Tribune News Service
Sports Budget for Saturday, August 31, 2019
Updated at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 UTC)
This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^Bryce Miller: 'Fun Phil' Mickelson dives into social media while helping San Diego kids<
GLF-MILLER-COLUMN-SPORTSPLUS:SD — Phil is fun. Or Phil is more fun. Or Phil is fun, for Phil.
No matter your measure or metric, Hall of Fame golfer Phil Mickelson has embraced social media in ways that cause real, honest-to-giggling-goodness smiles to light his face.
This brave electronic leap has led the 49-year-old with countless golfing mountains scaled to go topless, tell hilarious stories (trust us) about public defecation, creatively needle Tiger Woods, offer random dating advice and so much more.
1250 (with trims) by Bryce Miller in San Diego. MOVED
^How Rick Singer tried to rope in USC legend Pat Haden amid admissions scandal<
^CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-USC:LA—< William "Rick" Singer was already deep into running a college admissions scam at the University of Southern California when he tried to smooth talk the university's athletic director, Pat Haden, over coffee at the Los Angeles Country Club.
Working under Haden's nose, Singer had been bribing USC coaches and one of Haden's top administrators for coveted admission slots that he sold to his wealthy clients, according to federal prosecutors.
But Singer had never met Haden, a legendary figure at USC who wielded enormous influence as the head of its vaunted sports program. A word from Haden could help a kid get in to USC, and that kind of pull, for Singer, was gold.
So, in May 2015, Singer leaned on an old client who knew Haden to make an introduction.
Haden, it turned out, had a different agenda.
2600 by Joel Rubin in Los Angeles. (Moved as national story) MOVED
^Seahawks pull off stunning trade to acquire Jadeveon Clowney from Texans<
FBN-SEAHAWKS-CLOWNEY-TEXANS:SE — The Seahawks pulled off a stunning trade to begin NFL cutdown day Saturday, acquiring Pro Bowl defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney from Houston while sending a 2020 third-round pick and linebacker/defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin to the Texans.
A league source confirmed the trade to The Seattle Times — the NFL Network was the first to report the parameters of the deal.
The deal was almost immediately hailed as a major win for the Seahawks.
1150 by Bob Condotta in Seattle. MOVED
^Dolphins trade Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills to Texans, fueling rebuild with three future picks<
^FBN-DOLPHNS-TEXANS-TRADE:FL—<The Miami Dolphins have traded away standout offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans in a blockbuster move Saturday that considerably escalates Miami's rebuilding efforts before the 2019 season.
While the Dolphins were in talks with Houston to trade away Tunsil with hopes to receive standout edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney in return, the Dolphins will now add more future draft picks to their haul in their extensive rebuild under new coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier.
700 by Safid Deen. MOVED
^Naomi Osaka routs Coco Gauff at US Open before show of sportsmanship<
TEN-USOPEN-OSAKA-GAUFF:ND — Cry now. It's better than crying in the shower.
That, in essence, is what Naomi Osaka told 15-year-old Coco Gauff after putting an abrupt end to her magical run at the U.S. Open Saturday night.
Osaka, the No. 1 player in the world and defending champion, showed little mercy in beating Gauff, 6-3, 6-0, in the third round.
Afterward she comforted the crying teenager at the net and encouraged her to share her postgame interview.
600 by Barbara Barker in New York. MOVED
^Mike Sielski: With proper sensitivity training, Philly athletes can create a nice, safe space for fans<
BBN-SIELSKI-COLUMN:PH — "Good morning, everyone. We appreciate your attendance today at this session of Philadelphia Sports Sensitivity Training. There have been a couple of minor incidents lately that made us think it was a good time to reconvene and review some of the guidelines with you.
"As the professional athletes representing our city, you carry the flag for us. That means you should always speak appropriately about our fans, and I'm here to help you understand, establish, and maintain proper norms of language and behavior."
1000 by Mike Sielski in Philadelphia. MOVED
^DJ LeMahieu walk-off home run lifts Yankees over Athletics in 11 innings<
BBA-ATHLETICS-YANKEES:HK — The Yankees have been successful all season long, despite how injuries impacted their lineup. With their 89th victory on Saturday, the Yankees can finally say that they've beaten everyone they've faced this season.
