The Sports Report: Serena Williams wins again at the U.S. Open

Serena Williams reacts after defeating Anett Kontaveit
(John Minchillo / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Helene Elliott: Serena Williams isn’t going quietly into the next phase of what she calls her evolution away from tennis. She’s not going at all, just yet.

Showing flashes of the power and fearsome serve that helped her win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in a career whose influence has carried well beyond the tennis court, Williams again delayed her departure from singles competition and turned the clock back to the time she dominated women’s tennis. Her energy dipped after she won a dramatic first-set tiebreak against world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Wednesday at the U.S. Open, but she rebounded to wrap up a 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2 second-round victory, triggering roars from fans who had breathed every breath with her and knew they were witnessing a powerful occasion at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It’s no rush here. I’m loving the crowd. Oh my goodness, it’s really fantastic,” Williams said during an on-court interview following her win.

Williams, who will be 41 next month, reached the third round of a tournament she has won six times. A seventh title, which seemed so improbable when she came here unseeded and with little match experience because injuries had kept her off the court for nearly a year, suddenly doesn’t seem impossible anymore.


Playing in front of a celebrity-filled crowd that included Tiger Woods, Spike Lee, Gladys Knight and Zendaya, Williams was buoyed by fans who ignored frequent cautions against making noise between points to shout their support. She moved more smoothly and seemed more comfortable with her timing in the early going than she was in her first-round victory over Danka Kovinic on Monday, and she clinched the first-set tiebreak with an ace.

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From Jack Harris: Dave Roberts billed it as a potential postseason pitching matchup.

If so, he better hope the Dodgers do a whole lot better against Jacob deGrom in October.

In a 2-1 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday night, the Dodgers could never fully crack the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

They were hitless over the first four innings. They didn’t score their first run until the sixth. And, for a team that entered the night leading baseball in most offensive categories, it looked largely overmatched for one of the only times this year.

“He was Jacob deGrom — throwing 100-mph fastballs and locating the slider,” said third baseman Justin Turner.

“He’s pretty much the best,” outfielder Mookie Betts added. “He’s a tough task.”



From Sarah Valenzuela: After two games in the spotlight, Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge got lost early in the pitching duel between Angels starter Patrick Sandoval and New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole on Wednesday in Anaheim.

Then in the sixth inning, Ohtani made his presence felt.

With two men on and one out in a game in which the Angels were down 2-0, Ohtani sized up Cole’s 2-and-0 four-seam fastball and hit it into the hedges behind the center field wall. Ohtani trotted around the bases after David Fletcher, who reached on a single, and Mike Trout, who reached base on a fielding error, emphatically low-fiving them after he touched home plate.

The Angels beat the Yankees 3-2.


From Jeff Miller: The Chargers spent all of training camp and the preseason searching for a backup to Austin Ekeler.

Then they spent a few more days, signing veteran running back Sony Michel on Wednesday.

Released this week by Miami, Michel was with the Rams last season, rushing for 845 yards and catching 21 passes for another 128 yards. He played 49% of the team’s regular-season offensive snaps.

“A guy that has been successful in the league,” offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said. “A good runner. An every-down back. He’s a guy that we think is going to add some value.”


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From Ben Bolch: UCLA’s football coaches will make a record $10,172,500 in salary and bonuses this year, according to records reviewed by The Times, a 3.2% increase over the previous year. More than half of the new total is consumed by coach Chip Kelly’s $5.6 million in salary that includes a $1-million retention bonus payable Dec. 15.

New defensive coordinator Bill McGovern is Kelly’s highest-paid assistant, pocketing $900,000 in each of the two years on his contract. Offensive line coach Tim Drevno will make $560,000 this year, followed by assistant head coach, defensive backs coach and defensive passing game coordinator Brian Norwood ($535,000); inside linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. ($437,500); quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson ($410,000); outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Ikaika Malloe ($390,000); running backs coach DeShaun Foster ($385,000); defensive line coach Chad Kauha’aha’a ($335,000); and tight ends coach Jeff Faris and wide receivers coach Jerry Neuheisel ($310,000 apiece).

