Getty Images

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova meet in U.S. Open first round

Leave a comment

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet in the first round of the U.S. Open.

The women’s draw was unveiled Thursday afternoon for the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year.

The other potential first-week blockbuster would be top-ranked and defending champion Naomi Osaka and 15-year-old phenom Coco Gauff in the third round, should each win their first two matches.

US OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women

Williams, runner-up to Osaka in last year’s controversial U.S. Open final, takes her seventh crack at a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title. She has yet to win a tournament since returning from life-threatening childbirth more than one year ago. But she has reached the final in three of her last five Slams.

Sharapova, whose ranking has fallen to 87th, has lost 18 straight matches to Williams. In what would have been their most recent meeting, Williams withdrew injured minutes before a 2018 French Open fourth round match.

They have never met before the round of 16 of any tournament. This will be their first U.S. Open matchup.

In the men’s draw, No. 3 Roger Federer was placed in the top half, meaning he would play No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a potential semifinal. No. 2 Rafael Nadal is in the other half, meaning he would only play Federer in a final.

The U.S. Open is the lone major where Federer and Nadal have never faced off.

MORE: Olympic tennis matches shortened

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Allyson Felix named to US 4×400 relay pool for worlds

AP Photo
Leave a comment

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Decorated U.S. sprinter Allyson Felix will be part of the 4×400 relay pool for the world championships as she rounds into elite form after giving birth.

The American squad bound for the world championships in Doha, Qatar, was announced Monday by USA Track & Field. It includes eight reigning world champions and 55 Olympians. The championships run Sept. 27 to Oct. 6 at the air-conditioned Khalifa Stadium. That will come in handy with the temperatures during the event expected to hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius).

An 11-time world champion, Felix won’t compete in an individual event after finishing sixth in the 400 at the U.S. championships two months ago. Her performance earned her a place in the 4×400 relay pool as the Americans try to defend their title. The 33-year-old Felix’s race at nationals was her first since giving birth to her daughter last November during an emergency C-section.

Felix’s aim is to be back in top form for the Tokyo Games next summer.

The list of Americans trying to defend their world titles in Doha include Justin Gatlin (100), Tori Bowie (100), Phyllis Francis (400), Kori Carter (400 hurdles), Christian Taylor (triple jump) , Brittney Reese (long jump), Sam Kendricks (pole vault) and Emma Coburn (steeplechase).

One of the most anticipated races at worlds will be the 200 meters, featuring a showdown between Christian Coleman and Noah Lyles in what could be a sneak peek ahead to the Tokyo Olympics. Coleman, who’s also a favorite in the 100, is eligible for worlds and next year’s Olympics after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency dropped his case for missed tests due to a technicality.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

South African sprinter Carina Horn fails doping test

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MONACO (AP) One of Africa’s fastest female sprinters, Carina Horn, has been suspended for failing a doping test.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which oversees doping cases in track and field, says the South African is provisionally suspended after testing positive for the banned substances ibutamoren and ligandrol. Both substances can develop muscles with a similar effect to anabolic steroids and have been used by bodybuilders.

No date has been set for a hearing.

Horn won silver in the 100 meters and gold in the 4×100 relay at the African championships in 2016.

Her personal best of 10.98 seconds for the 100 is the South African record. Her best time this season of 11.01 is well inside the qualifying standard for the upcoming world championships.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports