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Williams wallops Sharapova…Joker, Barty win…Nets extend LeVert

NEW YORK (AP) – Serena Williams had little trouble with Maria Sharapova as the two rivals kicked off the night session at the U.S. Open. The eighth-seeded Williams rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 rout that gives her 19 straight wins over Sharapova. Williams took control by winning the final five games of a 24-minute opening set, then the first two of the second set.

NEW YORK (AP) – Men’s top seed Novak DjokovicĀ  and women’s No. 2 Ash Barty won their first-round matches on opening day at the U.S. Open. Djokovic dropped nine games in his straight-sets victory, and Barty stormed back for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win. American Reilly Opelka pulled off an upset of men’s 11th seed Fabio Fognini, and women’s No. 14 Angelique Kerber was knocked out by Kristina Mladenovic .

NEW YORK (AP) – The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard Caris LeVertĀ  to a contract extension after his remarkable recovery from injury last season. The 2016 first-round pick was averaging a team-best 18.4 points in his first 13 games before sustaining a dislocated right foot that kept him off the court for about three months. He managed to recover without surgery, helped the Nets reach the playoffs for the first time in four years and averaged 21 points in a first-round loss to Philadelphia.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dwight Howard has rejoined the Los Angeles Lakers six years after his acrimonious departure. The eight-time All-Star center and 15-year NBA veteran led the NBA in rebounding while spending the 2012-13 season with the Lakers. He clashed with Kobe Bryant and subsequently spurned Los Angeles as a free agent.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Shea Patterson is set to start for No. 7 Michigan in its season opener Saturday night against Middle Tennessee, though coach Jim Harbaugh says he would like backup Dylan McCaffrey to play as well. Patterson threw for 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns last season, his first with the Wolverines after transferring from Mississippi. McCaffrey played in six games last season and attempted just 15 passes.

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