DJ LeMahieu's walk-off home run capped a dramatic 4-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. It was the Yankees' first win against the Oakland Athletics in five tries this season. The Yankees had at least one win against the other 18 teams on their schedule entering play on Saturday.
550 by Robert Aitken Jr. in New York. MOVED
^Hudson notches 14th win as Cardinals hold off Reds in first game of doubleheader<
BBN-REDS-CARDINALS-GAME1:SL — Dakota Hudson allowed his first homer of August in his final of six outings in August. But he also pitched 7 2/3 innings for the first time in his big league career as the Cardinals got a start on their four-games-in-two-days marathon by holding off Cincinnati, 10-6, Saturday afternoon before a paid house of 44,738 at Busch Stadium.
Hudson, the top ground-ball pitcher in the majors, netted just six ground-ball outs out of the 23 he recorded although he had a career-best eight strikeouts. But, after giving up Eugenio Suarez's two-run homer, the 24-year-old right-hander allowed only two more hits — four for the game — as he recorded his 14th victory in 20 decisions and his 12th in his past 15 verdicts.
700 by Rick Hummel in St. Louis. MOVED
^Cubs offense absent in 2-0 loss to Brewers that snaps 4-game winning streak<
BBN-BREWERS-CUBS:TB — Cole Hamels survived a rough start to pitch six strong innings Saturday afternoon, but the Cubs offense was nowhere to be found in a 2-0 loss to the Brewers at Wrigley Field.
Brewers starter Zach Davies and five relievers pitched a shutout, limiting the Cubs to six hits and snapping their four-game winning streak.
With the Cardinals beating the Reds in the first game of a doubleheader in St. Louis, the Cubs fell 2 games behind the Cardinals. The Cubs finished the month of August with a 16-12 record.
350 by Paul Sullivan in Chicago. MOVED
^Mets knock out Jason Vargas, get second consecutive win against Phillies<
BBN-METS-PHILLIES:NY — Timely hits had eluded the Mets before a very familiar southpaw took the mound for the Phillies and lent a hand to his ex-team.
The Mets overwhelmed former teammate Jason Vargas in a 6-3 win against the Phillies on Saturday and found ways to disrupt his rhythm all afternoon. It was the first time the Mets faced Vargas since GM Brodie Van Wagenen dealt the left-hander to their division rival at the trade deadline.
The Mets gained one game in the National League wild-card standings with the win because the Cubs lost 2-0 to the Brewers.
450 by Deesha Thosar in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Rays flex muscle, flash leather and beat Indians again, 9-6<
BBA-INDIANS-RAYS:PT — The calendar turns to September Sunday, which seems like a good time to ask:
Are the Rays going to make the playoffs?
If they play like they did Saturday in a 9-6 win that was their second in a row over the wild-card leading Indians, and that moved them back into a tie for the No. 2 slot, the answer would seem to be yes.
Or at least if they can hit, launching four homers, and play defense, with several dazzling plays, the way they did.
550 by Marc Topkin in St. Petersburg, Fla. MOVED
^Twins belt six home runs, break record for homers in a season in loss to Tigers<
BBA-TWINS-TIGERS-CORRECTION:MS — Mitch Garver, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz have the Twins in the history books. Each Twin hit a home on Saturday — with Garver going deep in the first and ninth inning.
And that ninth inning blast, off Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez, made the Twins the best home run hitting team of all-time.
They have swatted 268 homers in this Summer of Swat, and are on pace to break through the 300 barrier before the season is over. Yet it was not enough Saturday to break through against Detroit, as the six homers accounted for just seven runs in a 10-7 loss to the Tigers.
Seven runs weren't enough on a night Martin Perez was mauled by the Tigers at Comerica Park.
700 La Velle E. Neal III in Detroit. MOVED
^Marlins starter Pablo Lopez takes step back against Nationals in second start off IL<
BBN-MARLINS-NATIONALS:MI — Don Mattingly just grinned when a hypothetical about the heart of the Washington Nationals' order was posed to him before the Miami Marlins continued a three-game series in Washington on Saturday. Anthony Rendon, the Nationals' No. 3 hitter, smacked a walk-off hit on Friday as Juan Soto waited in the on-deck circle and a theory was posed to the manager a day later about potentially walking the MVP hopeful to get to a mere All-Star.
