Halep Closes In on Top Ranking


Simona Halep moved within a victory of the No. 1 ranking, needing just 54 minutes to cruise past Sloane Stephens, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio. Halep can displace Karolina Pliskova at the top of the rankings with a victory over Garbiñe Muguruza on Sunday. Muguruza, the world No. 4, defeated Pliskova, the world No. 1 and defending champion, by 6-3, 6-2 in the other semifinal.

In the men’s semifinals, Grigor Dimitrov outlasted John Isner, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10), and Nick Kyrgios, who knocked out second-ranked Rafael Nadal in straight sets in a quarterfinal, beat David Ferrer, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).


For United, a Second Straight 4-0 Win

Manchester United has not challenged for the title in the Premier League since winning its record 20th championship in 2013, but back-to-back 4-0 wins have sent a powerful message to its rivals early in the season. Against host Swansea on Saturday, Eric Bailly scored in the first half and Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial each scored in a devastating four-minute passage that began in the 80th minute.

West Bromwich Albion joined United with six points in the league by winning at Burnley, 1-0. Jesé, who joined Stoke on loan last week, scored to lift his new team to a 1-0 win over visiting Arsenal. Sadio Mané capitalized on a defensive mix-up in the 73rd minute to give Liverpool a 1-0 victory at home over Crystal Palace. In a 2-0 home win against Brighton, Riyad Mahrez had a hand in both Leicester goals, scored by Shinji Okazaki after 52 seconds and by Harry Maguire in the 54th minute. Javier Hernández’s first two goals back in English soccer proved to be in vain as West Ham lost, 3-2, at Southampton.

AMERICAN SCORES FOR DORTMUND Borussia Dortmund opened its Bundesliga campaign with a 3-0 rout at Wolfsburg as Christian Pulisic of the United States scored one goal and set up another.


U.S. Leads Europe in Solheim Cup

Cristie Kerr helped the United States take a lead of 10½ to 5½ over Europe in the Solheim Cup competition in West Des Moines, Iowa, setting a record for points by an American in the event. Kerr teamed with Lexi Thompson to beat Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Caroline Masson in foursome play, 5 and 3, and defeat Catriona Matthew and Georgia Hall in a four-ball matchup, 4 and 2. Kerr now has 20 points in nine Solheim Cup appearances.


Australian Wins Vuelta Time Trial

Team BMC Racing won the time trial that opened the Vuelta a España, with Rohan Dennis of Australia taking the early overall lead. BMC won the 8.5-mile stage in the French city of Nimes in 15 minutes 58 seconds, six seconds ahead of Team Quick Step Floors. The Vuelta favorite, Chris Froome of Britain, finished 18th over all as Team Sky crossed the line in fourth place.


Dispute Over Flag in Guidebook

Indonesia accused the Malaysian organizers of the Southeast Asian Games of negligence after the Indonesian flag was printed upside down in a souvenir guidebook. The mistake makes the red-and-white Indonesian flag resemble Poland’s. In Indonesia, where “shameonyoumalaysia” became the most popular hashtag on Twitter.

Umpires Protest Players’ Behavior

Many Major League Baseball umpires wore armbands during games to protest “abusive player behavior” after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for a verbal tirade against the umpire Angel Hernandez. MLB had no immediate comment.

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