Maiden front row start stokes hopes of Verstappen victory

By Abhishek Takle
| SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium Max Verstappen will have an unhindered view of the first corner at the start of Sunday’s Belgian Formula One Grand Prix, but the Dutchman will have his sights set far beyond that after securing the maiden front-row start of his fledgling career.

The 18-year-old will start the race at the 7-kilometre-longSpa-Francorchamps circuit alongside Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, after setting a time just 0.149 seconds slower than the German’s best in qualifying.

Nadal aims to carry Olympic boost into U.S. Open

By Larry Fine
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Rafa Nadal was exhausted yet exhilarated following his emotional return to action at this month's Rio Olympics after an injury-absence and is looking forward to gearing back up for the U.S. Open starting on Monday.

"If you’re not excited about the U.S. Open, you’re not a tennis player," Nadal told reporters.

Injuries are affecting several top players heading into the last grand slam of the year in a season made even more hectic with the Olympics squeezed into the schedule.

Khedira gives Juventus second straight win of the season

ROME Serie A champions Juventus showed no signs of weakening as Sami Khedira's second-half goal gave them a 1-0 win at Lazio on Saturday, their second straight win of the new season.

Both teams struggled to get going on a hot evening at the Stadio Olimpico and the match was halted for a water break in the 28th minute.

Khedira struck in the 66th minute when Paulo Dybala chipped the ball into the area and the Germany midfielder held off his marker and cleverly scored with a shot on the turn into the far corner.

Leicester's season starts now, says Ranieri

LONDON Manager Claudio Ranieri is confident Leicester City's first win of the season can be a platform for the rest of the campaign after they beat Swansea City 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Leicester started the season slowly, becoming the first Premier League champions to lose their opening match as they went down 2-1 at Hull City before drawing 0-0 at home to Arsenal last weekend.

"These three points are very important...in two matches at home we took four points which is okay," Ranieri told the BBC. "We have a very good platform."

Hazard back to his best as he inspires Chelsea win

By William Schomberg
| LONDON

LONDON One of the villains in Chelsea's feeble title defence last season, Eden Hazard has been at the centre of the Stamford Bridge club's sizzling 100 percent start to the Premier League campaign.

The Belgium winger opened the scoring in Saturday's 3-0 home win over Burnley and also played a big part in the second goal, linking up with Diego Costa before he fed Willian who blasted the ball low into the net from a narrow angle.

Under-par Dredge keeps lead despite over-par round in Denmark

Bradley Dredge remains the man to beat after three rounds at the Made in Denmark event, but for once he had to settle for an over-par round at the Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort in Farso on Saturday.

The Welshman, who led by three shots after the first two rounds, double-bogeyed the 12th hole and dropped another shot at the 18th to record a one-over-par 72, his lead cut to one stroke over the pursuing trio of Belgian Thomas Pieters, American David Lipsky and Spaniard Adrian Otaegui.

Hamilton ready for slog from back of the field

By Abhishek Takle
| SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium Lewis Hamilton is preparing for a tough Sunday slog in sweltering conditions as he bids to claw his way through the field at the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver will start from the last row or the pit lane after being hit with a 55-place grid penalty for exceeding his permitted allocation of engine-related components with three power-unit changes this weekend.

Root leads England to easy one-day win over Pakistan

LONDON Joe Root's composed 89 led England to an easy four-wicket victory over Pakistan in the second one-day international at Lord's on Saturday.

Pakistan recovered from a dreadful start, thanks to a century by Sarfraz Ahmed, to post a respectable total of 251 before Root and captain Eoin Morgan shared a third-wicket stand of 112 to lay the platform for the hosts to go 2-0 up in the series.

Substitute Rashford breaks Hull resolve with late winner

Marcus Rashford scored a stoppage-time winner as Manchester United broke Hull City's resistance at the death to win 1-0 at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday and keep Jose Mourinho's winning record alive at his new club.

In wet conditions, United were laboured and their build-up play was slow as they struggled to break down their hosts, but Rashford provided a late spark after replacing Juan Mata, and converted Wayne Rooney's cross in the 92nd minute to crown a lively cameo.

Heir-apparent Kerber confident she can handle pressure

By Simon Cambers
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Angelique Kerber says she is ready to deal with the increasing pressure as she targets U.S. Open glory and the world number one ranking.

Victory for the Australian Open champion and Wimbledon runner-up would see Kerber knock Serena Williams off the top spot she has held since early 2013.

Kerber missed the chance to usurp Williams last week when she lost in the final of the Cincinnati Open but says she is trying to focus simply on doing her job.

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