It was an impossible dilemma Friday. Saturday was the proof.
600 by David Wilson in Washington. MOVED
^Carpenter's pinch hit caps two-run rally in ninth, gives Cardinals doubleheader sweep<
BBN-REDS-CARDINALS-GAME2:SL — The first of two consecutive day-night doubleheaders couldn't have turned out better for the Cardinals Saturday. They stood to pick up 1 1/2 games on the pursuing Chicago Cubs if everything went their way. And it did.
After a 10-6 win in the afternoon game, pinch hitter Matt Carpenter's single to right center with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth capped a two-run rally that vaulted the Cardinals into a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the nightcap.
200 by Rick Hummel in St. Louis. MOVED
^Royals manufacture a win late against Orioles<
BBA-ORIOLES-ROYALS:KC — The bunt turned out to be the most dangerous weapon in the arsenal of Royals hitters. They executed three in a row without making an out to set up the deciding runs in their victory on Saturday night.
Catcher Meibrys Viloria bunted for a hit to start the eighth inning, advanced on back-to-back bunts by Brett Phillips and Nicky Lopez, and scored on a Whit Merrifield sacrifice fly to break a tie game and eventually lead to a 7-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles in front of an announced 18,385 at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday night.
The Royals (48-89) evened the series at one game apiece heading into Sunday's rubber match.
300 by Lynn Worthy in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
Chicago White Sox at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.
Seattle at Texas, 8:05 p.m.
LA Dodgers at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.
San Diego at San Francisco, 9:05 p.m.
Boston at LA Angels, 9:07 p.m.
^Is Ndamukong Suh still as bad and/or good as his reputation?<
FBN-BUCS-SUH:PT — Ndamukong Suh arrived in Tampa Bay just days after the clumsy parting with Bucs fixture Gerald McCoy.
But Suh made it clear right away that he didn't join the Bucs to replace McCoy.
He already owned a reputation as a polarizing player. He has been voted as the league's dirtiest players by his peers and he's racked up six figures in fines. Then, Suh taking McCoy's No. 93 — and the Bucs' allowing it to remain in circulation — drew criticism
But if there's one thing that appears clear from listening to Suh, it's that every decision he makes off the field is well-planned.
800 by Eduardo A. Encina in Tampa, Fla. MOVED
^Patrick Reusse: Vikings needed help, and Gary Kubiak was perfect guy for the job<
FBN-REUSSE-COLUMN:MS — Gary Kubiak and I go way back. That's based on having covered what had to be the most embarrassing loss of Kubiak's playing career.
The scenario for this was created when Jackie Sherrill was hired away from Pittsburgh to become the football coach at Texas A&M for the 1982 season. The deal made Sherrill the first million-dollar football coach — not $1 million a year, but the total package.
Sherrill's deal was $1.7 million for six years, with a chance to earn $3 million over 10 years.
850 by Patrick Reusse in Minneapolis. MOVED
^Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack agrees to four-year, $57 million contract extension<
FBN-JAGUARS-JACK:JK — The Jaguars are signing linebacker Myles Jack to a four-year, $57 million extension, a league source confirmed.
The deal is expected to be finalized later Saturday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report Jack's extension. And Jack's new deal reportedly includes $33 million guaranteed.
Jack, a second-round pick out of UCLA in 2016, is in the final season of a four-year, $6.3 million rookie contract that will pay him $1.3 million in 2019.
When his new deal starts, Jack will become the third highest-paid linebacker in the NFL.
400 by John Reid in Jacksonville, Fla. MOVED
^Browns trade for guard Justin McCray, wide receiver Taywan Taylor<
^FBN-BROWNS-TRADES:AK—<Browns general manager John Dorsey is known for staying aggressive on the trade market, so it's fitting he's wheeling and dealing on the NFL's cutdown weekend.
The Browns announced they acquired guard Justin McCray in a trade with the Green Bay Packers and wide receiver Taywan Taylor in a trade with the Tennessee Titans. The Browns gave up a 2020 seventh-round draft pick in each deal, a person familiar with the moves said.
McCray, 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, started 13 of the 25 regular-season games in which he appeared the past two seasons with the Packers.
