Barty goes distance, tops Azarenka to reach Miami quarters
Ashleigh Barty of Australia, returns to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Monday, March 29, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)MIAMI – Ash Barty is tough to beat under any circumstances, especially when she’s on the ropes. The world’s top-ranked player has reached the Miami Open quarterfinals, getting there by holding off 14th-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-1, 1-6, 6-2. This, too, was cool: The match lived up to its showdown potential, with the reigning Miami Open champion and current world No. 1 in Barty facing someone who has won the Miami title three times and a previous world No. Svitolina will play unseeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the quarters; Sevastova was a 6-1, 7-5 winner over wild-card Ana Konjuh of Croatia.
Osaka back to No. 2; Medvedev No. 3; Karatsev jumps 72 spots
(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)Naomi Osaka's Australian Open championship moved her up one spot to No. 2 in the WTA rankings Monday, while men's finalist Daniil Medvedev rose to a career-best No. Aslan Karatsev's historic run from qualifying to the final four before losing to nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic allowed him to vault 72 places from 114th to 42nd. Barty took nearly a full year off, for example, but still has her points from winning the 2019 French Open and reaching the semifinals at the 2020 Australian Open. Aryna Sabalenka now leads the WTA doubles rankings after pairing with Elise Mertens to win the Australian Open women's doubles title.
Daughter of Bills, Sabres owners into all-US QF in Australia
United States' Jessica Pegula celebrates after defeating Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. “I’m just happy I’m here; she's been playing some good tennis, solidifying herself as a top player.”AdThe 61st-ranked Pegula beat No. Top-ranked Ash Barty ensured a fourth American didn't make it to the last eight, beating unseeded Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal match against No. Also on that half of the draw, Rafael Nadal moved closer to a men's-record 21st Grand Slam trophy by overwhelming No. “I’m super excited for her making her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
The Latest: Greek player tested negative in Australia
(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)MELBOURNE – The Latest from the Australian Open (all times local):12:45 a.m.Australian Open organizers say the player from Greece’s ATP Cup team who tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in South Africa had returned a negative result the day he left Melbourne. Michail Pervolarakis played in the Greek team with Stefanos Tsitsipas last week in one of the six tuneup tournaments for the Australian Open. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that Tennis Australia confirmed Pervolarakis tested negative for the coronavirus on Feb. 9. He reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the 14th time in 16 trips. The top-seeded Australian beat Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia 6-2, 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for the third straight year.
Feeling pressure: 2020 champ Kenin loses at Australian Open
United States' Sofia Kenin leaves the court following her second round loss to Estonia's Kaia Kanepi during at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)MELBOURNE – Sofia Kenin knew this would be a tough test at the Australian Open, a potentially early end to her first attempt to defend a Grand Slam title. Upon realizing she probably would be playing big-hitting veteran Kaia Kanepi in the second round, Kenin acknowledged, she “maybe kind of broke down a little bit.”Kenin was right to be worried. Kenin walked off the court crying after a 6-2, 6-2 loss last week in a tuneup event at the site of the Australian Open and explained afterward that her left leg was sore. 21 Alex de Minaur and Mackenzie McDonald, who beat 22nd-seeded Borna Coric 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, and 39-year-old Feliciano Lopez.
COVID case at Australian Open hotel cancels play at tuneups
An Australian Open courtesy car waits outside the Grand Hyatt hotel in central Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. All competition at six Australian Open tuneup events scheduled for Thursday was called off after a worker at one of the tournaments' Melbourne quarantine hotels tested positive for COVID-19. The Australian Open is scheduled to begin Monday. Williams won her last major title at the 2017 Australian Open, when she was pregnant with her daughter, Olympia. On the bottom half of the draw, defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin rallied from a set and a break down to fend off Jessica Pegula 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
Nadal sidelined; team Djokovic wins to open ATP Cup defense
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after defeating Canada's Denis Shapovalov in their ATP Cup match in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)MELBOURNE – Rafael Nadal didn't make it for Spain's ATP Cup opener because of a sore back, deciding it wasn't worth the risk a week ahead of the Australian Open. Nadal played more of a hand in that, with Djokovic limiting his time on court because of a blister. Back at Melbourne Park, where he has won a record eight Australian Open titles, he had plenty of energy to consume. Osaka, who won the U.S. Open last year and the Australian Open in 2019, will next face No.
No chill for Coco: Gauff ousts 9th seed in French Open debut
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)PARIS – Prepping in the relative warmth of a gym before heading out with leggings and long sleeves to make her French Open debut against the tournament’s No. I realized it’s just a tennis match. Such a far cry from last year’s French Open: Gauff failed to make it out of qualifying, while Konta was making her way to her third Grand Slam semifinal. She also made it to the fourth round at this year’s Australian Open, beating 2019 champion Naomi Osaka en route. The lack of match play coming in.
