This Week in Sport: 30th August – 5th September 2021

It’s another fantastic week of sport. On Monday, the US Open tennis gets underway in New York with a fortnight of exciting tennis ahead. We head to Tokyo on Tuesday for medal events in the Paralympic archery.

You won’t be the only one getting over the midweek hump as the Vuelta a España takes to the mountains of north-western Spain as the event nears its conclusion.

The crucial fourth Test between England and India gets underway at The Oval on Thursday as the thrilling series continues. And close out the working week with the penultimate Diamond League meeting of the season in Belgium on Friday.

We start the weekend in Ohio with the first day of the Solheim Cup. And then it’s onto the Netherlands and the F1 Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday.

Naomi Osaka at the Australian OpenMonday 30th August 3:00PM GMT – Tennis: US Open

The US Open gets underway at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Monday 30th August 2021 at 3:00PM GMT.

A fortnight of Grand Slam tennis gets underway on the iconic blue courts of the US Open.

In the men’s draw, all eyes will be on Novak Djokovic. The world number one has had arguably the best year of his 18-year career, and is now just one tournament away from completing the first calendar year grand slam in men’s tennis since 1969. If he were to win the title at Flushing Meadows, it would make him the most successful men’s Grand Slam winner of the Open Era, an honour he currently shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. However, he will have to see off the likes of Olympic champion and recent Cincinnati Masters winner Alexander Zverev if he wants to secure that rare achievement.

In the women’s draw, world number one Ashleigh Barty is widely seen as the player to beat. The Australian has five titles this year already, including a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, and boasts a record of 14-1 against opponents ranked in the top 20. However, the US Open is arguably Barty’s weakest Grand Slam, and she has never progressed past the fourth round. Defending champion Naomi Osaka will be looking to rediscover her form after an underwhelming return to the tour following her mental health hiatus. Elsewhere, Aryna Sabalenka, Elina Svitolina, and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu are all seeded highly and ready to challenge for the title.

Monday’s action includes men’s third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas taking on Andy Murray; 2020 semi-finalist and second seed Daniil Medvedev facing Richard Gasquet, and Naomi Osaka beginning her title defence against Marie Bouzková.

Paralympic ArcheryTuesday 31st August 12:30AM GMT – Paralympics: Archery

Two medals will be decided in the Paralympic Archery event at the Dream Island Archery Park in Tokyo Bay. Competition begins on Tuesday 31st August 2021 at 12:00AM GMT.

Tuesday sees two medals decided in the Paralympic archery.

In the men’s individual compound open, the United States’ Andre Shelley enters as the defending champion from Rio. However, Shelley finished 25th in the ranking round of the competition. China’s He Zihao took the top seeding in the ranking with a new Paralympic record. Shelley and Zihao will face off in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning if they both win their Round of 16 matchups. Also still in the competition is the podium from the 2019 Para Archery World Championships – American Matt Stutzman, China’s Xinliang Ai, and Iran’s Alisina Manshaezadeh.

The other medal event is the women’s W1. Great Britain recorded a podium sweep in the event in 2016 but with that medal trio absent in Tokyo, the competition is wide open. The favourites for the event maybe are the medal winners from the 2019 World Para Archery Championships in the Netherlands. The bronze medallist from that event, China’s Minyi Chen, topped the ranking round with a new Paralympic Record ahead of her compatriot and reigning world champion Jing Liu and Italy’s Asia Pellizzari. Pellizzari and Liu will face off in the semifinals if they both make it that far. 

You won’t want to miss a single shot today.

Cyclists race in La VueltaWednesday 1st September 10:00AM GMT – Cycling: Vuelta a España

Stage 17 of the Vuelta a España travels 185.8km between Unquera and Lagos de Covadonga.

A mountain stage greets riders of the Vuelta a España on Wednesday. 

Stage 17 runs 185.8km with four major climbs. It starts with a 4.7% 5.3km-long climb 37.3km into the race and ends with a race-favourite ascent of the road towards Lagos de Covadonga. The 12.5km climb begins at a gradient of 6.9% but that jumps to 15% during the most strenuous part of the climb, La Huesera. Lagos de Covadonga first appeared on the Vuelta a España route in 1983 and was most recently included in 2018. 

Entering the week, Norwegian rider Odd Christian Eiking of Team Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux leads the pack with lead of 54 seconds over Team Cofidis’ Guillaume Martin. Two-time defending champion Primož Roglič currently sits in 3rd, 1 minute and 36 seconds off the lead. 

