• Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning the first set of his first round match against Borna Coric of Croatia at the U.S. Open Tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning the first set of his first round match against Borna Coric of Croatia at the U.S. Open Tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK – On a humid, still day in New York, No. 1 Novak Djokovic had no intentions of spending an extra minute on the court. He's here on a misson, and he completed the first step in rapid fashion, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

    "I'm going to do everything in my power to get an opportunity to fight for the trophy. That's all I'm looking for," he said after the match.

    Djokovic has every reason to expect to challenge for the title. He's 20-1 in Grand Slam matches this year, with two titles to his name. He barely missed the crown at Roland Garros, where he was runner-up to Stan Wawrinka. 

    No. 8 Rafael Nadal looked like he'd finish just as quickly as he took the court Monday night. He jumped out to a two-set lead over teenager Borna Coric. 

    Coric had beaten the 14-time Grand Slam champion in their only previous meeting. He took the third set off Nadal Monday, before the Spaniard rallied back to the 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

    "I think I started playing well," Nadal said. "The first two sets was a very

    Read More »from U.S. Open: Rafa, Djokovic breeze through first round
  • Defending U.S. open champion Serena Williams of the United States serves during her first round match against Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia in the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis center in New York, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)Defending U.S. open champion Serena Williams of the United States serves during her first round match against Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia in the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis center in New York, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK – Serena Williams stuck to the script Monday night, moving on to the second round of the U.S. Open and continuing her quest to complete the first calendar Grand Slam since 1988.

    For all the hype that led up to this match, it was a sputtering start to the tournament. Williams' opponent retired just two games into the second set. But, a win's a win. Williams moves on. 

    "It was definitely different and bizarre," the 21-time Grand Slam champion said after the match. "But at the same time I was still focused. I kept thinking, you know, just stay focused; don't lose it."

    There was really never any chance she'd lose it. Williams and Vitalia Diatchenko were on the court for just 30 minutes before Diatchenko retired with a foot injury. She had already called the trainer out to wrap her left ankle earlier in the match.

    Williams held a 6-0, 2-0 when Diatchenko retired. She served six aces and won 13 of 14 first-serve points in the shortened match. 

    This was Williams' first match under

    Read More »from U.S. Open: Serena Williams advances to second round
  • NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31:  Jessica Pegula of the United States returns a shot against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium during their Women's First Round match on Day One of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31: Jessica Pegula of the United States returns a shot against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium during their Women's First Round match on Day One of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)NEW YORK – The Pegula family owns the NFL's Buffalo Bills and NHL's Buffalo Sabres, but the family's biggest win of the year didn't come in Buffalo.

    About 400 miles to the southeast, daugther Jessica Pegula earned that honor as she won her Grand Slam debut on Monday afternoon in New York City. 

    Pegula upset Roland Garros quarterfinalist Alison Van Uytvanck in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3.

    The 21-year-old is ranked 260th in the world. She earned a spot in the main draw by advancing through the qualifying rounds, were she edged 2009 break-out star Melanie Oudin. 

    With Pegula making her way into the main draw, the tournament now has familial ties to the NHL, NFL, and NBA. The NBA connection comes from CoCo Vandeweghe, niece of Kiki Vandeweghe and granddaughter of former New York Knick Ernie Vandeweghe. She also won Monday, advancing to the second round for the third year in a row. 

    _____________

    Danielle Elliot is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Find her on Twitter and Facebook. 

    Read More »from Daughter of Bills, Sabres owner wins U.S. Open debut
  • DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers speaks to the media during a press conference. (Getty Images)DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers speaks to the media during a press conference. (Getty Images)When coveted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan broke a verbal agreement to join the Dallas Mavericks to return to the Los Angeles Clippers, analysts and observers wondered what could have changed his mind over the course of just a few days. Did the Clippers wage an assault to convince him L.A. was the place for him? Was their emoji science too tight? Was Blake Griffin's chair barricade just too strong?

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    While speculation over the cause varied and did not absolve Jordan of his mistakes, the most informed takes suggested that the shot-blocking, oop-dunking dynamo had felt pushed into the Mavericks deal by agent Dan Fegan, who has a longstanding relationship with Mark Cuban. The smart money said that Jordan would not retain Fegan's services for long after his reversal.

    That has now come to pass. According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Jordan has parted ways with Fegan and his fellow representatives at

    Read More »from DeAndre Jordan leaves agent Dan Fegan after controversial summer
  • Kris Tamulis had been waiting a long time for this – 185 starts to be exact. But on Sunday, she finally earned a breakthrough win on the LPGA Tour, taking the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Alabama.

    She had to play 29 holes on Sunday to do it, finishing out a weather-delayed third round at The Senator Course in Prattville with a 5-under 67, then did two better in the final round with a 65 that held off former No. 1 Yani Tseng and Austin Ernst by a shot at 17-under 271.

