43rd-ranked Shelby Rogers takes world No. 1 Ash Barty out of U.S. Open

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NEW YORK — Shelby Rogers lingered on the court and panned her phone around at the fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium for a snapshot souvenir of the scene after she beat Ash Barty for the first time.

Not just at the U.S. Open.

Ever.

Rogers was winless in five meetings — four this year — against the No. 1 player, forcing the last American left in the women’s draw to mix up her methodology.

Urged on by a raucous crowd, Rogers smacked moon balls, stayed patient — and waited as a rattled Barty hit a slew of unforced errors that led to another early exit at Flushing Meadows for the reigning Wimbledon champion.

Rogers rallied from down 5-2 in the third set to upset Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 (5) on Saturday night for the biggest win of the 28-year-old’s career.

“I just tried to get the crowd into it. I said, `You know what, if I’m going to go down, I’m going to give a last dying effort,’” she said.

She found her serve, tinkered with approach and steeled her will against the top player in the game and pulled off the improbable comeback.

“You find ways to stay in the present and stay not thinking about I’m down 5-2,” Rogers said.

Rogers had been 0-6 lifetime against top-seeded players.

Barty gave her plenty of help to end the streak. Barty had not dropped a set in the tournament but was sloppy from the start. She made 17 unforced errors in the first set and then three more when she held a 5-2 lead in the third that let Rogers back in. Rogers broke Barty twice in the third when Barty served for the match.

“I played a pretty awful first set in the sense where I was erratic,” Barty said. “I couldn’t quite find the rhythm of how I wanted to play.”

Rogers was a quarterfinalist in New York a year ago, while Barty owns titles from the French Open in 2019 and Wimbledon this July but never has been past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

Rogers laughed as she referenced the self-deprecating quote, “Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row,” made after he finally beat Jimmy Connors.

“Every time I lost to her, I can’t be mad because she’s such a nice person,” Rogers said. “It’s like, `Man, she just kicked my butt.′ Then it’s like, `Oh, you’re going to find it one day.’”

Rogers didn’t have to last that long to snap her winless streak against Barty.

As they are for most Americans, the Ashe crowd roared for Rogers on every winner, and she waved her arms and exhorted the fans to get louder.

No fans were allowed to attend the U.S. Open a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The crowd is next-level this year,” Rogers told the fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “You’ve picked who you want to win, so thank you for picking me tonight.”

Barty was unable to avoid the rash of upsets that have hit the tournament. A day after defending champion Naomi Osaka and two of the top five men, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev were beaten, Barty went down to the 43rd-ranked Rogers.

Rogers next faces unseeded 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, who used a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Sara Sorribes Tormo to advance.

Asked about Raducanu, Rogers — who placed her hands on her head in amazement and blew kisses to the crowd after the win — wanted to talk about the win.

She even apologized to fellow American Jack Sock, who was on-deck to play Alexander Zverev at Ashe. She needed 2 hours, 8 minutes to beat Barty and she wanted a few more moments to soak in the win.

“Jack, I know you want to play, but I kind of want to stay out here,” she said.

She laughed when she had no idea the moderator in charge of the session with reporters was trying to ask her about her week in New York.

“I’m not used to this press conference thing, sorry,” she said, laughing.

The 25-year-old Barty became the first Australian woman to win Wimbledon since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980 and has won five titles overall this year.

Pretty good. But not good enough in New York.

“I just didn’t quite have enough in the tank,” she said. “I’ve left everything out on the court this year. It was no different tonight.”

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Chicago Marathon features Emily Sisson’s return, Conner Mantz’s debut, live on Peacock

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At Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, Emily Sisson makes her return, nearly three years after Olympic Trials disappointment. Conner Mantz makes one of the most anticipated U.S. men’s debuts in 26.2-mile racing.

It is not the norm, but an American will be one of the spotlight runners in both the men’s and women’s elite races at a major marathon. Peacock airs live coverage at 8 a.m. ET.

