Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Nadal fit and ready for hardcourt challenge at U.S. Open
Rafa Nadal was forced out of the U.S. Open last year in the semi-finals with a knee injury but the in-form Spaniard on Friday declared himself fit and ready for the punishing hardcourts at Flushing Meadows. Nadal's hopes of defending his 2017 U.S. Open title last year were crushed when his chronic knee issues forced him to retire while trailing Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(3) 6-2 after a number of long and grueling matches.
'Fast healer' Osaka ready for U.S. Open title defense
Naomi Osaka's knee injury suffered in the lead-up to her U.S. Open title defense has improved and the Japanese does not expect it to limit her performance in the year's final Grand Slam. The world number one's participation in the major was put in serious doubt last week when she retired from a quarter-final clash in Cincinnati where she felt pain around her left knee after coming down on her leg following her service motion.
Giants' Shurmur: 'Eli's our starter'
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning remains the team's starting quarterback despite another strong showing by rookie Daniel Jones, coach Pat Shurmur announced Friday. Shurmur stopped short of declaring the 38-year-old Manning as the starter for the season opener against Dallas immediately following Thursday's 25-23 preseason win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Paire rallies to make Winston-Salem semi-finals
Top-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire staved off Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta to win their quarter-final match in the rain-delayed Winston-Salem Open on Friday. Paire served 14 double faults in the 7-6(5) 1-6 6-3 win that set up a semi-final against American Steve Johnson later on Friday in the North Carolina tournament.
Trademark denied: Pats' Brady can't claim 'Tom Terrific'
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied Tom Brady's application to trademark "Tom Terrific." The New England Patriots quarterback sought to trademark the phrase because he wanted to keep others from marketing that nickname in connection with him.
U.S. Open makes changes after Serena-Ramos incident
A year after Serena Williams infamously clashed with an umpire during her U.S. Open final loss over being assessed multiple violations that confused some viewers, tournament organizers have unveiled changes to make such rulings clearer to fans. The United States Tennis Association (USTA), which runs the U.S. Open, said on Friday that this year for the first time at the Grand Slam it will post code violations on the scoreboard as they occur.
Vondrousova out of U.S. Open with wrist injury
French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova has withdrawn from the U.S. Open with a left wrist injury, tournament organisers said on Friday. The 20-year-old Czech did not compete in any U.S. Open tune-up events and has not been in action since falling in the first round at Wimbledon.
Family vacation has Federer ready for U.S. Open charge
Roger Federer needed a couple of days to get over his heartbreaking Wimbledon final loss but a family caravan vacation around the Swiss countryside proved the perfect tonic. Federer, who will chase a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title at the Aug. 26-Sept. 8 U.S. Open in New York, struggled with the five-set defeat to Novak Djokovic for a short time, but could not dwell on the missed opportunity.
Russia's Kuznetsov gets four-year IIHF ban after cocaine test
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said on Friday it had suspended Russian national team player Evgeny Kuznetsov for four years for testing positive for cocaine. Kuznetsov, who plays for the Washington Capitals in North America's National Hockey League (NHL), said he accepted his suspension.
With no dominant force, U.S. Open women's trophy up for grabs
As many as 10 women competing at this year's U.S. Open have a realistic shot at raising the trophy including all-time great Serena Williams and big-hitting teenager Bianca Andreescu. That is the view of former world number one Chris Evert who said on Friday that without a dominant force it is the depth of the women's game that should be celebrated.