Denny Hamlin turned a lap of 166.984 mph Saturday at Dover to start the second round of the playoffs on the pole.

Hamlin will lead the field to green in his 500th career NASCAR Cup Series start. Hamlin, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, has four wins this season in the No. 11 Toyota and remains a top contender to win his first career Cup championship.

Playoff drivers took up most of the top 10: Martin Truex Jr. starts third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Chase Elliott fifth. William Byron and Ryan Blaney also start in the top 10.

XFINITY SERIES: Cole Custer raced to his seventh victory of the season at Dover International Speedway.


JAPAN OPEN: Novak Djokovic continued his dominant run at Tokyo, overpowering third-seeded David Goffin in straight sets to reach his fifth final this season.

Competing in Tokyo for the first time, Djokovic beat Goffin 6-3, 6-4 to set up a final with Australian qualifier John Millman, who beat Reilly Opelka, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

CHINA OPEN: Top seeds Dominic Thiem and Ash Barty are through to the finals at Beijing. Thiem will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. In the women’s final, Barty will meet two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka of Japan, who beat defending champ Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.


WORLD CUP: Four years after being humiliated at its home World Cup, England was first into the quarterfinals in Japan by beating Argentina, 39-10.

England and France will meet next weekend to decide the winner of Pool C.

Japan overcame a fierce Samoa challenge 38-19 for a third straight win in Pool A, and has to beat Scotland for a first place in the quarterfinals for an Asian team.


PREMIER LEAGUE: James Milner scored on a penalty kick in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to secure Liverpool a dramatic 2-1 win over visiting Leicester, extending the club’s winning run to 17 league matches.

Liverpool holds an eight-point lead over Manchester City, which will be home Sunday against Wolverhampton Wanderers.


PGA: Kevin Na matched his career low with a 10-under 61 on a day of low scoring in Las Vegas to build a two-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay in the Shiners Hospitals for Children Open.

Na was pumping his fist after every putt down the stretch on a course that yielded six scores of 63 or better.

LPGA: Jaye Marie Green opened with eight birdies in 10 holes and made two big putts late for a 7-under 64 that gave her a one-shot lead going into the final round at the Volunteers of America Classic at The Colony, Texas.

The final full field of the season presents a big chance for Green and the three women right behind her, all looking for their first Tour victory.

EUROPEAN: Jon Rahm shot an 8-under 63 at Madrid to match the course record and take a five-shot lead entering the final round of the Spanish Open.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Joe Kovacs of the United States won the shot put at Doha, Qatar, with the biggest throw for 29 years in a contest decided by one centimeter.

Kovacs threw 22.91 meters in the final round to overtake the mark of 22.90 set by Ryan Crouser of the U.S. and Tomas Walsh of New Zealand.

Hellen Obiri of Kenya kept her world 5,000-meter title after a tense final lap. The Olympic silver medalist sped sharply on the back straight of the last lap to shake two fellow Kenyans and an Oregon-based German, Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

– From news service reports

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