Weekend Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Alcaraz used his combination of moxie and maturity to beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 in the U.S. Open final on Sunday to earn his first Grand Slam title at age 19 and become the youngest man to be ranked No. 1.
Alcaraz is a Spaniard who was appearing in his eighth major tournament and second at Flushing Meadows but already has attracted plenty of attention as someone considered the Next Big Thing in men’s tennis.
He only briefly showed signs of fatigue from having to get through three consecutive five-setters to reach the title match, something no one had done in New York in 30 years.
Alcaraz dropped the second set and faced a pair of set points while down 6-5 in the third. But he erased each of those point-from-the-set opportunities for Ruud with the sorts of quick-reflex, soft-hand volleys he repeatedly displayed. And with help from a series of shanked shots by a tight-looking Ruud in the ensuing tiebreaker, Alcaraz surged to the end of that set.
One break in the fourth was all it took for Alcaraz to seal the victory in the only Grand Slam final between two players seeking both a first major championship and the top spot in the ATP’s computerized rankings, which date to 1973.
NEW YORK (AP) — Iga Swiatek beat Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 (5) in the U.S. Open final on Saturday to claim her first championship at Flushing Meadows and third Grand Slam title overall.
The No. 1-ranked Swiatek’s victory over No. 5 Jabeur improved her record in tour-level matches to 55-7 with seven trophies in 2022. Both of those figures lead the WTA. She also won the French Open in June and is the first woman since 2016 to earn two major titles in a season.
Jabeur led 5-4 in the tiebreaker, but Swiatek took the last three points, and soon was down on her back, a major champ once again. Jabeur, a 28-year-old from Tunisia, is now 0-2 in Grand Slam finals after being the runner-up at Wimbledon in July.
NEW YORK (AP) — Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova won their third major in 2022 and completed a career Grand Slam on Sunday, rallying late to beat Americans Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the U.S. Open women’s doubles final.
Krejcikova and Siniakova began the year by winning the Australian Open for the first time but couldn’t defend their 2021 French Open title after Krejcikova tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew after losing her opening singles match. The Czechs then won Wimbledon for the second time and now own six major titles.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Justin Turner hit a grand slam and a solo homer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who emphatically became the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season with an 11-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Los Angeles, with the best record in the majors at 96-43, sealed a playoff berth for the 10th straight season. The Dodgers did their usual post-victory handshake line.
With thousands of their blue-clad fans cheering them on at Petco Park, the Dodgers reduced to two their magic number for winning the NL West for the ninth time in 10 seasons.
Max Muncy hit a go-ahead, two-run, bases-loaded single in the sixth inning and Chris Taylor and Trea Turner also homered for the Dodgers, who won their eighth straight series against the Padres dating to June 2021. The Dodgers have beaten the Padres 12 times in 15 games this year and for the 21st time in their last 25 games.
The Padres’ lead over Milwaukee for the NL’s third wild-card spot was reduced to two.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Bubba Wallace won his second career NASCAR Cup Series race and denied the playoff field an automatic spot in the next round for the second straight week when he held off championship contenders Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell to win at Kansas Speedway.
Wallace, who is not among the 16 in the title hunt, got around Alex Bowman for the lead with 67 laps to go, then built a 2-second lead over a parade of playoff drivers trying to earn a win and ensure their spot in the round of eight.
Hamlin was at the front of it. And the co-owner with Michael Jordan of Wallace’s car at 23XI Racing managed to whittle about a tenth of a second off the No. 45′s lead over the closing laps. Hamlin ultimately ran out of time, and Wallace took the checkered flag in the same car that Kurt Busch won with at Kansas earlier this year.
MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) — Will Power was pushed to the brink by Team Penske but withstood the internal challenge from his teammate to close out a season of consistency and win his second IndyCar championship.
Power finished third at Laguna Seca Raceway to beat teammate Josef Newgarden for the championship by 16 points in the final standings. The Australian’s first IndyCar title came in 2014.
Power needed only to finish third to win the championship. But Team Penske has proved over the last week that its cars race individually and all three drivers were on their own in this title decider.
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Shane Lowry tapped in for birdie at the 18th hole and then had to wait to see if Rory McIlroy could produce something special to force a playoff at Wentworth.
McIlroy had an eagle putt on the last hole that stopped an inch short as Lowry won the BMW PGA Championship. McIlroy and Jon Rahm tied for second, one shot back.
It was Lowry’s first win since the British Open at 2019 and came after a bogey-free performance over three days. The tournament was reduced to 54 holes with no play on Friday after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.
Lowry finished with a 7-under 65 for a 17-under total of 199. His victory moves him back into the top 20 in the world. McIlroy stayed atop the DP World Tour points list in his bid to win season titles on the PGA Tour and European tour.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ally Ewing ran off five straight birdies on the back nine and closed with a 7-under 65 to hold off Xiyu Lin and win the Kroger Queen City Championship in the LPGA Tour’s return to Cincinnati.
Ewing now has three career wins, one in each of the last three years, though she came into this tournament without a top-10 finish all year. The 29-year-old American played bogey-free on a rain-softened course and was pushed to the very end by Lin, who birdied two of her last three holes for a 65.
Maria Fassi of Mexico had a 71 and finished alone in third, her best LPGA finish.
Lin started the final round two shots behind and made up ground quickly with a pair of birdies.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Padraig Harrington built a comfortable lead and even a few mistakes at the end couldn’t keep him from winning the Ascension Charity Classic for his third title this year on the PGA Tour Champions.
Harrington had seven birdies in a closing round of 3-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Y.E. Yang (66) at Norwood Hill Golf Club.
Steve Stricker, who started one shot behind Harrington, caught him when the Irishman took double bogey on the par-3 fourth hole. Both made birdie on the fifth, but that was the last birdie Stricker made. He finished with 13 pars for a 69 to finish third.
Bernhard Langer had a 70 and finished fourth.
Harrington’s third victory on the PGA Tour Champions — and his second in his last three tournaments — allowed him to at least close the gap on Steven Alker of New Zealand in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — ’ja Wilson had 24 points and 11 rebounds and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Connecticut Sun 67-64 in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.
The Aces staved off a late run by the Sun, who nearly erased a seven-point deficit with 1:24 left when Alyssa Thomas hit back-to-back shots to pull Connecticut within three. But DeWanna Bonner’s desperation 3-point attempt to tie the game fell short as time expired.
Chelsea Gray finished with 21 points for Las Vegas, while Jackie Young chipped in 11 as the franchise won their first WNBA Finals game in franchise history. They had been swept in 2008 when the team was in San Antonio and lost in three games in 2020.