The increase in salaries comes amid massive turnover on Kelly’s staff, including six new coaches this season. Kelly was awarded a new four-year, $22-million contract in January that included only modest raises.

Raises and bonuses will bump the total for the coaching staff to $10,357,500 for the second years of their contracts. Each assistant could make an additional $100,000 in performance bonuses per year.


Who will crash the College Football Playoff semifinals? A look at five contenders


Riqui Puig scored his first MLS goal in the 89th minute to give the Galaxy a 2-2 tie with Toronto FC on Wednesday night in former Reds coach Greg Vanney’s return to BMO Field.

Puig, a former Barcelona product making his second start for the Galaxy, hammered a shot past goalkeeper Alex Bono.

Douglas Costa opened the scoring for the Galaxy (11-11-5) in the 24th minute. Jesus Jimenez tied it in the 62nd.


Griffin Dorsey scored in the 75th minute and the Houston Dynamo beat LAFC 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Sebastian Ferreira gave the Dynamo (8-15-5) a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 13th minute.

Cristian Arango scored for LAFC (18-7-3) in the 19th minute.


1923 — The United States wins its fourth consecutive Davis Cup by beating Australia four matches to one.

1946 — Patty Berg wins the U.S. Women’s Open golf title by beating Betty Jameson in the final round.

1971 — John Newcombe becomes the first top-seeded man to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open when he loses to Jan Kodes, 2-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.

1973 — George Foreman knocks out Jose Roman at 2:00 of the first round in Tokyo to retain the heavyweight title.

1977 — Renee Richards, the 43-year-old transsexual who fought for more than a year for the right to play in the women’s singles of a major tennis championship, is beaten in the first round by Virginia Wade, 6-1, 6-4. Tracy Austin, at the age of 14 years, eight months, 20 days, becomes the youngest player to play in the U.S. Open, defeating Heidi Eisterlehner, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, in the first round. Austin’s mark is broken in 1979 by 14-year-old Kathy Horvath.

1984 — Willie Totten of Mississippi Valley State passes for a Division I-AA record 536 yards and nine touchdowns in a 86-0 rout of Kentucky State. Jerry Rice catches 17 passes for 294 yards and five touchdowns and breaks his own Division I-AA record for receiving yards.

1987 — Fifteen-year-old Michael Chang beats Paul McNamee, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, to become the youngest man to win a match at the U.S. Open.

1989 — Chris Evert becomes the first 100-match winner in 108 years of U.S. tennis championships. Evert, playing her final U.S. Open, beat Patricia Tarabini 6-2, 6-4.

1993 — Goran Ivanisevic and Daniel Nestor play the longest tie-break in the history of the U.S. Open (38 points). Ivanisevic wins the first-round match 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (18).

1998 — Mark McGwire breaks Hack Wilson’s 68-year-old National League record for home runs in a season, hitting his 56th and 57th in the St. Louis Cardinals’ victory over the Florida Marlins.

2007 — Appalachian State 34, No. 5 Michigan 32. Julian Rauch’s 24-yard field goal with 26 seconds left puts the Mountaineers ahead of the Wolverines and Corey Lynch blocks a field goal in the final seconds to seal one of college football’s biggest upsets.

2012 — Eureka (Ill.) College quarterback Sam Durley passes for 736 yards in a 62-55 victory over Knox to break the NCAA single-game passing record. Durley completes 34 of 52 passes and throws for five touchdowns, including two in the final two minutes as the Red Devils close the Division III game with 17 unanswered points.

2014 — Kei Nishikori outlasts Milos Raonic in a five-set marathon that ends a 2:26 a.m., tying the latest finish in U.S. Open history.

2015 — Indiana’s Tamika Catchings scores 13 points, and the Fever beat the Connecticut Sun 81-51 to reach the playoffs for a WNBA-record 11th straight season.

2019 — Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros strikes out 14 batters as he throws his third career no-hitter in a 2-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

2021 — Christiano Renaldo breaks the world record for goals scores in men’s international football with his 110th and 111th goals for Portugal in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over the Republic of Ireland.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Appalachian State stuns No. 5 Michigan. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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