Two-Minute Drill: Osaka Out, Nadal Advances At US Open

Jonathan Grant | August 31st, 2022

1st Down: Rafael Nadal is back in victory circle. Well, tennis doesn’t have those, but if it did, he would have found himself in it on Tuesday after he won for the first time in New York since 2019 by defeating Rinky Hijikata 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 to advance from the first round of the US Open. He did win in 2019, so he will hope to follow that up with more performances like this. Unfortunately for Naomi Osaka, she wasn’t able to make it out of the the first round, shockingly dropping out to Danielle Collins in straight sets (7-6(5), 6-3). It is Osaka’s second first-round exit in a row, leaving the two-time Open winner scratching her head.

2nd Down: It is official. Cameron Smith, the defending Open champion, is headed to LIV Golf. It had been rumored for weeks, and he confirmed as much on Tuesday, saying that it was all about the money and the reduced schedule. As previously reported, Smith will be joined by Joaquin Niemann, Marc Leishman, Harold Varner III, Cameron Tringale, and Anirbhan Lahiri as well. Smith and Niemann were due to play in the Presidents Cup this weekend, but they will now be replaced by captain Trevor Immelman instead.

New York Post

3rd Down: The latest reports out of London state that American international Christian Pulisic, who had been rumored to be leaving current club Chelsea, will indeed be staying put with the Premier League side. Pulisic has been on the fringes for the Blues under manager Thomas Tuchel, playing here and there, and he was thought to have been looking into moving elsewhere to acquire more playing time ahead of the World Cup this winter. The 24 year-old had been linked to loan moves to Manchester United and Newcastle among others.

4th Down: Justin Verlander has had a masterful season in Houston, and could well win the Cy Young award when it’s all said and done. But it’s not been perfect, with the team announcing on Tuesday that they had placed the veteran starter on the injured list with a calf injury. An MRI has been done, and it showed no major damage, so the team will hope he can recovery relatively quickly and be ready to go once the postseason begins. Verlander has a 16-3 record this season with an ERA of just 1.84.

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