Reuters Sports News Summary

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Djokovic finds comfort zone early at U.S. Open

Novak Djokovic was feeling right at home on the Arthur Ashe Stadium hardcourt on Monday, which may be bad news for anyone hoping to deny the defending champion from adding to his Grand Slam tally. The top-seeded Serbian said the surface of the blue court during his 6-4 6-1 6-4 first round win over Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena was very similar to last year when he picked up his third U.S. Open title.

Brady on Luck retirement: 'His life'

Tom Brady turned 42, signed a new contract and is in attack mode entering his 20th season in the NFL. Suffice it to say, he doesn't entirely relate with Andrew Luck's decision to retire at 29. "It is his life. Everyone has the right to choose what he wants to do," Brady said Monday in an interview with WEEI. "He had a great career, and he was a great player. Everybody wishes they could be healthy all the time. It is a contact sport, and he's certainly had his fair share of injuries, so guys retire at different times. Some at the end of the season, and I have seen a lot of guys retire before the season gets going and this is just one of those examples."

U.S. Open gets underway under cloudy skies

Partly cloudy skies and a cool breeze did little to dampen the enthusiasm of fans packed into Flushing Meadows for the U.S. Open on Monday, where the sport's biggest names were set to embark on their quest to win the year's final Grand Slam. World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic and French Open champion Ash Barty will take the court in the morning before five-times winner Roger Federer closes the night session on Arthur Ashe.

Holder Djokovic safely into U.S. Open second round

Novak Djokovic began his U.S. Open title defense in style with a 6-4 6-1 6-4 win over Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena in first-round action on Monday. The top-seeded Serbian, who has claimed four of the last five Grand Slam titles, took some time to settle in to his first career meeting with Carballes Baena but after a tight first set was off to the races.

Venus sprints through first round of U.S. Open

Venus Williams ended a run of suffering first-round exits at Grand Slam tournaments by walloping China's Zheng Saisai 6-1 6-0 on the opening day of the U.S. Open on Monday. The 39-year-old American had failed to win a match at this year's French Open and Wimbledon tournaments but on Monday showed some of the form that had earned her two U.S. Open titles.

Koepka claims second consecutive PGA Player of Year award

Brooks Koepka has claimed PGA of America Player of the Year honours for the second consecutive year, edging the newly crowned Tour Championship winner Rory McIlroy, the PGA of America said on Monday. Koepka, winner of three titles this season including a successful defence of his PGA championship crown, finished with 84 points.

Mladenovic sends Kerber packing from U.S. Open

Kristina Mladenovic upset former world number one Angelique Kerber 7-5 0-6 6-4 on Monday to put an early end to the 2016 U.S. Open champion's bid for a second trophy at Flushing Meadows. Mladenovic suffered back spasms that twice required medical attention in a second set dominated by the German but recovered in the decider, breaking Kerber in the first game to seize the momentum.

Sevastova condemns Bouchard to 12th successive defeat

Latvian 12th seed Anastasija Sevastova dispatched an error-prone Genie Bouchard 6-3 6-3 to reach the second round of the U.S. Open on Monday. Bouchard struggled with her accuracy, committing 27 unforced errors and double faulting four times, in the match which drew a big crowd to Court 5.

Venezuelan politicians may take the field if MLB bars players, socialist party No. 2 says

Venezuela's upcoming baseball season will go on "even if we have to play ourselves," socialist party No. 2 Diosdado Cabello said on Monday, criticizing a move by Major League Baseball (MLB) to restrict players from participating because of U.S. sanctions. MLB said last week it would suspend involvement in the Venezuelan league, which starts play in October, while it awaited word from the U.S. government on whether its players' participation was consistent with Washington's sanctions on the OPEC nation, which are meant to force out socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Nishikori already has sights set on 2020 Tokyo Olympics

There are still four Grand Slam events that will be contested before medals can be won at the Tokyo Olympics but as far as Kei Nishikori is concerned, all roads from now on lead to one destination. “For me it (the Olympics) will be the biggest event of the year,” Nishikori told Reuters after reaching the second round of the U.S. Open on Monday.