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Reuters Sports Schedule at 1400 GMT on Thursday, Aug 21

Reuters

Reuters sports schedule at 1400 GMT on Thursday:

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SOCCER

Champions League playoffs, 1st leg

Zenit, Porto close in on group stage with away wins

BERNE - Zenit St Petersburg and Porto both put a foot in the Champions League group stage with 1-0 away wins in the first leg of their respective playoff ties. (SOCCER-CHAMPIONS, moved, by Brian Homewood, 500 words)

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Europa League playoff round first legs

Results plus copy on merit

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GOLF

McIlroy, Watson and Walker launch FedExCup playoffs push

PARAMUS, New Jersey - World number one Rory McIlroy, the reigning British Open and PGA champion, tees it up with Masters winner Bubba Watson and three time tour winner Jimmy Walker in first round of The Barclays, the opening event of the FedExCup playoffs. (GOLF-FEDEXCUP/ (PIX), expect by 2200 GMT/ 6 PM ET, by Larry Fine, 500 words)

European Tour: Czech Masters, Prague (to 24)

Copy on merit

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TENNIS

U.S. Open draw sets paths for top seeds Djokovic, Williams

NEW YORK - Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have their respective paths laid out for the last grand slam event of the season when the U.S. Open draw is conducted at the National Tennis Center. (TENNIS-OPEN/DRAW, expect by 1700 GMT/1 PM ET, by Larry Fine, 400 words)

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U.S. Open package

We will offer special package on the U.S. Open, the final grand slam of the season, which begins on Monday at Flushing Meadows in New York. Stories will include previews of men's and women's competitions featuring Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, Roger Federer's golden opportunity and rising Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic. We also will have lists of previous winners and tournament factbox. Expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET)

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Djokovic v Federer final looming unless young guns intervene

NEW YORK - Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer look to be heading for a rousing shootout in the last grand slam of 2014, although the emerging young guns of the game may be plotting an ambush. (TENNIS-OPEN/MEN (PREVIEW), expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET, by Larry Fine, 700 words)

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Golden opportunity for Federer to crown majestic career

NEW YORK - Roger Federer has a golden chance to crown his majestic career with another grand slam crown at the U.S. Open at the ripe old age of 33, which would raise his all-time record haul to 18. (TENNIS-OPEN/FEDERER, expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET, by Larry Fine, 600 words)

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Serena counted on to wave the American flag again

NEW YORK - Five-times champion Serena Williams will once again be counted on to wave the American flag at Flushing Meadows as she seeks a third straight U.S. Open crown but if the world number one should falter, the season's final grand slam could prove to be the most unpredictable in years. (TENNIS-OPEN/WOMEN (PREVIEW), expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET, by Steve Keating, 700 words)

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Raonic, Bouchard look to reach new heights at U.S. Open

NEW YORK - Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard and big-serving Milos Raonic are ready to go where no Canadian has gone before at the U.S. Open. (TENNIS-OPEN/CANADIANS, expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET, by Steve Keating, 850 words)

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ATP: Winston-Salem Open (to 24)

WTA: New Haven Open, Connecticut (to 24)

Results only

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OLYMPICS

Basketball, golf golds up for grabs at Nanjing Youth Games

Day 5 of competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China sees 16 gold medals up for grabs. In the basketball tournament, there are medals for the men's dunk and women's shoot-out, while the individual golf champions are also decided. (OLYMPICS-YOUTH/DAY6 (PIX) expect by 1800 GMT/2 PM ET, 500 words)

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ATHLETICS

Diamond League: Stockholm

European javelin champion Ruuskanen heads elite field

STOCKHOLM - European men's javelin champion Antti Ruuskanen of Finland heads an elite field at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting. The competitors include the two other medallists in Zurich plus Egyptian world leader Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed (ATHLETICS-DIAMOND/, expect by 2200 GMT/6 PM ET, by John Mehaffey, 400 words)

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MOTOR RACING

Belgian Formula One Grand Prix

Formula One drivers back at work after summer break

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Formula One drivers get back to work after the summer break with Mercedes' championship leader Nico Rosberg appearing in a news conference ahead of Sunday's 12th race of the season (MOTOR RACING-PRIX/ (PIX), expect stories from 1400 GMT/10 AM ET, by Alan Baldwin)

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CRICKET

Zimbabwe v South Africa, 3rd ODI

South Africa to change team for last ODI encounter

BULAWAYO - South Africa, who have already said they will rest leading batsman Hashim Amla, are expected to make more changes and offer an opportunity for international exposure to some fringe players when they meet neighbours Zimbabwe in the last of their three-match one-day series at Queens Sports Club, having comfortably won the first two encounters. (CRICKET-SAFRICA/, expect by 1600 GMT/12 PM ET, 400 words)

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RUGBY

Rugby Championship (round two)

All Blacks focus on Bledisloe Cup after record bid fails

WELLINGTON - The All Blacks will look to retain the Bledisloe Cup after the disappointment of their record-equalling winning streak was ended in a 12-12 draw against an improving Wallabies side in their Rugby Championship clash in Auckland on Saturday. (RUGBY-CHAMPIONSHIP/ZEALAND, expect by 0800 GMT/4 AM ET, by Greg Stutchbury, 600 words)

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BASEBALL

Price faces Rays for first time as a Tiger

Detroit's David Price makes his first start against his previous club when the Tigers visit the Tampa Bay Rays in one of the eight games on the Major League Baseball schedule. (BASEBALL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0330 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 775 words)

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NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (expect by 0001 GMT/8:01 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

(Europe duty editor: Martyn Herman)

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