NEW YORK (AP)Ons Jabeur reached a second consecutive Grand Slam title match without needing to produce her best tennis Thursday night, taking full advantage of a shaky showing by Caroline Garcia to win their U.S. Open semifinal 6-1, 6-3.
The No. 5-seeded Jabeur, a 28-year-old from Tunisia, was the runner-up at Wimbledon in July and now will be the first African woman to participate in a final at the U.S. Open in the professional era, which dates to 1968.
Jabeur will try to win her first major championship Saturday when she meets top-ranked Iga Swiatek, a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 winner over No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka.
Two months ago, Jabeur became the first the first African woman and Arab woman to get to Wimbledon’s final, and ended up losing to Elena Rybakina.
Swiatek, a 21-year-old from Poland, already owns two trophies from the French Open’s red clay but never had been past the fourth round on New York’s hard courts.
DALLAS (AP) – In a meeting room just down the hall from where the plan for a 12-team College Football Playoff came to life almost 2 1/2 years ago, the conference commissioners who manage the postseason system finally began the next phase of expansion: implementation.
The 11-member management committee gathered for 4 1/2 hours at a hotel in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport for the first time since their bosses voted last week to expand the CFP from four to 12 teams.
The frustrations and hard-feelings that hung over expansion talks most of last fall, and led to some icy gatherings, have seemingly been lifted. The goal is to sort through myriad issues and have a new format in place for the 2024 season.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) – The Chicago Bears say they will need taxpayer assistance if they are going to construct an enclosed suburban stadium that could host Super Bowls, Final Fours and College Football Playoff games and anchor a surrounding entertainment and residential complex.
Chairman George McCaskey said the team would not seek public funding to build the stadium itself if the Bears complete the purchase of a 326-acre site in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and decide to move from Soldier Field. But they would need help to complete the rest of a multibillion-dollar project.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball is set to announce a pitch clock and limits on defensive shifts next season in an effort to shorten games and increase offense.
The sport’s 11-man competition committee is set to adopt the rules changes Friday, mandating a clock that will count down 15 seconds with no runners on base and 20 seconds with runners.
The shift limit will require four players other than the pitcher and the catcher to be in front of the outfield grass when a pitch is thrown, including two of the four on either side of second base,
In addition, there will be a limit during each plate appearance of two pickoff attempts or steps off the rubber, what MLB calls disengagements. If a third attempt is made and is unsuccessful, a balk would be called. The limit would be reset to two during a plate appearance if a runner advances.
Size of bases will increase to 18-inch squares from 15, promoting safety – first basemen are less likely to get stepped on – but also boosting stolen bases and offense with a slightly decreased distance.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Yadier Molina homered twice on a day he paired with St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright to tie the major league record of 324 starts by a battery in an 11-6 loss to the Washington Nationals.
The 41-year-old Wainwright and 40-year-old Molina matched the mark set by Detroit’s Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan from 1963-75.
Molina hit a two-run homer into the third deck in left in the third and a solo shot in the fourth. Wainright allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings.
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) – Play was suspended late in the first round of the BMW PGA Championship on the European tour Thursday following the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96.
Thirty of the 144 players in the field had yet to finish their first rounds at Wentworth. The tour said there would be no play on Friday and flags at the club were lowered to half-staff ”out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family.”
Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Viktor Hovland shared the clubhouse lead at 8-under 64.
CINCINNATI (AP) – Xiyu ”Janet” Lin of China opened with five birdies in six holes, birdied all but one of the par 5s and had an 8-under 64 for a one-shot lead over Nasa Hataoka in the Kroger Queen City Championship.
The LPGA Tour returned to Cincinnati for the first time in 33 years and was greeted with a gorgeous day and plenty of good scoring at Kenwood Country Club.
That included a remarkable performance by 14-year-old Gianna Clemente, who made it through Monday qualifying for the third week in a row on the LPGA Tour and has a chance to play all four days. Clemente had a bogey-free 70.
MILAN (AP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 25 points in 19 minutes before leaving midway through the third quarter with an ankle issue in Greece’s 90-69 victory over Estonia in the Group C finale for both teams at the EuroBasket tournament.
The Milwaukee Bucks star was clearly limping after the game, but was able to take part in the postgame on-court celebration and exchanged handshakes with Estonia’s players and coaches.
RECIFE, Brazil (AP) – Norris Cole scored 20 points and the United States rallied past Puerto Rico 85-84 in an AmeriCup quarterfinal game.
The Americans will face Argentina on Saturday in the semifinals. Argentina beat Venezuela 76-53. Canada will face Brazil in the other semifinal.
EVELETH, Minn. (AP) – Longtime NHL goaltender Ryan Miller and Olympic gold medal-winning women’s stars Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando headline the 2022 class of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Three-time Paralympic gold medal-winning sled hockey goalie Steve Cash and late USA Hockey executive Jim Johannson were also elected. They’ll all be inducted at a ceremony in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Nov. 30.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – NASCAR is returning to one of its original venues that it left more than a quarter-century ago – North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina native Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined the stock car body and the track’s owner to announce that the track will host the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race next year – NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season.