Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Thomas shares Tour Championship lead despite low-key start
Justin Thomas missed two short putts in a mediocre even-par 70 on the first day at the Tour Championship on Thursday but ended the round tied for the lead with fellow Americans Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. Thomas was grateful for the unique staggered scoring system, which afforded him a headstart at 10-under-par thanks to his top seeding as FedEx Cup points leader entering the season-ending event at East Lake in Atlanta.
Murray to step up singles comeback in Nadal's Challenger event
Former world number one Andy Murray will compete in his first Challenger Tour event in 14 years at next week's Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca, tournament organizers confirmed on Thursday. The 32-year-old pulled out of the doubles event at the U.S. Open to focus on his singles comeback after undergoing career-saving hip resurfacing surgery.
USTA under-reported millions, owes back rent: NYC comptroller
The New York City Comptroller said on Thursday that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) had under-reported millions in gross revenue, days before the start of the U.S. Open, the organization's marquee event and final Grand Slam of the year. The USTA's National Tennis Center owes the city more than $300,000 in rent after it "under-reported at least $31 million in revenue between 2014 and 2017", the comptroller's office said.
Back from 'hell', Fury helping others fight their demons
Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said he "tasted death" during the mental health crisis that brought him to the brink of suicide but is back and on a mission to help others. The British fighter shocked the world in 2015 when he defeated long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko to capture the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.
Federer looks to cure Wimbledon hangover at U.S. Open
Roger Federer has incredible mental toughness and the Swiss great may have to lean on that attribute more than ever at the U.S. Open if he plans to show the tennis world he has moved on from last month's Wimbledon heartbreak. Rather than arriving at the Aug. 26-Sept. 8 U.S. Open fresh off collecting a 21st Grand Slam title, Federer is instead left to wonder what could have been after failing to convert two championship points on his own serve in the fifth set against Novak Djokovic.
Report: Patriots S Chung indicted on coke possession charge
New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung reportedly was indicted on a charge of cocaine possession in New Hampshire. According to the Laconia Daily Sun, he was indicted by a Belknap County jury on Aug. 8 for an incident that took place on June 25 in Meredith, where Chung has a home.
MLB will not allow players to participate in Venezuelan baseball season: sources
Major League Baseball will not give permission for players to participate in the upcoming Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) season, three sources close to the Venezuelan league said on Thursday, attributing the move to U.S. sanctions. Venezuelan players who play for MLB's 30 teams or their hundreds of minor league affiliates often return to their homeland to play for one of the LVBP's eight teams during the winter season, which begins in October. Players from other nationalities also participate.
Astros deny Detroit writer access to Verlander
The Houston Astros denied a Detroit Free Press reporter access to Justin Verlander after Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to the Tigers. An Astros spokesman told the newspaper that writer Anthony Fenech had been denied access at the pitcher's request.
Serena and Sharapova in first-round match at U.S. Open
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will have their first ever clash at Flushing Meadows at the U.S. Open next week after being drawn against each other in the first round. It will be the 22nd career match-up between the two long-time rivals, who somehow have avoided each other at the U.S. Open throughout their long careers.
Djokovic, Federer in same half of U.S. Open draw
Wimbledon finalists Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are on a semi-final collision course at the U.S. Open after they were placed in the same half of the draw on Thursday. Top seed Djokovic, who saved two match points in the All England Club final to deny Federer a record ninth title at the grasscourt championships, will start his campaign against 76th-ranked Roberto Carballes Baena before facing a potential second-round showdown against American Sam Querrey.