    The 34-year-old may well have been helped by the marathon nature of the finish, leaving little time to think about what could happen.

    "It was amazing," Tamulis said after the win. "I was definitely not expecting this today."

    Tamulis made a birdie on the 71st hole of the tournament and came up just short of another on the 18th, left to wonder if someone would catch her from well behind. After waiting almost an hour, the 34-year-old had her win when neither Ernst nor Tseng, playing together, could convert their birdie

    Read More »from Kris Tamulis wins Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic for breakthrough after 186 starts
  • Italy coach Antonio Conte announced his squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers over the weekend, and among the 29 players selected are two from Major League Soccer – Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto FC and Andrea Pirlo of New York City FC.

    While veterans like Pirlo have been coming to MLS for one last paycheck for years, Giovinco's signing with Toronto from Juventus in January was regarded as a milestone for the league. Here was a 27-year-old striker in his prime coming from a team that was then on its way to the Champions League final electing to come to MLS.

    Cynics decried the move as being all about money. Indeed, with a four-year contract worth $7 million a year, Giovinco became the highest-paid Italian player in the world when he joined TFC.

    But Giovinco’s bank account isn’t the only thing that’s benefited from his move to MLS. With 17 league goals and 13 assists this season, his excellent form for Toronto has not been lost on Conte.

    "Giovinco is doing very well in Canada,"

    Read More »from Giovinco, Pirlo call-ups by Italy show changing opinion of MLS in Europe
  • Sometimes, all it takes to do something is belief, persistence and patience. 

    At 46, Dicky Pride earned his 2015-16 PGA Tour status on Sunday in the final regular-season event on the Web.com Tour, winning the WinCo Foods Portland Open for his first professional win in some 21 years. He jumped from 40th on the money list to fifth, guaranteeing him one of 25 PGA Tour cards up for grabs from the season-long money list. 

    The journeyman knew this was coming, or at least that's what he was telling himself with a card he'd carried in his wallet for most of the Web.com Tour season, which he shared on Twitter after his win.

    The three-shot win sends Pride back to the PGA Tour, while Tim Herron, who finished second and three behind Pride, jumped up from outside the Web.com Tour Finals into the 32nd spot with a

    Read More »from Dicky Pride carried motivational note predicting Web.com Tour win
  • John Daly is lucky to be alive after he collapsed Saturday during a Jackson, Miss., area golf tournament.

    Daly passed out on the 18th hole at Deefield Golf Club while competing in a small event, including several friends. He was eventually taken to nearby Baptist Medical Center and treated for a collapsed lung, but, in the initial moments after the collapse, Daly was not breathing.

    “I had my arm around him when he went down. He had no pulse and wasn’t breathing for close to three minutes,” said playing partner Will Dottley, according to Golf Channel. “It was kind of a miracle.”

    Dottley said a nurse in the gallery performed CPR on Daly.

    Daly's agent, Bud Martin, said Daly's injury was partially the result of a rib injury he suffered in 2007 at the Honda Classic, when Daly had to stop his swing on the 12th hole of the first round when a female fan, according to Daly, stepped out in front of him mid-swing to snap a picture of the two-time major winner. Witnesses and playing partners said

    Read More »from Witness: Daly stopped breathing for 3 minutes after collapse
  • Kevin Durant seeks out an authoritative return. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Kevin Durant seeks out an authoritative return. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it's time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players, and people stand on the brink of 2015-16.

    The next year will feature a great deal of speculation about Kevin Durant's future. The pending unrestricted free agent is that rarest of things — a generation-defining superstar who will become available in (or on the cusp) of his prime. Like LeBron James before him, Durant commands enough attention to make all the rumors and speculation to come seem at least somewhat sensible. Transformational talents demand such attention, and the entire league will feel the reverberations of Durant's eventual decision to stay with or leave the Oklahoma City

    Read More »from BDL 25: Kevin Durant is back to score at will and dominate headlines
  • Venus Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico during their match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriVenus Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico during their match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriNEW YORK – Venus Williams continued her streak of perfection in the first round of the U.S. Open, this time defeating Monica Puig, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 on Monday afternoon.

    Williams is the oldest woman in the draw this year. She has won her first-round match in all of her 17 appearances here. 

    Puig held off four match points in a second-set tiebreak, forcing a deciding third set with the sun blazing overhead. It was Williams' serve that made the difference, as the 35-year-old recorded 18 aces in the win.

    "By the time I got to the third set I was able to clean up my game a bit," Williams said after the match. She added that the new roof structure over Arthur Ashe stadium added more shade than usual. "I felt some clarity and just wanted to take the opportunity to play better."

    Williams will face fellow American Irina Falconi next. Falconi advanced with a straight-set win over American Samantha Crawford.

    American CoCo Vandeweghe joined Williams and Falconi in the next round with a quick 6-4,

    Read More »from U.S. Open: Venus Williams advances to second round

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