NEW YORK (AP)Carlos Alcaraz surged into his first Grand Slam final and gave himself a chance to become No. 1 at age 19 by ending Frances Tiafoe’s run at the U.S. Open with a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory.
No. 3 Alcaraz moved ahead by grabbing nine of 10 games in one stretch and could have ended the semifinal when he held a match point in the fourth set. Tiafoe saved that and forced a fifth set by improving to 8-0 in tiebreakers during the tournament.
Showing no signs of fatigue from his 5-hour, 15-minute quarterfinal win that ended at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Alcaraz was better down the stretch, taking four of the last five games.
Alcaraz will face No. 7 Casper Ruud for the championship on Sunday with so much on the line: The winner will become a major champion for the first time and lead the rankings next week.
Ruud, a 23-year-old from Norway, claimed a 55-shot point to cap the opening set of his semifinal and wound up beating Karen Khachanov 7-6 (5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
NEW YORK (AP) – Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury became the second team in the professional era to repeat as U.S. Open men’s doubles champions, beating Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski 7-6 (4), 7-5.
The top-seeded team joined the Hall of Fame duo of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde in 1995 and ’96 as the only teams to go back-to-back in New York since 1968.
Salisbury ensured he will remain the No. 1 player in the doubles rankings with his 17th straight U.S. Open win, combining men’s and mixed doubles.
Koolhof and Skupski, the No. 2 seeds, were playing at the U.S. Open for the first time as a team.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball is introducing some of its most radical rules next season, adopting a pitch clock and limiting defensive shifts after concluding modern analytics created a slower, less entertaining sport.
The decisions were made Friday by the sport’s 11-man competition committee over the unanimous opposition of the panel’s four players. Commissioner Rob Manfred pushed for the innovations along with a management team that included former Boston and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, now an MLB consultant.
Players supported the third major initiative: larger bases that are expected to lessen injuries and lead to more stolen bases because of a decreased distance of 4 1/2 inches.
Manfred called the rules an attempt to ”bring back the best form of baseball.”
Union head Tony Clark was noticeably absent, as he was at the announcement of an agreement in March that ended a 99-day lockout.
SEATTLE (AP) – Dansby Swanson hit one of Atlanta’s four home runs and the World Series champion Braves grabbed sole possession of first place for the first time all season with a 6-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Robbie Grossman, Travis d’Arnaud and rookie Michael Harris II also went deep for the streaking Braves, who won their eighth straight and finally jumped a half-game ahead of the Mets in the NL East after chasing them for five months. New York lost 6-3 at Miami earlier in the night.
Atlanta was seven games back on Aug. 8 and 10 1/2 behind on June 1. The only previous day this season the Mets did not hold at least a share of the division lead was April 11.
NEW YORK (AP) – Aaron Hicks was benched midgame after failing to catch consecutive drives to left that landed for run-scoring doubles in the fourth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 4-2 to close within 3 1/2 games in the AL East.
Randy Arozarena hit an RBI double in the first off Frankie Montas (5-12) to put the Rays ahead to stay.
Drew Rasmussen (10-4), reinstated from the paternity list allowed six hits in six scoreless innings, striking out a career-high 10. The Rays have won for nine of 10 and 15 of 18.
Aaron Judge hit an RBI single in the seventh and Kyle Higashioka homered in the ninth off JT Chargois. With Judge on first after a two-out walk, Gleyber Torries flied out to the right-field warning track.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball is ready to voluntarily accept the formation of a minor league union, a key step that will lead to collective bargaining and possibly a strike threat at the start of next season.
The Major League Baseball Players Association launched the unionization drive on Aug. 28 and told MLB on Tuesday it had obtained signed authorization cards from the approximately 5,500 players with minor league contracts. If MLB had declined to accept the union, the players’ association’s next step would have been to ask the National Labor Relations Board to conduct an authorization election.
Both sides were exchanging language Friday for a proposed card-check agreement. MLB maintains players with Dominican Summer League contracts will not be included in the bargaining unit, while the union would not state its position.
The vast majority of minor leaguers have not previously been represented by the union, which intends to form a separate bargaining unit with its own dues and governance structure, such as player representatives and an executive board.
MLB raised weekly minimum salaries for minor leaguers in 2021 to $400 at rookie and short-season levels, $500 at Class A, $600 at Double-A and $700 at Triple-A. For players on option, the minimum is $57,200 per season for a first big league contract and $114,100 for later big league contracts.
CINCINNATI (AP) – Without a top 10 since the Asia swing in early March, Jeongeun Lee6 posted her best score in nearly a year on with a 9-under 63 that gave her a one-shot lead in the Kroger Queen City Championship.
Lee6 has gone three years since her lone win on the LPGA Tour at the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 26-year-old South Korean hasn’t contended since Singapore at the HSBC Women’s World Championship.
She was at 13-under 131, one ahead of Janet Lin of China, who had a 68. Ally Ewing had six straight birdies on the front nine and shot 64, leaving her two behind.
Lee6 was never under much stress and was at her best around the turn at Kenwood Country Club, making seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch.
A teenager still in high school will be around for the weekend at the first LPGA Tour event in Cincinnati since 1989. Anna Davis, the 16-year-old from the San Diego area who won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, had a 66 and was at 4-under 140.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – John Hunter Nemechek chased down Carson Hocevar over the final laps at Kansas Speedway, passing him as the white flag flew and denying Hocevar’s last-gasp chance at advancing in the NASCAR Truck Series playoffs.
Hocevar ran out of fuel and coasted across in second place, but he needed the win to advance. Nemechek’s pass allowed Christian Eckes to sneak into the final playoff spot, while three-time series champion Matt Crafton also was eliminated.
Hocevar finished second for the fourth time in his career and third time this season, but has still never won a Truck race.
Ryan Preece finished third while playoff contenders Zane Smith and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top five.
Hocevar’s team gambled with strategy by going to the pits early in the final stage, putting him in front with about 30 laps left but on tires that were much older than just about everyone else’s. And when Nemechek got fresh tires, the No. 4 quickly began tracking Hocevar down, biting away about a second per lap during a long green-flag run to the finish.
Eckes wound up getting the final playoff spot by three points over Hocevar and 10 ahead of Crafton.