Victoria Azarenka, right, holds her winner’s trophy for the Western & Southern Open along with her opponent, Naomi Osaka, left, Saturday in New York. Azarenka won the tournament after Osaka withdrew because of a hamstring injury. Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Western & Southern Open final Saturday in New York because of a left hamstring injury, giving the title to Victoria Azarenka in a walkover.

“I just hope I’m giving myself, you know, the opportunity and the chance to have enough time” to recover ahead of the U.S. Open, Osaka said. The Grand Slam tournament, which she won in 2018, starts Monday.

Osaka’s decision to skip the final was announced about 90 minutes before the championship match was supposed to begin in Louis Armstrong Stadium – at the site of the U.S. Open.

The Western & Southern Open normally is held in Ohio but was moved to New York this year because of the coronavirus pandemic as part of a two-tournament “controlled environment.”

Osaka said she initially felt a problem with her leg in her first match of the tournament and pulled the hamstring in the second-set tiebreaker of her 6-2, 7-6 (5) semifinal win over Elise Mertens.

The 59th-ranked Azarenka got her first title since 2016 and the 21st of her career. She is a two-time Australian Open champion, a two-time U.S. Open runner-up and has been ranked as high as No. 1.

“It’s unfortunate, because I was actually really looking forward to compete against Naomi. It would have been an amazing opportunity to face her level,” said Azarenka, who also won the Western & Southern Open in 2013.

In the men’s final, Novak Djokovic tied Rafael Nadal’s record by winning his 35th title at a Masters 1000 tournament, overcoming a sluggish start to beat Milos Raonic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and remain unbeaten this season.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic improved to 23-0 in 2020 and 11-0 head-to-head against Raonic.

• Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and other members of the ATP Player Council spoke out against a plan put forth by Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil to start a union of sorts for men’s tennis – bringing the sport’s politics into the spotlight just before the U.S. Open.

Also against the proposal: the ATP men’s tour and the sport’s other governing bodies, including the WTA women’s tour and the four Grand Slam tournaments. They issued a joint statement saying: “It is a time for even greater collaboration, not division.”

Djokovic and Pospisil are seeking support for the formation of what they’re calling the Professional Tennis Players Association; they would be the co-presidents. They said in an email to players the PTPA is needed to “promote, protect and represent the interests of its players … and protect the future of tennis.”


WNBA: Breanna Stewart had 21 points and eight rebounds, Natasha Howard added 17 points and 15 rebounds, and the Seattle Storm (13-3) earned an 88-74 win over the short-handed Chicago Sky (10-6) in Bradenton, Florida, to stay atop the WNBA standings.

• A’ja Wilson had 20 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, Dearica Hamby added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Las Vegas Aces (12-3) clinched a playoff spot with an 80-63 win over the New York Liberty (2-13).

• Arike Ogunbowale made 5 of 7 from 3-point range and finished with 28 points, Satou Sabally added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the Dallas Wings beat the Indiana Fever, 82-78.


SPAIN: Barcelona is unwavering in its intention to keep Lionel Messi and will not facilitate his departure.

Spanish media reports said Messi has contacted the club to try to resolve the situation, but Barcelona confirmed to The Associated Press that it will not negotiate to allow the Argentina great to depart before his contract ends next year.

Messi is not expected to report to the club on Sunday for scheduled coronavirus testing that is required for the entire squad before training can resume next week, according to Catalan radio RAC1.

Earlier this week, Messi said he wanted to invoke a contract clause that allowed him to leave at the end of last season, but the club said the clause had already expired.

MLS: Gustavo Bou scored, Matt Turner made three saves and New England tied the New York Red Bulls 1-1 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, to extend the Revolution’s regular-season unbeaten streak to seven games.

Teal Bunbury, on the counterattack, played a low ball that led Bou to the top of the 6-yard box for a one-touch finish to make it 1-1 in the 41st minute.

• Junior Urso scored his first MLS goal as visiting Orlando City beat Atlanta United, 3-1.

Orlando City (4-2-2) has won back-to-back games, beating Atlanta (3-4-0) for the first time in nine career meetings.

• Anton Tinnerholm had a goal and an assist for New York City in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Fire in Harrison, New Jersey.

• Kacper Przybylko had two goals and an assist to help Philadelphia beat visiting D.C. United 4-1, extending the Union’s regular-season unbeaten streak to six games.

• Przemyslaw Tyton recorded his fourth shutout of the season as FC Cincinnati played to a 0-0 tie at home against the Columbus Crew.


NFL: Linebacker Raekwon McMillan was traded by the Miami Dolphins to the Las Vegas Raiders along with a 2021 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

The trade came after McMillan fell behind newcomers Kamu Grugier-Hill and Elandon Roberts on the Dolphins’ depth chart in training camp.

McMillan was a second-round draft pick in 2017 but missed his rookie season because of a knee injury. He started 28 games the past two seasons and totaled 177 tackles.

• Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s mother died, and he left a morning scrimmage as it began to be with his family, Coach Brian Flores said.

• The New Orleans Saints signed defensive ends T.J. Carter and Anthony Lanier II and linebacker Wynton McManis, placed offensive lineman Darrin Paulo on injured reserve and waived injured defensive tackle Jalen Dalton.

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