South Koreans Inbee Park and Sung Hyun Park. She last held the No. 1 spot for two weeks in June 2017— the first Thai golfer to top the rankings.

"It means a lot to me, it's like my dream come true," the Bangkok-born Jutanugarn told lpga.com.

"I told my caddie this week, 'I want to win on a links course one time in my life,' and I did it so (I feel) pretty good."

Runner-up Lee remained in close pursuit of Jutanugarn throughout Sunday but was unable to make up a one-shot overnight deficit.

Lee produced a bogey-free 66 but couldn't do enough after her third-round 71.

Jutanugarn has also won the Kingsmill Championship and U.S. Women's Open this year.

South Koreans Jin Young Ko (67) and Haeji Kang (69) finished tied for third on 8 under, while their compatriot Amy Yang dropped to joint fifth.

Yang, who shared the overnight lead with Jutanugarn, carded a 1-over 72 to finish tied for fifth with Spaniard Carlota Ciganda.

Beating Jutanugarn was always going to be a tough challenge. She has now won her last nine tournaments when heading into the final round with at least a share of the lead.

American golfer Tiffany Joh (70), who shot a 9-under 62 on Thursday and a 9-over 80 on Saturday, tied for eighth with compatriot Jacqui Concolino and South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace.


Mikey Garcia trounces Robert Easter, nabs IBF 135-pound belt

Mikey Garcia, left, hits Robert Easter Jr. during the 12th round of their WBC and IBF lightweight title bout in Los Angeles, Saturday, July 28. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Los Angeles (AP) — Mikey Garcia added the IBF lightweight belt to his WBC title on Saturday night, dominating the previously unbeaten Robert Easter for a clear unanimous decision victory.

Garcia (39-0) knocked down Easter in the third round and controlled long stretches of the bout at Staples Center. He unified the two 135-pound titles with flair in his first fight in his native California in seven years.

The judges all favored Garcia, scoring it 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109.

The 30-year-old Garcia has been a world champion in four weight classes, and his combination of precision and power was too much for Easter (21-1). Garcia knocked down Easter with a nasty left hook in the third round and nearly finished the bout moments later.

Garcia couldn't get his first knockout since January 2017, but still delivered another outstanding performance. His victory in a unification bout put him in a rare collection of talents to accomplish the feat, including Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker and Oscar De La Hoya. The bout was also the first time two previously unbeaten boxers had fought in a lightweight unification bout.

"It's a great accomplishment being here in LA," Garcia said. "I was in control most of the fight, and I did what I had to do. I knew he was a tough opponent. He's a tough warrior. He gave a great fight but I was a better fighter. I was in control of the fight and I did what I had to do to win."

Easter was knocked down for only the second time in his career after a strong right jab set up Garcia's devastating left hook late in the third round.

Garcia also got better as the fight progressed. In the final four rounds, Garcia out-landed Easter 95-34 in total punches and ended the fight being the more active fighter, throwing 555 punches to Easter's 507.

"Whenever we step in the ring we are both putting our lives on the line, and tonight Mikey was victorious," Easter said. "I just couldn't find the timing and I just couldn't let my right hand go. He caught me with a clean shot and I went down, but I got up like a true champion."

Garcia had a 2 1/2-year layoff from his sport due to a promoter dispute, but he is 5-0 since returning to the ring in 2016. He is one of only three fighters in modern history to hold world titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds, joining Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao,

Garcia won the vacant IBF 140-pound title in March to become a four-division world champion, only to relinquish the title to return to 135 pounds to face Easter.

Earlier on the Showtime card at Staples Center, heavyweight Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs) landed a straight left hand that sent Romanian Razvan Cojanu (16-4) to the canvas and ultimately ended the fight in the second round in the co-feature.

Both fighters were coming off losses in heavyweight world title fights, and Ortiz was fighting for the first time since challenging Deontay Wilder earlier this year.

Mario Barrios (22-0, 14 KOs) recorded his sixth straight stoppage victory in the eighth round against Jose Roman (24-3-1). Each of the judges had the fight scored 80-70 in favor of Barrios at the time of the stoppage when Roman's corner didn't answer the bell for the ninth round.


