- Associated Press - Saturday, September 12, 2020

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) - Dominic Thiem advanced to his first U.S. Open final, beating Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) on Friday.

The second-seeded Thiem will play Sunday against No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev, with the winner earning his first Grand Slam title.

Thiem has had three previous chances, losing back-to-back French Opens to Rafael Nadal in 2018 and 2019 and this year’s Australian Open to top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

He got another chance by overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the third set after he had been treated for a right Achilles tendon injury after the second set.



NBA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - The NBA is proceeding with tentative plans for a Nov. 18 draft, though has cautioned teams that the date could move yet again, a person with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press on Friday.

The league told teams earlier in the week that it was working toward that draft date, and moved closer to firming up those plans in meetings with the board of governors and general managers over the past two days, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because there has been no public announcement.

So, Nov. 18 becomes the third target for the draft. It was originally set for June 25, then moved to Oct. 16, and now has been pushed back again as the league continues looking for the best path toward a 2020-21 season.

There is no finalized draft plan between the NBA and National Basketball Players Association, either. There have been initial conversations about Nov. 18, but nothing set in stone yet.

-By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Grizzlies on Friday hired Sonia Raman as an assistant coach. She replaces Niele Ivey, who was hired by Notre Dame in April.

Raman spent the past 12 seasons as women’s basketball coach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she reached the NCAA Tournament twice. The Engineers went 91-45 over her final five seasons. She started coaching as an assistant at her alma mater, Tufts. She then spent six years as an assistant at Wellesley.

NHL

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon has won the Lady Byng Trophy given for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with strong play.

The NHL announced MacKinnon as the winner of the award Friday. He finished ahead of Toronto’s Auston Matthews and St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

MacKinnon had a career-low 12 penalty minutes this season. No other forward averaged more ice time than MacKinnon’s 21:13 average while taking fewer penalties.

MacKinnon is also a finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. That award will be announced during the Stanley Cup Final.

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - The NHL on Friday moved its draft up to Oct. 6-7 and set an Oct. 9 start for free agency.

The first round of the draft will be Oct. 6, with the New York Rangers on the clock and Alexis Lafrenière the consensus top option for the No. 1 pick. The remaining rounds will take place Oct. 7, and all the drafting will be done virtually.

Free agency begins at noon Eastern two days later. And after the league and NHL Players’ Association agreed to a collective bargaining agreement extension, there won’t be an interview period in the days leading to the start of the free-agent frenzy.

SOCCER

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Toronto FC has announced plans to move at least its next home game to Connecticut for the upcoming phase of the Major League Soccer season.

Toronto will host the Columbus Crew on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 40,000-seat Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

Major League Soccer is in the process of finalizing travel protocols for the remainder of the regular season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and additional matches in East Hartford are anticipated to be announced soon, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s office said Friday.

HORSE RACING

BALTIMORE (AP) - The official state song “Maryland, My Maryland” will not be performed before the Preakness next month because the lyrics are perceived by some to be racist.

A spokesperson for Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness, said Friday the tradition of playing the song before the race will be scrapped on Oct. 3, when the Triple Crown series comes to Baltimore.

The action is a follow-up of a statement by Maryland Jockey Club on June 25 in response to Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones’ move to abolish “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state song due to its roots to the Confederacy during the Civil War.

MMA

Bellator is set to hold the first major MMA card in France and the event stacked with 10 French fighters will air on its new programming home, the CBS Sports Network.

The Viacom-owned promotion will run the Bellator Paris card on Oct. 10 at Accor Arena in Paris. French native Cheick Kongo (30-10-2, 1 NC) fights Tim Johnson (14-6) in a heavyweight fight in the main event of a show that will allow a limited number of fans in attendance.

France’s Ministry of Sports lifted an MMA ban earlier this year, paving the way for Bellator to make the jump to France.

OBITUARY

John Fahey had an impressive career in Australian politics and international sport. There were few people, if any, who had a bad word to say about him, a testimony to the New Zealand-born Fahey’s genteel and always understanding demeanor.

Fahey, a former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency and a key player in getting the 2000 Summer Olympics for Sydney, has died. He was 75.

New South Wales state government officials on Saturday confirmed Fahey’s death, but gave no details. Fahey was premier of New South Wales from 1992 to 1995. He later went into federal politics and served as a cabinet minister in the government of Prime Minister John Howard.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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