Sports to watch this week: Aug. 30-Sept. 4

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China vs. Australia - FIFA 2022 World Cup Asian qualifier

China, seeking to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time since their only appearance at the finals in 2002, kick off their Group B campaign against Australia at the neutral venue of Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Thursday.

Players of Chinese men's national football team attend a training session in Shanghai, east China, Aug. 18, 2021. Chinese men's national football team is preparing for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers match. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

China, who advanced after finishing as one of the top five runners-up in the second round of qualifiers, also have recurrent FIFA World Cup qualifiers Japan and Saudi Arabia, along with Vietnam and Oman, for company in Group B.

The top two teams in the group will seal automatic slots to Qatar 2022 while the third-placed side will advance to the playoff, with the winners to play in the Inter-Confederation Playoff.

Date: Sept. 2, 2021

Xiong Jingnan vs. Michelle Nicolini-ONE: Empower

ONE Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jingnan looks to defend her belt for the fifth time as she meets Brazilian jiu-jitsu icon Michelle Nicolini in Singapore on Friday.

Xiong has finished four opponents under the ONE belt since her debut in 2017, including a fifth-round stoppage against Angela Lee. In her latest bout, "The Panda" defeated Tiffany Teo via decision.

Nicolini is an eight-time jiu-jitsu world champion and one-time ADCC gold medalist.

Date: Sept. 3, 2021

The US Open

Serbian top seed Novak Djokovic will be the center of attention as he bids to win a historic 21st Grand Slam men's title at a US Open lacking a slew of his fellow big-name stars.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after the men's singles final between Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Russia's Daniil Medvedev at Australian Open in Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 21, 2021. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)

Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are all missing the New York event due to injury - the first major without the three of them in a singles draw since 1997.

Djokovic, 34, will be the main focus as he attempts to complete a rare calendar sweep of the Grand Slams and pull clear of Federer and Nadal in terms of major victories.

Dates: Aug. 30 August- Sept. 12 

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