250 by Nate Ulrich. MOVED
^Matt Calkins: In trade for Jadeveon Clowney, Seahawks GM John Schneider pulls off a major heist<
FBN-CALKINS-COLUMN:SE — The suspect's name is John Schneider. He's 48 years old, white, has curly brown hair, a stocky frame and is believed to be in the greater Seattle area. If you know anything about his whereabouts, please contact the authorities. He's wanted for highway robbery.
On Saturday morning, the Seahawks' general manager pulled off what may go down as the sports heist of the year. He acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans for Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin and a 2020 third-round draft pick.
550 by Matt Calkins in Seattle. MOVED
^Jets get rid of four more Mike Maccagnan draft picks<
FBN-JETS-MOVES:NY — Joe Douglas started to remake the Jets by moving on from four more of Mike Maccagnan's draft picks during roster cutdowns to set his initial 53-man roster on Saturday.
The Jets cut rookie third-round pick Jachai Polite, second-year running back Eli McGuire, veteran wide receiver Charone Peake and traded second-year cornerback Parry Nickerson to the Seahawks for a 2021 conditional seventh-round pick.
Remember, Adam Gase dealt former first-round pick Darron Lee to the Chiefs for a late-round pick hours after Maccagnan was fired in May.
250 by Manish Mehta in New York. MOVED
^Cody Parkey among Jets kicker workouts on Saturday: sources<
FBN-JETS-PARKEY:NY — The Jets are on the hunt for another kicker.
The Daily News has learned that the Jets held kicker tryouts with Cody Parkey and Younghoe Koo Saturday as they continue to search for an answer at the position.
Taylor Bertolet's shaky preseason after taking over for the retired Chandler Catanzaro a few weeks ago has prompted the team to look for other options.
Parkey, who played for Adam Gase in Miami in 2017, hasn't found a home since missing a 43-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the Bears' wild-card loss to the Eagles last season
300 by Manish Mehta in New York. MOVED
^Kicker Matt Bryant agrees to terms with Falcons<
FBN-FALCONS-BRYANT:AT — Former Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who was released in February, agreed to re-sign with the team Saturday.
"I am scheduled to fly in and kick a little tomorrow," Bryant wrote in a text message to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday before his Friday workout.
Giorgio Tavecchio and Blair Walsh, who was signed Sunday, kicked for the Falcons in the 31-12 victory over Jacksonville on Thursday.
350 by D. Orlando Ledbetter in Atlanta. MOVED
^Chargers' Russell Okung to miss six games; Melvin Gordon on trade block<
FBN-CHARGERS-OKUNG-GORDON:LA — The Chargers will open the season without Russell Okung and with Melvin Gordon possibly on another team.
The club has given Gordon's representatives permission to seek a trade as his holdout stretches into its sixth week.
The running back is scheduled to make $5.6 million in the final year of his rookie contract. He is seeking an extension that would pay him closer to what the NFL's top backs are being paid — upward of $13 million per year.
The Chargers have been offering something in the $10 million range and neither side has shown much willingness to budge.
650 by Jeff Miller in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Kristian Winfield: Andrew Yang is wrong about the Knicks<
BKN-WINFIELD-COLUMN:NY — Democratic presidential candidate and test-prep millionaire Andrew Yang loves to use the Knicks as a punching bag to get some cheap heat for his campaign, sometimes claiming that he quit the Knicks and at others complaining about their "poor sportsmanship" when it suits him.
On one level, it's surprising that Yang is ripping the Knicks for "neither competing nor rebuilding." He typically polls between sixth and 10th among Democratic voters — on the cusp of a low playoff seed, and not bad enough to get a high draft pick.
750 by Kristian Winfield in New York. MOVED
^Think the College Football Playoff is too predictable? Here's how each top contender could be left out.<
^FBC-CFP-CONTENDERS-DANGER:BZ—<As Alabama has grown into the premier program in college football under Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide's dominance has cast a shadow over the rest of the sport.
It wasn't long ago that a new contender could envision a path to a national championship each year, a goal that seems to slip further and further out of reach as Alabama and Clemson have risen to startling heights.
The sport has always been defined by its blue bloods, which made upstarts such as Boise State and Central Florida so exciting. But now it seems as if it's impossible for a new program to become a perennial College Football Playoff contender.