South Africa thrash Sri Lanka in 1st ODI

South Africa's Jean-Paul Duminy, right, and Willem Mulder celebrate their victory over Sri Lanka by five wickets in the first one day international cricket match in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 29. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Dambulla, Sri Lanka (AP) — South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka in their opening cricket ODI, reaching the winning target with 19 overs to spare on Sunday.

Sri Lanka chose to bat first but the decision backfired badly with the hosts all out for 193 in 34.3 overs.

In reply, South Africa reached 196-5 in 31 overs to win the first of a five-match series by five wickets.

Undefeated JP Duminy (53 off 32 balls), captain Faf du Plessis (47 off 56) and opener Quinton de Kock (47 off 59) were the main run providers for South Africa.

Sri Lanka were in deep trouble on 36-5 before Kusal Perera (81 off 72) and Thisara Perera (49 off 30) shared a 92-run partnership for the sixth wicket, taking the hosts to 128-6.

Tabraiz Shamsi was chosen ahead of Keshav Maharaj as the lone specialist spinner for South Africa and took 4-33 in 8.3 overs.


Update July 28 - 29 , 2018

Thomas increases Tour lead as Froome loses podium spot

Britain's Geraint Thomas, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, Netherlands' Steven Kruijswijk, right, and Slovenia's Primoz Roglic, center rear, climb Col du Tourmalet pass during the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling, Friday July 27. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Andrew Dampf

Laruns, France (AP) — Geraint Thomas increased his hold on the yellow jersey in the final mountain stage of the Tour de France on Friday, while Sky teammate and four-time champion Chris Froome lost his spot on the podium.

Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic won the 200.5-kilometer 19th leg through the Pyrenees with an attack on the dangerous descent from the Col d'Aubisque.

A former ski jumper who rides for Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, Roglic finished 19 seconds ahead of Thomas, with  Romain Bardet of France crossing third with the same time.

"I had legs today," Roglic said. "I really tried a lot of times and finally I went away on the descent."

With the help of a six-second bonus for finishing second in the stage, Thomas increased his lead over Tom Dumoulin to 2 minutes, 5 seconds.

Roglic leapfrogged Froome into third spot overall, 2:24 off the pace, while the British rider now trails by 2:37.

Dumoulin finished sixth in the stage and Froome eighth, both with the same time as Thomas.

One key stage remains — a 31-kilometer individual time trial through the Basque country on Saturday — before the mostly ceremonial finish in Paris on Sunday.

"It's going to be a tough day tomorrow. I'm really knackered," Thomas said. "I'm still trying not to get carried away."

Froome initially fell behind on the climb up the Aubisque before latching back onto the lead group on the descent.

It was Roglic's second Tour victory, having claimed Stage 17 in the Alps last year.

Roglic, who also excels at time trials, showed courage on a twisty descent made more difficult by clouds and fog hanging over the Aubisque.

When the road allowed, he crouched down on to his bike frame in a risky aerodynamic move known as "super tucking."

The route through the pilgrimage town of Lourdes to Laruns took the peloton over three legendary climbs — the Col d'Aspin, the Col du Tourmalet and the Aubisque — before the dive down to the finish.

Mountain classifications leader Julian Alaphilippe was first over the Aspin and Tourmalet as part of an early breakaway.

Mikel Landa and Bardet then attacked from the yellow jersey group up the Tourmalet and joined the leaders before Roglic, Thomas and Dumoulin took over on the final climb.


Bradley plays last 4 holes in 6 under in Canadian Open

Kevin Tway watches the ball bounce towards the hole on the 16th green during the second round of the Canadian Open golf tournament at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario, Friday July 27. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Oakville, Ontario (AP) — Keegan Bradley played the last four holes in 6 under, making two of his three eagles Friday, to pull within a shot of the lead in the RBC Canadian Open.

Playing alongside leader Kevin Tway at Glen Abbey, Bradley closed birdie-eagle-birdie-eagle for a 9-under 63. He also eagled the par-5 second hole.

"That was wild," Bradley said. "It turned kind of an average day out here into something really special. There's not many courses you can do that on like you can out here. That's what makes it such a great event."

Tway birdied the final hole for a 65 to get to 13 under. He's trying to win for the first time on the PGA Tour in the event his father won 15 years ago at Hamilton for his last victory.

