FOOTBALL

New league kicks off following Super Bowl

The Alliance of American Football will begin its first season the night of Feb. 9, the Saturday after the Super Bowl, when the Atlanta Legends visit the Orlando Apollos, and the San Diego Fleet are at the San Antonio Commanders.

The next day, the eight-team, 10-week league will have the Memphis Express at the Birmingham Iron, and the Salt Lake Stallions visiting the Arizona Hotshots.

Some well-known football figures are part of the league cofounded by Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian. Steve Spurrier coaches Orlando, while Brad Childress is head coach in Atlanta and has Michael Vick as his offensive coordinator. Another Hall of Famer, Mike Singletary, is the head coach of the Express.

The final regular-season weekend will be April 12-14, with playoffs to follow. The league’s championship game will be played the weekend of April 26-28.

CBS is the league’s television partner and will televise one of the openers on Feb 9, as well as the championship game.

TENNIS

USTA: Nathan Mao, a sophomore at Mt. Ararat High in Topsham, won a USTA National Level 2 boys’ 16-and-under tournament Oct. 6-8 in Bethany Beach, Delaware.

As the eighth seed in a field of 32, Mao defeated players from Pennsylvania and Virginia in the first two rounds, knocked off the top seed from New Jersey in the quarterfinals, the fourth seed from Texas in the semis and defeated Alex Finkelstein of Massachusetts in the final, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).

The victory boosted Mao’s national ranking among boys 16-and-under from 74 to 37. He turns 16 in January.

Mao and Finkelstein teamed up to place third in the doubles portion of the tournament.

STOCKHOLM OPEN: American Tennys Sandgren upset fifth-seeded Lucas Pouille of France 6-4, 6-4 to reach the second round.

No. 8 Fernando Verdasco of Spain and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia also advanced.

KREMLIN CUP: Johanna Konta of Britain upset seventh-seeded Belgian Elise Mertens in the first round at Moscow.

French players Kristina Mladenovic and Alize Cornet and Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva all won their first-round matches.

In the first round of the men’s draw, fifth-seeded Nick Kyrgios beat Russian Andrei Rublev 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov ousted last year’s champion, while another former winner, Andreas Seppi, beat eighth-seeded Martin Klizan 6-1, 7-6 (6).

GOLF

SENIOR LPGA: Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick, Indiana.

Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.

– Staff and news service report


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