Naomi Osaka, LeBron James and English Premier League news all feature in our sports news this weekend.
Naomi Osaka Wins Epic USA Open Final
Naomi Osaka demonstrated her growing maturity to fight back against Victoria Azarenka in a compelling US Open final and claim her third Grand Slam title. Japanese fourth seed Osaka, 22, won 1-6 6-3 6-3 for her second US Open title. Osaka was overwhelmed in the first set and was in danger of trailing 3-0 in the second before recovering to win 10 of the next 12 games to take momentum.
Belarusian Azarenka, in her first major final since 2013, was broken for 5-3 in the decider before Osaka served out. Osaka shrieked with joy as she took her second match point, then calmly lay on the court and stared at the New York sky as she contemplated her latest achievement.
Osaka’s level raised considerably as 31-year-old Azarenka was unable to maintain the intensity she showed in a one-sided opening set. The fight back ensured Osaka, who won the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open, maintained her record of winning every Grand Slam final she has played in.
Arsenal, Liverpool Start EPL Season on Winning Note
Arsenal blew away promoted Fulham in the opening game of the Premier League season. Former Chelsea winger Willian had a hand in all three goals and Gabriel – a £23m signing from Lille – scored in his first game in English football. Arsenal was highly impressive, while Fulham caused themselves too many problems at the back.
Both sides have played and won at Wembley – twice for the Gunners – in the 48 days since the last Premier League season finished. Alexandre Lacazette scored the opener from close range after Willian’s effort was saved.
Centre-back Gabriel then scored from Willian’s corner with his shoulder. Willian, who also hit a post from a free-kick, picked out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyeng with a perfect cross-field ball and the captain curled home Arsenal’s third. Arteta admitted he was surprised at how well Gabriel played on his first game since March when Ligue 1 was curtailed.
Leeds United made a dramatic return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence as they produced a magnificent display only to lose to a late penalty in a thriller against champions Liverpool at Anfield. Liverpool, back in action after winning their first title in 30 years, led three times but were pegged back on each occasion by Marcelo Bielsa’s fearless side before this superb match was settled by hat-trick hero Mohamed Salah’s spot-kick.
Salah made it a nightmare start for last season’s Championship winners when he drilled home a penalty in the fourth minute after his shot was handled by another Leeds new boy, Germany defender Robin Koch. Leeds produced the perfect response as Jack Harrison drilled a low right-foot shot past Alisson only for poor defending to allow Virgil van Dijk restore Liverpool’s advantage as he headed in Andy Robertson’s corner. Van Dijk was badly at fault when he gifted Patrick Bamford Leeds’ second before a searing strike from Salah completed the scoring in a chaotic first half.
Lebron James Leads LA Lakers to First Final Since 2010
The Los Angeles Lakers are going to the conference finals for the first time in a decade, ending the longest drought in franchise history. LeBron James is going there for the first time since 2018. For him, that also qualifies as ending a drought.
James scored 29 points and the Lakers wrapped up their first trip to the Western Conference finals since 2010 by topping the Houston Rockets 119-96 on Saturday night in Game 5 at Walt Disney World.
“It’s the reason I wanted to be a part of this franchise, to take them back to a place that they were accustomed to being — and that’s competing for a championship,”. “It’s an honor for me to wear the purple and gold, and for us, we just try to continue the legacy.” – James.
Kyle Kuzma scored 17 points, Markieff Morris had 16, Danny Green added 14 and Anthony Davis finished with 13 for the top-seeded Lakers. They will play either the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers or third-seeded Denver Nuggets for the West title in a series that won’t begin before Wednesday.