1550 by C.J. Doon. MOVED
^Vahe Gregorian: Former Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel finds a fresh sense of purpose<
FBC-GREGORIAN-COLUMN:KC — Surrounded by memorabilia in his home, Gary Pinkel turned toward a collage of images from the unforgettable 2007 game at Arrowhead Stadium when his Missouri football team beat then-No. 2 Kansas to vault atop the national rankings for the first time in 47 years.
"That was quite a moment. Historically, that was huge," said Pinkel, noting he'd never point to one game as his favorite memory before adding, "It's hard to match that game, you know?"
It's also hard to duplicate the all-consuming adrenaline flow that came with the work that Pinkel immersed himself in for 39 years.
1500 by Vahe Gregorian in Columbia, Mo. MOVED
^Illinois rolls to 42-3 victory against Akron<
FBC-AKRON-ILLINOIS:TB — The problems that plagued Illinois throughout last season were immediately noticeable in last year's opener.
This year, the improvements were eye-catching.
A year after the Illini squeaked out a seven-point comeback win against Kent State in their opener, allowing their MAC opponent to churn out 453 yards of offense, Illinois looked vastly improved in Saturday's 42-3 victory against Akron at Memorial Stadium.
300 by Shannon Ryan in Champaign, Ill. MOVED
^Maryland wins coach Mike Locksley's first game in record fashion, routing Howard, 79-0<
FBC-HOWARD-MARYLAND:BZ — For a while Mike Locksley's debut as Maryland's coach looked a lot like former coach DJ Durkin's first game three years ago. It was the same opponent, and a much bigger rout than a 39-point blowout win for the Terps in 2016. It then went from humbling for Howard to nearly historic, at least statistically, for the home team.
Helped by terrific field position for much of the first half — largely because of some shaky punting by Howard — the Terps scored eight touchdowns by halftime and rolled to a 79-0 victory over the overmatched Bison at Maryland Stadium.
650 by Don Markus in College Park, Md. MOVED
^Ohio State beats FAU in Day and Fields' debuts, but leaves room for improvement<
FBC-FAU-OHIOSTATE:OH — Ohio State endured the expected opening-game hiccups Saturday afternoon against Florida Atlantic.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, they didn't kick in until Ohio State scored four touchdowns in just over eight minutes in a 45-21 victory over the Owls.
An announced crowd of 103,228 at Ohio Stadium watched the debuts of Ryan Day as full-fledged head coach and Justin Fields as the Buckeyes' quarterback. Day took over for Urban Meyer after serving as acting coach during Meyer's three-game suspension last year. Fields, the transfer from Georgia, threw for four touchdowns.
450 by Bill Rabinowitz in Columbus, Ohio. MOVED
^Tua Tagovailoa, No. 2 Alabama too much for Duke<
FBC-DUKE-ALABAMA:RA — No. 2 Alabama overcame a slow start to post the rout it was expected to deliver on Saturday.
Junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa tossed four touchdown passes while throwing for 336 yards as the Crimson Tide pulled away in the second half to beat Duke, 42-3, in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game before a crowd of 71,916 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
After a scoreless first quarter, Tagovailoa led a pair of second-quarter touchdown drives to put the Crimson Tide up 14-3 at halftime. His 27-yard touchdown pass to Miller Forristall accounted for the game's first points with 10:02 left in the second quarter.
400 by Steve Wiseman in Atlanta. MOVED
^North Carolina starts the Mack Brown era with comeback victory against South Carolina<
FBC-SCAROLINA-NCAROLINA:RA — When Mack Brown was hired to coach North Carolina's football team in November, he vowed that this wouldn't be a rebuilding year. He said his team planned on winning this season.
Saturday against South Carolina, the Tar Heels made that look possible. UNC's Sam Howell, who Saturday became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season-opener in school history, threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the Tar Heels overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to win, 24-20.
Before Saturday's game, North Carolina hadn't won a season-opener against a Power 5 opponent since 1997.
850 by Jonathan M. Alexander in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED
^FSU blows 18-point lead, loses opener to Boise State<
FBC-BOISESTATE-FSU:OS — After Boise State rallied for a 36-31 win that left Florida State players and fans devastated, Seminoles coach Willie Taggart was adamant his team is better than it was last year.
