Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Courage take second consecutive NWSL title with 4-0 win
North Carolina Courage won their second successive NWSL championship on Sunday with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars. The home side, who were the best team in the regular season and topped the standings five points clear of second-placed Chicago, coped best with the heat and humidity in front of a sell-out crowd of 10,227 fans at Sahlen’s stadium.
Federer brushes De Minaur aside to claim record tenth Basel title
Roger Federer clinched a record-extending 10th Swiss Indoors championship title in his hometown of Basel with a crushing 6-2 6-2 victory over Australia's Alex de Minaur on Sunday. The 38-year-old Swiss has now won 103 singles titles in his career and the record win in Basel - where he once acted as a ball boy - was the second time he had won a tournament 10 times after achieving the feat in Halle in June.
Carolina's soccer-hungry fans bask in NWSL glow
North Carolina's drum-beating, flag-waving NWSL fans became the first to watch their team claim a championship on their home turf on Sunday, as the city aimed to build on its reputation as a soccer hotbed. The 10,000 capacity stadium is far smaller than last year's National Women's Soccer League championship venue, Portland's Providence Park, which had more than 20,000 attendees for the match between its hometown Thorns and the Courage.
Thiem survives Schwartzman onslaught to lift first Vienna title
Top seed Dominic Thiem survived an early scare and fought back from a set down to beat Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 3-6 6-4 6-3 and win his first Vienna Open title on Sunday. Austria's Thiem, ranked number five in the world, was roared on by the home crowd as the 26-year-old became the first player to win five titles this season following triumphs in Indian Wells, Barcelona, Kitzbuehel and Beijing.
Courage NWSL title caps explosive year in women's soccer
The North Carolina Courage thrashed the Chicago Red Stars for a second consecutive NWSL championship on Sunday, capping a significant year of change for women's soccer in the United States. Interest in the sport has increased thanks to the U.S. national team's record-extending fourth World Cup victory, a lawsuit against the governing body for gender discrimination and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on the horizon.
Gremio bounce back from Libertadores exit with 3-0 win
Gremio bounced back from last week's Copa Libertadores elimination to easily beat Botafogo 3-0 at home in Porto Alegre on Sunday. Maicon put the home side ahead in 12 minutes when he ran on to a clever pass from Luciano and shot past the goalkeeper from a tight angle.
Nationals' Scherzer to miss Game Five start due to back spasms
Washington Nationals ace right-hander Max Scherzer has been scratched from his start in Sunday's Game Five of the World Series against the Houston Astros with back and neck spasms, the Nationals said. Right-hander Joe Ross will start in Scherzer's place against the Astros' Gerrit Cole.
Astros owner apologizes for questioning reporter's professionalism
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane has apologized to a reporter for the team initially questioning her account of an incident this month where a team official made inappropriate comments to her and two other female reporters. Assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was later fired for taunting the women during a clubhouse celebration by flaunting Houston's acquisition of closer Roberto Osuna, who was suspended in 2018 over allegations he assaulted the mother of his child.
Barty takes opening WTA Finals win to seal top spot in rankings
World number one Ashleigh Barty battled back against Switzerland's Belinda Bencic to make a winning start to the 2019 WTA Finals on Sunday as the Australian notched up a 5-7 6-1 6-2 victory. Barty lost the opening set in the pair's first-ever meeting but conceded just three games in the remaining two sets in Shenzhen to seal a win guaranteeing that she will end the year as the WTA's top-ranked player, as well as putting her on top of the Red Group in the competition's round robin format.
Bregman, Astros break out to seize World Series momentum
Through the first two games of the World Series the Houston Astros looked nothing like the team that won 107 games this season but, with their 8-1 route of the Washington Nationals in Game Four, the team has returned to form. No one personifies the team, which evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2 on Saturday, better than third baseman Alex Bregman.