"I talk to dad every day, no matter if I'm home, here," Tway said. "We talk about every round. He can probably tell you what kind of shots I'm hitting just by like watching on TV. He knows what the swing looks like. He's been there throughout, so he's a big key for me."

Bradley holed putts of 10 feet on the par-3 15th, 20 feet on the par-5 16th, 27 feet on the par-4 17th and 20 feet on the par-5 18th — after hitting an approach from 159 yards.

"If you hit a good drive, it's really narrow, you're going to have mid-iron in," Bradley said. "That's why it's a fun par 5 is it's so tight. But I got down there, and I had a perfect number with a wedge and hit it to 20 feet."

He made a 7-footer on No. 2 for the first eagle.

The 32-year-old American won the 2011 PGA Championship and has three PGA Tour victories, the last in the 2012 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

"I've got to just go out and do it now," Bradley said. "I'm at the point where I have to go out and play and contend, so I have a chance this week."

Whee Kim had a 65 to match Bradley at 12 under.

Johnson Wagner (65) and Byeong Hun An (67) were 11 under, and top-ranked Dustin Johnson (66), Zac Blair (67), Joaquin Niemann (67) and Aaron Baddeley (6) followed at 10 under.

Nick Taylor was the top Canadian, shooting a 67 to reach 9 under.

"I hit it great off the tee, which set me up for a lot of short irons, and I gave myself a lot of chances," Taylor said. "I actually missed a couple chances that I had on the back, as well, so I had a lot of chances and it was nice to make a bunch of them."

First-round leader Robert Garrigus also was 9 under, following an opening 63 with a 72.

Two-time defending champion Jhonattan Vegas was 5 under after a 70.

Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka missed the cut.


Vettel quickest for Ferrari in 2nd practice for Hungarian GP

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany prepares during the second free practice session for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, northeast of Budapest, Friday, July 27. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

Jerome Pugmire

Budapest, Hungary (AP) — Sebastian Vettel led second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Mercedes again struggled for speed on Friday.

On a day of mourning for Ferrari, following the death this week of former president Sergio Marchionne, Vettel was faster than Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

The same three drivers had also led first practice hours earlier, with Ricciardo quickest ahead of Vettel and Verstappen.

Vettel's Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, was fourth in both sessions, while Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes colleague Valtteri Bottas twice placed fifth and sixth.

The narrow Hungaroring track is among the most difficult overtaking circuits in Formula One, and considered more favorable to cars with a strong downforce like Red Bull and Ferrari — which clinched a 1-2 last year when Vettel won ahead of Raikkonen.

"I think we can still improve the setup of the car a little bit more and be quicker ... If that will be enough for pole position I'm not sure," said Verstappen, who has won one race this season.

"(The track) is very tight and twisty. Qualifying will be important as it's hard to overtake here, so getting ahead early is vital."

On the evidence of Friday, it appears Mercedes has much work to do to get its car competitive for qualifying on Saturday.

Hamilton, who won last weekend's German GP from 14th on the grid, briefly lost control of his car in P1 and complained about his tires.

"This is a tricky circuit and the tires are overheating; looking after the rear tires is the biggest issue," Hamilton said. "The (warm) temperature and the layout of the track — corner after corner — made it really tricky for the tires, as there's no time for them to cool down."

The British driver leads Vettel by 17 points after 11 of 21 races, with the four-time F1 champions winning four races apiece and retiring once each.

Vettel threw points away by crashing in the rain near the end last weekend. The German driver started from pole and was leading by nearly 10 seconds at the time of the incident.

Following Hungary, there is a four-week summer break.

Amid a somber mood, Ferrari's garage and motorhome flew its flag at half-mast and team members wore black armbands in memory of Marchionne, who died on Wednesday at the age of 66.

Vettel and Raikkonen also had black bands attached to their cars.

Marchionne, a hugely influential and successful automobile industry leader , died after complications from surgery in Zurich.

"We are very shocked. He was a friend and ally, a great rival and competitor and will be dearly missed," Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said.

"Sergio was a larger than life personality. In meetings and in strategy groups, and in negotiations with Formula One and the FIA, (he) had the most powerful voice. His shoes are impossible to fill ... There was only one Sergio Marchionne."