FSU entered the game eager to bounce back from a frustrating 5-7 record last season and delivered a strong first half before letting Boise State erase an 18-point deficit during a game that was moved from Jacksonville to Doak Campbell Stadium to avoid Hurricane Dorian.
The contest drew an announced crowd of 50,917, with Boise State fans traveling to support the Broncos and taking over a portion of the Seminoles' home stadium.
1000 by Chaunte'l Powell in Tallahassee, Fla. MOVED
^Northwestern turns in lackluster performance in season-opening 17-7 loss to Stanford<
FBC-NORTHWESTERN-STANFORD:TB — All that prep time. All those secrets.
And for what?
Northwestern's offense was atrocious Saturday in its opener at Stanford. Both quarterbacks, five-star transfer Hunter Johnson and fifth-year senior TJ Green, made crucial mistakes. The offensive line, under the tutelage of new assistant Kurt Anderson, looked average.
It was a miserable opener on a gorgeous day in northern California.
NU's five-game road winning streak came to an end in its 17-7 loss to Stanford, and three key players — Green, tailback Isaiah Bowser and left tackle Rashawn Slater — were lost to injury.
600 by Teddy Greenstein in Stanford, Calif. MOVED
^Penn State rolls to 79-7 rout of overmatched Idaho<
FBC-IDAHO-PENNSTATE:PH — The season opener Saturday for No. 15 Penn State against Idaho stopped being competitive about a minute-and-a-half into the game when the visitors from the FCS went for it on fourth-and-one from their own 34 and didn't make it on the initial possession of the afternoon.
The Nittany Lions then scored early and often, putting up points on 13 of their 16 drives in a 79-7 obliteration of the Vandals before a crowd of 104,527 at Beaver Stadium. It was the most points they scored since defeating Cincinnati 81-0 in a 1991 game, and their 673 total yards were the third-most in program history.
800 by Joe Juliano in State College, Pa. MOVED
^Larry Stone: With record Washington debut, quarterback Jacob Eason proves anything is possible<
FBC-STONE-COLUMN:SE — Until Saturday, it had been all mythology, hype and hope when it came to Jacob Eason, the man who just might be able to make Washington dreams come true. His reputation preceded him, but what would reality look like?
Against Eastern Washington, Eason was finally out there in flesh and blood, debuting with a flashy performance that won't curb any of the best-case scenarios. In fact, watching him in real time, seeing the electric arm in live action, will just inflate them.
Washington coach Chris Petersen, who has a deep fear of Eason being over-sold, was quick to point out that the Cal game next week will be a much sterner test.
1000 by Larry Stone in Seattle. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games featuring teams in the AP top 25:
No. 3 Georgia at Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m.
Middle Tennessee at No. 7 Michigan, 7:30 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at No. 10 Texas, 8 p.m.
^Taylor Townsend's net game sends her to fourth round of US Open<
TEN-USOPEN-TOWNSEND:ND — The way Taylor Townsend has stormed through the first week of the U.S. Open is not just surprising but downright medieval. She rushes the net! She pressures and intimidates, stirring up the potent old alchemy that was a forerunner to modern tennis chemistry.
Hers is a strategy that hasn't been seen for years. Decades. Eschewing the now-standard baseline game, Townsend suddenly, at 23 and after a long spell of relative invisibility, is waking some echoes of 2012, when she was the world's top-ranked junior.
And one result, she said, is: "I didn't know so many people had my phone number."
550 by John Jeansonne in New York. MOVED
^With another comfortable win, Rafael Nadal is into the fourth round at the US Open<
TEN-USOPEN-NADAL:ND — There is a certain redundancy to championship tennis. Rafael Nadal advancing to U.S. Open fourth round for the 11th time in his last 12 appearances. John Isner leading the tournament in aces served, even as he is bounced from the competition in the third round for the sixth time in eight years.
As the second week commences in Flushing Meadows, most of the new faces and new developments are in the women's draw. Among the men, the over/under on shocking developments continues to be quite low.
Nadal, three times the Open champion and winner of 18 major-tournament titles, cruised past 23-year-old South Korean qualifier Chung Hyeon, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, on Saturday.
700 by John Jeansonne in New York. MOVED
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