This Weekend in Sports: US Open Finals, NL West Pennant Race and the NFL’s First Sunday
The U.S. Open crowns its champions, the Giants and Dodgers duel for the division lead, and the National Football League returns in full. Here are the sports to watch this weekend:
Friday, September 7
U.S. Open — Women's Semifinals
Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows, N.Y.; 12:30 p.m. EST on CBS
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka faces Maria Sharapova in one semifinal, and two-time champion Serena Williams takes on Sara Errani in the other.
Saturday, September 8
U.S. Open — Men's Semifinals
Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows, N.Y.; 12 p.m. on CBS
With top-seeded Roger Federer and sentimental favorite Andy Roddick both eliminated, the men's singles draw at the U.S. Open could come down to second-seeded Novak Djokovic facing third-seeded Andy Murray. Fourth-seeded David Ferrer was also still alive prior to Thursday quarterfinal matches.
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
AT&T Park, San Francisco; 4:05 p.m. on Fox
The first-place San Francisco Giants (77-60) enter the weekend 4.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers (73-65) in the National League West. San Francisco's Matt Cain (13-5, 2.98) will attempt to contain the Dodgers' retooled roster, which now features Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez. Los Angeles starts Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.63) against a Giants lineup highlighted by Buster Posey and Hunter Pence.
Washington at LSU
LSU Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.; 7 p.m. on ESPN
Washington (1-0) hits the road to face third-ranked LSU (1-0) without starting running back Jesse Callier, who is out for the season after tearing his ACL in last week's 21-12 win over San Diego State. LSU, which is 28-0 in non-conference games under coach Les Miles, will send an aggressive, talented defense against the Huskies.
Nebraska at UCLA
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Ca.; 7:30 p.m. on Fox
#16 Nebraska (1-0) heads west to face UCLA (1-0). Quarterback Taylor Martinez leads the Cornhuskers' offense against a Bruins' defense that stifled Rice in a 49-24 victory last week. UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, who had 214 yards and three scores in the victory, poses a challenge for the Nebraska defense.
Federated Auto Parts 400
Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, Va.; 7:44 p.m. on ABC
Greg Biffle holds the top spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in second and Matt Kenseth third. All three drivers seem likely to advance to the Chase playoff races. Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards currently rank outside the top 10 standings.
U.S. Open — Women's Final
Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows, N.Y.; 8 p.m. on CBS
The winners of Friday's semifinals meet to determine the U.S. Open women's singles champion. Many expect Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to advance, a repeat of last month's Olympic gold-medal match won easily by Williams.
Sunday, September 9
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans; 1 p.m. on Fox
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III makes his regular-season debut against a Saints' defense weakened by the "Bountygate" suspensions. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees could steal the spotlight from Griffin by piling up points on the Redskins' defense.
US Open — Men's Final
Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing Meadows, N.Y.; 4 p.m. on CBS
Saturday's semifinal winners meet to determine the U.S. Open men's singles champion.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.; 4:25 p.m. on Fox
The 49ers start the season on the road at Green Bay, where Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers must keep the San Francisco defense off-balance to avoid being the victim of a big-time pass rush.
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
AT&T Park, San Francisco; 8:05 p.m. on ESPN
L.A. and San Francisco wrap up their three-game set with veteran Barry Zito (10-8, 4.51 ERA) starting for the Giants against Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw (12-8, 2.79).
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver; 8:25 p.m. on NBC
After a Hall of Fame-caliber career in Indianapolis, Peyton Manning makes his first regular-season start for Denver on 'Sunday Night Football.' The Steelers defense will test Manning with various blitz packages, and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is likely to feel pressure from the Broncos' defense, especially Von Miller.