After Wednesday’s stage, there are just four stages left in the race, making it one of the final opportunities to catch the leader.

It’s set to be a fantastic day of racing.

Joe Root for the England Cricket TeamThursday 2nd September 10:00AM GMT – Cricket: England v India (Day 1, 4th Test)

The 4th Test between England and India begins at The Oval in London on Thursday 2nd September 2021 at 10:00AM GMT. 

The unpredictable series between England and India continues. 

After England’s second-inning collapse in the second Test, their time to truly fightback came in the third Test. India were all-out for 78 in the first inning with James Anderson leading England’s bowling efforts with three wickets. In their own first inning, the hosts scored 432, led by 121 runs by Joe Root as well as half-centuries for Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, and Dawid Malan. India came out swinging in the second inning, with Rohit Sharma leading off with 59 runs. However, despite 91 runs from Cheteshwar Pujara and a half-century from Virat Kohli, the visitors were all-out for 278, giving England the victory by an inning and 76 runs. 

The question now is consistency for both sides. England can’t collapse as they did in the second Test and if India can rediscover their form, they need to be able to keep it going throughout the fourth and fifth Tests.

Can Virat Kohli and the Men in Blue bounce back? Or will Joe Root lead his team to another big victory?

Elaine Thompson Herah for JamaciaFriday 3rd September 5:05PM GMT – Athletics: Diamond League Belgium

The penultimate Diamond League meet of the season takes place at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Friday 3rd September at 5:05PM GMT.

The Allianz Memorial Van Damme is the penultimate meet of the Diamond League season ahead of the season finale in Zurich. 

The meet will feature 33 medallists from the Tokyo Olympics. This includes triple gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah, who is set to compete in the women’s 200m and has won three Diamond League titles this season.

The event will be opened by all seven of Belgium’s Olympic medal winners. One of the seven will feature in the ensuing competition. Nafissatou Thiam, who won gold in the women’s heptathlon, is set to compete in the women’s high jump. 

One of the biggest events of the meet will be the men’s 100m. This year’s fastest man, Trayvon Bromell will look to bounce back from his Olympic heartbreak, where he missed out on the medal race by 0.001 seconds in qualifying. He will face a challenge from his fellow American Fred Kerley, the silver medallist from Tokyo. 

With 14 events on the schedule, there is plenty to enjoy in Belgium. 

Danielle Kang at the Solheim CupSaturday 4th September 12:00PM GMT – Golf: Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup begins at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio on Saturday 4th September 2012, with playing starting at 12:00PM GMT.

The 17th Solheim Cup gets underway in Ohio on Saturday.

Team USA is captained by Pat Hurst and features 9 players with two or less previous Solheim Cup appearances, including three rookies. The team includes stars such as world number one and Olympic gold medallist Nelly Korda, world number seven Danielle Kang, and world number twelve Lexi Thompson.

Team Europe is helmed by Catriona Matthew and led by Anna Nordqvist, who appears in her seventh Solheim Cup and recently won the Women’s British Open. The team boasts four rookies, including 2020 Women’s British Open winner Sophia Popov and Irish golfer Leona Maguire.

Europe are the defending champions after close win in Gleneagles two years ago. They have only made a successful title defence once, when they won 18-10 in 2015 to defend their 2013 win in Ireland. 

With three days of play ahead, expect some must-watch golf.

Lewis Hamilton at the Hungarian Grand PrixSunday 5th September 1:00PM GMT – Motorsport: F1 Dutch Grand Prix

The F1 season continues with the Dutch Grand Prix at the Circuit Zandvoort in Zandvoort  on Sunday 5th September 2021 at 1:00PM GMT.

A truly bizarre Belgian Grand Prix last weekend saw an F1 race conclude after just two laps, with Max Verstappen taking the win. While the win does not unseat Lewis Hamilton, it reduces his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to three points.

The Dutch Grand Prix returns to the F1 schedule for the first time since 1985. It was a staple of the calendar from 1948 onwards before the original Zandvoort circuit went out of business. The race was revived as part of the 2020 F1 expansion but the first running was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

The Zandvoort circuit is full of wide turns with a handful of sharp hairpins before straightening out into a long home straight.

With just three points separating the top two places in the Drivers’ Championship, this is a race that you won’t want to miss. 

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions go to the world of cricket. England and India aren’t the only nations in the action this week; Bangladesh host New Zealand for three T20 matches, with another two next week. It’s the final matches for Bangladesh ahead of October’s T20 World Cup. South Africa begin a tour of Sri Lanka, with two ODIs this week. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Women are in England for a brief Tour. The two sides play a pair of T20 matches this week. 