Russia could be reinstated in December, says IAAF

Rune Andersen, Chair of the IAAF Inspection Team.
(AP Photo/Ronald Zak, file)

Buenos Aires, Argentina (AP) — Russia could be provisionally reinstated to worldwide track and field competition in December if it meets certain conditions, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said Friday.

Track and field's governing body suspended Russia in November 2015 after a World Anti-Doping Agency report detailed widespread, state-sponsored doping in the sport.

"They have made significant improvement in meeting the outstanding requirements," Rune Andersen, the IAAF's Russia task force head, said during a two-day meeting in Argentina's capital.

"In fact, in some cases, they have gone above and beyond what is required."

Andersen, however, said three conditions had to be met before Russia could be readmitted to international competition.

Firstly, RUSAF (the Russian Athletics Federation) has to pay for costs incurred by the IAAF as a result of the scandal.

The WADA must also reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), which depends on the country acknowledging the findings that officials at the Russian ministry of sports orchestrated the doping of its athletes, and its cover-up.

Finally, Russian authorities have to give access to data from doping tests carried out at RUSADA's Moscow laboratory from 2011-15.

"It would make a mockery of clean sport to reinstate RUSAF when the evidence required to resolve these suspicions, one way or the other, is still being withheld," Andersen said.

WADA is communicating with Russian authorities to try to resolve these issues before the meeting of the doping agency's executive committee in September.

"We hope there will be a breakthrough," Andersen said. "If these points are resolved before the (IAAF) Council's next meeting in Monaco in December 2018, then the Task Force would hope and expect to be able to recommend that RUSAF would be provisionally reinstated at that time."

The Russian team was banned from the Winter Olympics in February.
 


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Britain's Asher-Smith, Hughes win 100-meter golds at Euros

Andujar & Gray lift Yankees over White Sox

Kroenke set for full ownership of Arsenal after Usmanov deal

Jordan Spieth takes another run at career Grand Slam at PGA


Hall wins Women's British Open for 1st major title

Alvarez KO's Kovalev to win 175-pound title

Thomas doesn't break sweat in winning finale at Firestone

Dutch win 8th Women's World Cup field hockey title

Zverev beats de Minaur for 2nd consecutive Citi Open title


Bogey-free Pornanong leads Women's British Open after 2nd 67

India pinning hopes on Kohli to win gripping test vs England

Thomas, Fleetwood, Poulter share lead at Firestone

Ricciardo to leave Red Bull for Renault at end of F1 season

Defending champ Zverev edges Nishikori in DC QF; Murray out


Poulter leads at 62, with Woods 4 behind at Firestone

Kohli mixes grit, brilliance to play starring role for India

Minjee Lee shoots 7-under 65, leads Women's British Open

Sibling rivalry: Alexander Zverev beats brother Mischa in DC


Moment of magic from Kohli stops England in their tracks

Jutanugarn adapting to links ahead of Women's British Open

De Kock leads South Africa home in 2nd ODI vs Sri Lanka

Murray edges Edmund at Citi Open; Zverev brothers to meet


Boyd throws 8 scoreless innings, Tigers beat Cincinnati 2-1

England choose lone spinner Rashid vs India in 1,000th test

Murray tests hip, comes back to edge McDonald in Washington

Nibali has 'successful' surgery on broken back


Neymar admits exaggerated reactions at World Cup in ad

Bad news for Vettel is Hamilton gets stronger after F1 break

QB Matt Ryan looks to regain his MVP form with Falcons

Gracious in defeat, Froome set to aim again at Tour glory


Hamilton wins Hungarian GP to extend lead over rival Vettel

Undeterred by skeptical fans, Thomas takes Tour title

Jutanugarn wins Ladies Scottish Open for 10th LPGA title

Mikey Garcia trounces Robert Easter, nabs IBF 135-pound belt

South Africa thrash Sri Lanka in 1st ODI


Thomas increases Tour lead as Froome loses podium spot

Bradley plays last 4 holes in 6 under in Canadian Open

Vettel quickest for Ferrari in 2nd practice for Hungarian GP

Russia could be reinstated in December, says IAAF

 



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