TennisHeat continues to take its toll on players at U.S. Open
Andy Murray was only briefly troubled by Nick Kyrgios in the most-anticipated match of the U.S. Open's first round. The third-seeded Murray, who won the title at Flushing Meadows in 2012, hit 18 aces and saved 11 of 14 break points en route to 7-5, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 victory over Kyrgios on Tuesday night. Murray was mostly steady in the face of Kyrgios' various antics, which included appearing to take a nap during changeovers, smashing his racket and earning a warning from the chair umpire for cursing aloud.
■ More players have stopped playing during matches because of injuries or illness during the first round of the U.S. Open than in any round at any Grand Slam tournament in the professional era.
With the temperature topping 90 degrees, a total of 12 men and women have retired during matches Monday and Tuesday at Flushing Meadows — with the first round still yet to be finished.
Never miss a local story.
The previous mark for most retirements during any round at any major was nine at the 2011 U.S. Open.
Among the 10 men and two women pulling out so far were five retirements Tuesday: Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Marina Erakovic.
■ Roger Federer gives credit where credit is due. The 17-time major champion said several past opponents helped him become the player he is. Federer mentioned Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt as the first to force him to improve.
Those two "really made me feel like a bad baseliner to an extent, until I realized I had to move better and be more consistent, have variation in my game," Federer said after his first-round victory, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 rout of Leonardo Mayer.
Federer said he picked up pointers on serve-and-volley tactics from Pete Sampras and Tim Henman, for example. And more recently, Rafael Nadal made Federer's backhand better.
"Rafa challenged my backhand the most throughout my career," he said. "I had to return differently every single time I played against him."
■ Down two sets and a break, Donald Young rallied to stun 11th-seeded Gilles Simon. The 68th-ranked Young won 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in 3 hours, 34 minutes. "I was almost ready to go home there," he told the crowd in an on-court interview. "I had nothing to lose. He was kicking my butt."
College footballVandy will announce starting QB at kickoff
Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason knows whether Johnny McCrary or Wade Freebeck will start against Western Kentucky in the season opener. The coach just refuses to say which quarterback won the job. "You'll see it Thursday night, 7:01. Get ready," Mason said Tuesday.
Vanderbilt was the only Football Bowl Subdivision team to start four quarterbacks last season in Mason's debut season, and the Commodores went 3-9. Patton Robinette appeared set as the starter after spring practice before announcing he was heading to medical school this summer.
That left McCrary and Freebeck competing to start in August, and Mason said he and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig selected their starter a week and a half ago. Mason defended the decision not to name the starter before the opener, saying he knows he has a starter and a backup.
"My idea is take the pressure off these guys and let's go play the game," Mason said. "It's not about who the fans may want to see or what they need to know, it's what puts these guys in the best possible situation to play well. Right now I've sort of been able to provide a shield around these guys, so we focus on the task at hand."
Etc.5-star point guard Jackson picks Duke
Duke has its point guard for the class of 2016. Five-star recruit Frank Jackson gave a verbal commitment to the Blue Devils on Tuesday, staging a low-key, non-televised announcement at his high school in Highland, Utah. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Jackson is rated the 14th-best prospect in the country by ESPN and is a top-20 recruit according to all the major outlets.
Jackson saw his stock rise considerably during the summer of 2014, going into his junior year. As a freshman, he had been offered a scholarship by Brigham Young — and he accepted on the spot, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Jackson rethought that decision and decommitted in November 2014. Ultimately, he chose the Blue Devils over Stanford, BYU and Utah.
■ Two members of Kentucky's swimming and diving squad were named to the 2015-16 United States National Team.
Danielle Galyer, a junior from Greenville, S.C., will compete in the 200 backstroke. She had the sixth-fastest qualifying time of 2:09.75 at the Phillips 66 Nationals. Tina Bechtel, who is a post-graduate student at UK, qualified with the fifth-fastest time in the 200 butterfly, turning in a 58.74 at the same meet.
"This is a great day for Kentucky swimming and diving," UK Coach Lars Jorgensen said. "To have two athletes representing Kentucky at the highest level is a great achievement for our program. I think this goes to show that everyone in our program what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication."
■ Centre junior forward Destinie Graves, Kentucky's Miss Soccer out of Tates Creek in 2012, scored a pair of first-half goals in Centre's 4-0 shutout at Rose-Hulman in Terra Haute, Ind. ... Centre also hired 2012 graduate Colleen Maggard as an assistant swimming and diving coach. Maggard, who starred in high school at Bourbon County, owns Centre's school records in both the women's 100- and 200-yard backstroke.
■ Connor Joe's one-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the West Virginia Power a 3-2 victory over the Lexington Legends in Charleston, W.Va. Former Lafayette and Western Kentucky star Anderson Miller had an RBI groundout for the Legends. Austin Bailey doubled in their other run.
The last word
Kansas City Royals All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera and right fielder Alex Rios were diagnosed with chickenpox, raising concerns that others on the AL Central leaders might have been exposed. The news also made for a bizarre welcome for outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in a deal just before Monday's trading deadline. Gomes said:
"I'm definitely in the clear. That was the first time I've been asked that in a physical. Normally it's, 'How's your shoulder? How's your knee?' Yeah, chickenpox. I'm good."