Sisson, 30, starts her first mass marathon since dropping out of the Olympic Trials on Feb. 29, 2020, her legs “destroyed” on the hilly Atlanta course where she started as arguably the favorite. She ran the virtual New York City Marathon later in 2020, but that was solo (and not in New York City). Her 2:38:00 isn’t recorded in her official results on her World Athletics bio.

Since, Sisson won the Olympic Trials 10,000m on the track and was the top American in Tokyo in 10th place. She moved back to the roads, winning national titles at 15km and the half marathon and breaking the American record in the latter.

Sisson vaulted into the elite group of U.S. female marathoners in 2019, when she clocked the second-fastest debut marathon in American history, a 2:23:08 on a windy day in London, where the early pace was slow.

At the time, it was the 12th-best U.S. performance all-time. In the last two years, Keira D’Amato, 37, and Sara Hall, 39, combined to run seven faster marathons. At Chicago, a flat course that produced a world record three years ago, Sisson can answer them and perhaps get close to D’Amato’s American record 2:19:12.

“I’m hoping sub-2:20,” coach Ray Treacy said, according to LetsRun.com. “With the [super] shoes and the training behind her, I would think that’s [worth] at least three minutes.”

It is less likely that Sisson can challenge for the win on Sunday given the presence of Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the 2019 World champion and defending champion in the Windy City. The 28-year-old mom is the fifth-fastest woman in history with a personal best of 2:17:08. And Ethiopian Ruti Aga, a podium finisher in Berlin, New York City and Tokyo with a best time of 2:18:34, though she has one marathon finish since the pandemic (a seventh place).

Like Sisson, Mantz has shown strong recent road racing form. The American men’s debut marathon record of 2:07:56 (Leonard Korir) is in play. If he can break that, Mantz will be among the five fastest U.S. marathoners in history.

Rarely has a U.S. male distance runner as accomplished as Mantz moved up to the marathon at such a young age (25). At BYU, he won NCAA cross-country titles in 2020 and 2021 and placed fifth in the Olympic Trials 10,000m, then turned pro and won the U.S. Half Marathon Championships last December.

“If everything goes as planned, I think sub-2:08 is realistic,” Mantz said in a Citius Mag video interview last month. “If everything goes perfect on the day, I think a sub-2:07, that’s a big stretch goal.”

The men’s field doesn’t have the singular star power of Chepngetich, but a large group of East Africans with personal bests around 2:05. The most notable: defending champion Seifu Tura of Ethiopia and 2021 Boston Marathon winner Benson Kipruto of Kenya.

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Alpine skiing to test new format for combined race

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Alpine skiing officials will test a new format for the combined event, a race that is under review to remain on the Olympic program.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that the International Ski Federation (FIS) will test a new team format for the combined, which has been an individual event on the Olympic program since 1988. L’Equipe reported that a nation can use a different skier for the downhill and slalom in the new setup, quoting FIS secretary general Michel Vion.

For example, the U.S. could use Breezy Johnson in the downhill run and sub her out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom run, should the format be adopted into senior competition.

The format will be tested at the world junior championships in January in St. Anton, Austria, according to the report.

In response to the report, a FIS spokesperson said, “Regarding the new format of the combined is correct, and our directors are working on the rules so for the moment the only thing we can confirm is that there will be this new format for the Alpine combined that has been proposed by the athletes’ commission.”

Some version of the combined event has been provisionally included on the 2026 Olympic program, with a final IOC decision on its place coming by April.

This will be the third consecutive World Cup season with no combined events. Instead, FIS has included more parallel races in recent years. The individual combined remains on the biennial world championships program.

L’Equipe also reported that the mixed team parallel event, which is being dropped from the Olympics, will also be dropped from the biennial world championships after this season.

“There is nothing definitive about that yet, but it is a project in the making,” a FIS spokesperson said in commenting on the report.

Vion said the mixed team event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2018, was not a hit at the Beijing Games and did not draw a strong audience, according to L’Equipe.

The World Cup season starts in two weeks with the traditional opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria.

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