For American Football fans, the NFL may still be a week away but there is plenty of American Football to enjoy as the NCAA college football season gets underway for all teams. The highlight of the week is the 65th meeting between Clemson and Georgia. Once played annually, this is the first meeting between the two perennial title contenders since 2014.

International football returns this week with the next round of World Cup qualifiers. In UEFA Group B, Sweden host Spain in a match that could be vital come the end of qualifying as both vie for the top spot in the group. While Brazil are pulling away with the top spot in CONMEBOL qualifying, they face a tough challenge in Argentina in a rematch of the Copa América final from earlier this year. CONCACAF qualifying sees the United States face off against Canada. Meanwhile, at the start of a tough group in CAF qualifying, Ghana travel to South Africa. In AFC qualifying Group A, Iran host the UAE in a match between two teams that are considered contenders.

There is also plenty of club football to enjoy. Nashville take on New York City FC at the top of the MLS Eastern Conference. Staying in the US, the NWSL season continues as the Portland Thorns host the Washington Spirit. The much anticipated Women's Super League returns on Friday.

Alongside the Solheim Cup, the major golfing highlight of the week is the PGA Tour’s season-ending TOUR Championship, as the top 30 golfers on the tour face off one last time. Across the Atlantic, the European Tour is in Italy for the Italian Open while the Ladies European Tour stays in Sweden for the Creekhouse Ladies Open.

Alongside the F1 Dutch Grand Prix, we will see the next race in the W Series calendar. Meanwhile, the Superbike World Championship travels to France for its next race. It’s set to be a great week of motorsport action.

It’s a very busy week around the world in rugby league. There’s the final round of regular season fixtures in the NRL. The Sharks, holding onto the final playoff place, will look to secure their place in the finals as they play the first-place Storm. On the outside of the playoffs looking in are the ninth-place Raiders, who host the sixth-place Roosters in a bid to slip into the Finals.

It’s also Magic Weekend in the Super League. With St James’ Park as the host, get ready for a fantastic weekend of rugby. With the end of the season nearing, games such as St Helens v Catalans Dragons may be vital for the final standings. 

Meanwhile, the major rugby union event this week is in The Rugby Championship. Australia host New Zealand in Perth, with New Zealand poised to take control of the competition if they win.

Cycling fans won’t want to miss the end of the Vuelta a España, as the riders tackle the final 955.6km between Laredo and Santiago de Compostela. The race ends with a 33.8km time trial between Padrón and Santiago de Compostela. The UCI Women’s World Tour joins the men’s tour in Spain for the Ceratizit Challenge by la Vuelta. 

As well as the Paralympic swimming in Tokyo, It’s Matches 3 and 4 in  the International Swimming League. Match 3 features Energy Standard, London Roar, Team Iron, and New York Breakers. Match 4 will be contested by Cali Condors, LA Current, DC Trident, and Aqua Centurions. 

Artistic Gymnastics returns post-Olympics. The fourth FIG World Challenge Cup event takes place in the Slovenian city of Koper. It’s the penultimate event of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series.

The MLB season continues. The NL West-leading San Francisco Giants host the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. The Atlanta Braves try to hold onto their lead at the top of the NL East as they host the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the AL East, the Boston Red Sox look to cement their place in the playoff race as they face the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays. It’s set to be a fantastic week of baseball.

This week’s major boxing bout is a rematch between Mauricio Lara and Josh Warrington. The pair last met in February, where Lara took a win by technical knockout. Also this week, Kazuto Ioka fights Francisco Rodriguez Jr for the WBO World Super Fly title.

In horse racing, the inaugural season of the Racing League comes to an end with the final meet in Newcastle. With four points separating first and second place in the standings, it all comes down to this final meet.

The Paralympics run throughout the week until the Closing Ceremony on Sunday. The week is full of events ranging from athletics to shooting to unique Paralympic sports like goalball and bocchia. Use Fixture Calendar to stay up to date with the Games.

This week sees the second round of the AFL Finals. Brisbane host Western Bulldogs in the the first semi-final while Geelong take on Greater Western Sydney in Perth. Don’t miss any of the Australian Rules Football playoff action.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by US Open, World Archery, La Vuelta, England Cricket, Wanda Diamond League, Solheim Cup USA, FORMULA 1

Written and information correct on 29th August at 10pm GMT

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