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    Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic both picked up straight-set victories in the first round of the French Open against opponents ranked outside the Top 100 and making their Grand Slam debuts. Alcaraz is seeded No. 1, Djokovic is No. 3 and most everyone expects them to face each other in the semifinals. Alcaraz beat Flavio Cobolli on Monday. Djokovic defeated Aleksandar Kovacevic.

      Barbora Krejcikova is trying not to think too much about her past two trips to the French Open as she prepares to play her first-round match Tuesday in Paris. Two years ago, she arrived relatively unknown and relatively unaccomplished and left with championships in both singles and doubles, something no woman had done at Roland Garros in more than 20 years.

        Aryna Sabalenka initially thought the boos and derisive whistles coming from the French Open crowd were directed at her after a first-round victory. Instead, the negative reaction was aimed at her opponent, Marta Kostyuk, for not participating in the usual postmatch handshake at the net. Kostyuk, who is from Ukraine, avoided so much as any eye contact with Sabalenka, who is from Belarus, after the match, instead walking directly over to acknowledge the chair umpire.

          Novak Djokovic has made his long-term goal clear. He wants to focus on accumulating Grand Slam titles in order to surpass the totals of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The French Open starts Sunday without the injured Nadal or the retired Federer, so Djokovic gets the chance to lead the career standings alone with a men's-record 23. 

            Yannick Noah has returned to the French Open stage for a celebration of his 1983 title. This time he he had a microphone in his hand instead of a racket. Noah is a celebrity in his home country and he was feted 40 years after he became the last man from France to win a Grand Slam singles trophy.

              All of those questions about who would step to the fore once Serena Williams walked away from the tennis tour seem to be getting answered with three names: Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina. As the start of the French Open approaches on Sunday, defending champion Swiatek is ranked No. 1, Sabalenka is No. 2 and Rybakina is No. 4. More to the point, perhaps, with a major trophy up for grabs on the red clay of Roland Garros: This group divvied up the past four Grand Slam titles, the prizes that help define greatness in their sport.

                Carlos Alcaraz and 22-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic have been placed in the same half of the French Open field in the draw and could face each other in the semifinals. Alcaraz is seeded No. 1 at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time and was automatically placed in the top section of the bracket. Djokovic is No. 3 and so could have ended up on either half. Alcaraz beat Djokovic in their only previous meeting. Defending champion and top-seeded Iga Swiatek could face American teenager Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals. That would be rematch of last year's final in Paris.

                TAMPA, Fla. — A donor approached Florida Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin recently with a hypothetical question percolating around big-time college sports. If I had $100 in my pocket, should I give it to the Gator Boosters or a name, image and likeness (NIL) fund? “Well, with all due respect,” Stricklin replied, “I’d love for you to find another $100 and do both.” Until July 2021, a ...


                SANTA CLARA, Calif. — If the Warriors or Sharks had their leading scorer in each of the past six seasons leave the team, it would be a pretty big deal. But when that exact thing happened to the 49ers this offseason with kicker Robbie Gould’s exit, more attention was paid to when the team drafted his replacement. Kickers get no respect — even when you really need them. Kyle Shanahan knows how ...

                Claressa Shields is perhaps in the prime of her career, establishing a big enough name as a two-time Olympic gold medalist and world champion in three weight classes to headline the first boxing card in the six-year history of Little Caesars Arena in the Motor City. She became the first woman to earn a seven-figure payday in her last two fights and is expected to make another $1 million on Saturday night when the undisputed middleweight champion faces top-ranked contender Maricela Cornejo. Still, Shields laments the gender inequities in boxing.

                Justin Suh has the 36-hole lead at the Memorial. Hideki Matsuyama is one shot behind. Both can thank their putters for that. Suh made eight putts from the 10-foot range and longer. That includes a birdie on his final hole for a 66. Right behind is Matsuyama. The Japanese star made a pair of long birdie putts at the end of his round for a tournament-best 65. Patrick Cantlay is a two-time Memorial champion. He's two shots behind. And four shots back were Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Rahm began his round of back-to-back bogeys and recovered for a 70.

                After last season's wet-and-wild debut in Portland, the NASCAR Xfinity series returns under considerably sunnier conditions. Saturday's 75-lap race on the 12-turn road course at Portland International Raceway is set to be run under a clear sky in temperatures hovering around 80. That's a big difference from the deluge last year, when A.J. Allmendinger said afterward it was one of the craziest races he'd ever won. Thirty drivers are set to run in the Pacific Office Automation 147, a rare standalone event on the Xfinity Series, a step below the NASCAR Cup series.

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