NEW YORK (AP) — British teenager Emma Raducanu has become the first qualifier in the professional era to reach the U.S. Open semifinals.
Raducanu beat Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday. Raducanu has not dropped a set through eight matches — three during the qualifying rounds just to get into the tournament and another five in the main draw.
The 18-year-old Raducanu joins Canadian Leylah Fernandez, who turned 19 on Monday, in the semifinals. Raducanu will play Maria Sakkari on Thursday, and Fernandez plays Aryna Sabalenka. Olympic champion Alexander Zverev extended his winning streak to 16 matches by beating Lloyd Harris in straight sets.
In the men’s bracket, Novak Djokovic will take his Grand Slam bid into the semifinals.
Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, moving two victories from becoming the first man to win all four majors in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969.
Alexander Zverev made it back to the semifinals a year after finishing as the runner-up. The 24-year-old from Germany saved a set point in the opener and wound up beating unseeded Lloyd Harris 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-4
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Former Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter, Colorado star Larry Walker, Ted Simmons of the Cardinals and Brewers, and the late labor executive Marvin Miller were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Jeter missed by one vote of being a unanimous pick in his first year on the ballot, but that was far from his mind on this day.
Jeter, who noted at the start of his speech that 10 Hall of Famers had died in the past 20 months, was greeted by a sea of Yankees fans for a ceremony that was changed to mid-week in September from its customary spot on a Sunday in late July because of the pandemic.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss the start of the regular season after undergoing wrist surgery.
The team made the announcement Wednesday. General manager Ron Hextall said the surgery was necessary to address a lingering issue and that Crosby would be out a minimum of six weeks.
The Penguins begin training camp later this month and open the 2021-22 season on the road against two-time defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay on Oct. 12. The door for Crosby’s possible routine would likely open around Oct. 20 at the earliest.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers were seeking a female athlete from Florida Atlantic University to be the next college student they sign to an endorsement deal.
Unable to choose one, they’re making the offer to more than 200 of them.
The NHL team said Wednesday that it will sign any interested and eligible FAU female athlete to a deal under the new rules that allow college players to capitalize on their name, image and likeness for endorsement opportunities.
Steve Stricker filled out his U.S. Ryder Cup team with six captain’s picks on Wednesday.
That list does not include Patrick Reed.
Stricker added Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth and Harris English. That was expected. They were next in line in the standings. He also added Daniel Berger and Scottie Scheffler.
That gives the Americans six rookies, the most for a Ryder Cup since 2008.
Scheffler is the first player since Rickie Fowler in 2010 to be picked for his first Ryder Cup without having won on the PGA Tour. Reed has a 7-3-2 record. He was left off.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference is moving away from early season cupcakes. It’s been years in the making and probably long overdue.
The powerhouse league still has a few teams lagging in the scheduling department, seemingly not quite ready to go all in for competitive reasons. But beefing up schedules is clearly on the horizon for everyone, especially once the SEC adds Oklahoma and Texas.
Stricklin called the shift in philosophy “market driven,” pointing to fans, players and television partners wanting better matchups on a weekly basis.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The NCAA’s Division I Competition Oversight Committee has approved expanding the Women’s College World Series from seven days to nine, starting with the 2022 event.
The change, announced Wednesday, will eliminate the doubleheader for teams that need to stay alive after losing on the opening day of the event. There also will be a new day of rest for the two teams that advance to the finals.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Dream named former NFL executive Morgan Shaw Parker its president and chief operating officer on Wednesday.
Shaw Parker replaces Chris Sienko, who was fired by the WNBA team on April 21.
She had served as chief marketing officer of Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank’s sports and entertainment group. She will be oversee business operations while working with new owners Larry Gottesdiener, Suzanne Abair and Renee Montgomery, a former Dream player.
TRACK AND FIELD
ZURICH (AP) — Olympic high jump champion Mariya Lasitskene soared above her gold medal leap to clear a world-leading 2.05 meters (6 feet, 7 inches) at the Diamond League finals on Wednesday.
Another stellar three-way contest was sealed by Lasitskene going one centimeter beyond her title-winning clearance from the Tokyo Olympics. It also earned the Russian a $30,000 prize for winners on the season-long Diamond League circuit.
Olympic bronze medalist Yaroslava Mahuchikh placed second at 2.03 (6-6 1/2), and silver medalist Nicola McDermott peaked at 2.01 (6-5).
ZURICH (AP) — The global group of national soccer leagues said Wednesday it will oppose FIFA’s plans to play the men’s World Cup every two years.
“A biennial World Cup would negatively disrupt the football economy and undermine players’ welfare in a calendar that is already overloaded,” the World Leagues Forum said in a statement.
The leagues joined European clubs and European soccer body UEFA in resisting the proposal being pushed by FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, and shaped by its director of global development, Arsène Wenger.
Playing every two years would also “dilute the historical and traditional values of a competition that means so much to fans and players,” the leagues said.
Wenger will detail the biennial plans Thursday after a two-day conference of retired soccer greats hosted by FIFA in Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host nation.
GENEVA (AP) — North Korea was formally suspended from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics by the IOC on Wednesday as punishment for refusing to send a team to the Tokyo Games citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
IOC president Thomas Bach said the North Korean national Olympic body will also now forfeit money it was due from previous Olympics. The unspecified amount — potentially millions of dollars — had been withheld because of international sanctions.
Individual athletes from North Korea who qualify to compete in Beijing could still be accepted by a separate decision in the future, Bach said.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Terry Brennan, a star halfback on three unbeaten Notre Dame teams who was hailed as a wunderkind when he succeeded Irish coaching great Frank Leahy at just 25 years old, has died. He was 93.
The school announced his death Wednesday. Brennan died Tuesday, said the funeral home in Skokie, Illinois, handling the arrangements. He had lived in nearby Wilmette.
Brennan led the Irish in receiving and scoring as they won back-to-back national championships in 1946 (8-0-1) and 1947 (9-0) and went 9-0-1 and finished ranked No. 2 in 1948. His teammates included Heisman Trophy winners John Lujack and Leon Hart.
After his playing career ended, Brennan was drafted by the NFL but instead chose to coach at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago while earning a law degree from DePaul University. After leading Mount Carmel to city championships in 1951, 1952 and 1953, Brennan was hired to coach the freshman team at Notre Dame.
Brennan finished with a record of 32-18, a .640 winning percentage. He was succeeded by Joe Kuharich.