Friday’s Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova is getting prime-time billing at the U.S. Open.
The two tennis stars’ 22nd career meeting — and first at Flushing Meadows — will be the opening act in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the night session Monday as the year’s last Grand Slam tournament gets started.
“Of course I’m going to watch it. I know you all are going to watch it. I think everyone in New York is going to watch it,” defending champion and No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka said Friday. “Yeah, I mean, for me, I’m not that surprised that that happened, because, like, at every Grand Slam, there is always some sort of drama. You know what I mean? Like a first round. Like, ‘Oh, my God!'”
The U.S. Tennis Association announced the show-court schedules for both Day 1 and Day 2.
That includes 15-year-old Coco Gauff in action at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Tuesday.
The first match in the main stadium Monday will be French Open champion Ash Barty against Zarina Diyas, followed by defending men’s champion and No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic against Roberto Carballes Baena.
Then at night, Williams-Sharapova will be followed by 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer against qualifier Sumit Nagal.
Williams owns 23 major singles trophies, while Sharapova has five. Both have been ranked No. 1. They’ve met at every other major tournament at least once, including in a final at each, but never before at the U.S. Open.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan has lost his appeal and will be suspended for the first four games of the season for using a performance-enhancing substance.
The NFL and the Titans announced that Lewan’s appeal had been denied.
Lewan revealed last month he had been suspended. He apologized to his teammates, fans and the Titans organization and said he did not knowingly ingest a banned substance. He tested positive for ostarine, which he blamed on a bad batch of a nutritional supplement.
The three-time Pro Bowler will be eligible to play for the first time on Oct. 6 against Buffalo. He will miss games against Cleveland, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Atlanta. The Titans will host the Colts in Week 2, while the other three games are on the road.
“I don’t want the legacy or whatever I’ve done in the last five years to be tarnished by something like this, which was a complete accident,” Lewan said last month when discussing his suspension.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Orioles general manager Mike Elias has fired 11 members of the scouting department and front office as part of an effort to turn around a team in the early stages of a major rebuild.
Elias announced the personnel moves Friday. The rookie GM would not reveal the names of those people dismissed, nor the positions impacted.
“We’re in a period of change right now with the industry and we’re in a period of change right now with the Orioles,” Elias said. “Sometimes to make changes you’ve got to make changes.”
The Orioles hired Elias in November and manager Brandon Hyde in December following a season in which they finished 47-115, their worst record since coming from St. Louis in 1954. This year, Baltimore again is in position to end up with the worst record in the majors, currently leading only Detroit for that dubious distinction.
Elias hopes shuffling personnel and scouting assignments will speed the process of bringing the Orioles back to respectability.
“We are reconfiguring quite a bit. We’re going to be very busy bringing people into this organization,” he said. “This is just the organization moving along and adapting to the sport today.”
He insisted that this wasn’t a cost-cutting move, but rather an adjustment to the current state of major league scouting.
“There are changes going on in the scouting business in terms of greater availability of information in general, video and data. It just changes the way that scouts do their job,” Elias said. “There are instances where we will replace people’s roles kind of man for man, head for head, spot for spot, but there’s other instances where we’re reconfiguring the way the scouts go about their business.”
AMES, Iowa (AP) — The man who fatally stabbed a former Iowa State University golfer from Spain while she was playing a round near the school was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Collin Richards pleaded guilty on June 14 to first-degree murder in the Sept. 17 slaying of 22-year-old Celia Barquin Arozamena. Police said Richards stabbed her on the course near the central Iowa campus in Ames and left her body in a pond.
Richards had been staying at a homeless encampment in nearby woods. Ames police reports show Richards struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, mental health problems and homelessness after he got out of prison three months before he killed Barquin. He had served roughly seven months behind bars for violating the terms of his probation on convictions for burglary and other crimes.
Richards, 22, told a judge earlier this month that he was sorry for his crime. He said in a handwritten letter that he wanted to show remorse “for stripping a life from society … worse, from a loving family.”
Barquin was a top golfer in Spain as a teenager and came to Iowa State to pursue her career.
Her family is aware of Richards’ expression of remorse but “they don’t give too much credit to that apology at this time,” the family’s lawyer, Leon Vidaller, told The Des Moines Register for a story published Thursday.