Serena Williams into US Open semifinals, closer to 24th Slam
Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts during a match against Tsvetana Pironkova, of Bulgaria, during the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis championships, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in New York. Two more victories for Williams would allow her to claim a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title. Williams last lost before the semifinals in New York all the way back in 2007, when Justine Henin eliminated her in the quarterfinals. Another 15 strokes followed, with Williams hitting a forehand passing shot that Pironkova volleyed into the tape of the net. That afforded Williams a third break point, which was converted for a 1-0 lead when Pironkova sent a forehand long.
'It's how you finish': Serena Williams into Open semifinals
Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts during a match against Tsvetana Pironkova, of Bulgaria, during the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis championships, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in New York. Williams last lost before the semifinals in New York in 2007, when Justine Henin eliminated her in the quarterfinals. Another 15 strokes followed, with Williams smacking a forehand passing shot that Pironkova volleyed into the net tape. A couple of times, Pironkova drew Williams forward with a drop shot, then took the point with a perfectly arced lob. But after compiling only five unforced errors in the first set, Pironkova had 21 over the last two.
The Latest: Williams drops 1st set of US Open quarterfinal
Serena Williams, of the United States, serves to Tsvetana Pironkova, of Bulgaria, during the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis championships, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):1:05 p.m.Serena Williams has dropped the first set of her U.S. Open quarterfinal against unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova by a 6-4 score. She broke Williams to lead 3-2, then failed to convert two set points while Williams served at 5-3. But Pironkova served it out in the next game. ___12:15 p.m.Serena Williams is about to start her U.S. Open quarterfinal against unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova.
The Latest: Azarenka set for US Open showdown with Williams
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):8:35 p.m.Victoria Azarenka is headed to another U.S. Open showdown against Serena Williams with a shot at the final on the line. A year after losing to Rafael Nadal in a nearly five-hour U.S. Open final, Medvedev will face No. ___ 1:45 p.m.Serena Williams has pushed her U.S. Open quarterfinal against Tsvetana Pironkova to a third set. ___1:05 p.m.Serena Williams has dropped the first set of her U.S. Open quarterfinal against unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova by a 6-4 score. She broke Williams to lead 3-2, then failed to convert two set points while Williams served at 5-3.
Djokovic wins 35th Masters; hurt Osaka withdraws from final
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, front, holds his winning trophy after winning his match with Milos Raonic, of Canada, at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in New York. Has been challenging mentally and emotionally for me to stay sane and be able to compete on the highest level and win this title, Djokovic said. I just hope Im giving myself, you know, the opportunity and the chance to have enough time to recover ahead of the U.S. Open, Osaka said. Djokovic also won the Western & Southern Open in 2018 and is now the first man to win each Masters 1000 event one level below the Grand Slams at least twice. Osaka initially felt a problem with her leg in her first match of the Western & Southern Open and said she pulled the hamstring in the second-set tiebreaker of her semifinal Friday.
Naomi Osaka into W&S final after calling for racial justice
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, returns a shot from Elise Mertens, of Belgium, during the semifinals at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK After two days of little sleep and unexpected stress, Naomi Osaka rose to the moment. Osaka won the 2018 U.S. Open and will be coming off a successful week in many ways heading into this one. The Western & Southern Open was moved from Mason Ohio to the U.S. Open site in Flushing Meadows because of pandemic precautions, creating a two-tournament event without spectators. Osaka will face resurgent Victoria Azarenka, who beat Johanna Konta 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Western & Southern final for the first time since 2013, when she beat Serena Williams.
Osaka to play in NY after calling attention to injustice
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, Naomi Osaka, of Japan, returns a shot to Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, during the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)NEW YORK Naomi Osaka will play in the Western & Southern Open semifinals, after all. As you know, I pulled out of the tournament yesterday in support of racial injustice and continued police violence. Osaka tweeted Wednesday that, as a Black woman, I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis. The Western & Southern Open is usually held in Ohio but was moved to the New York site of the U.S. Open this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Osaka withdraws in protest; W&S put on hold Thursday
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, leaves the court after winning her match with Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, during the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in New York. Soon after, the whole tournament was put on hold for a day. Osaka tweeted that as a Black woman, she feels compelled to pull out of the tournament to put a focus on police shooting Black people. "Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach. I have to be patient, to try to enjoy every single match I play here after six months without competing.
Djokovic's neck better, as is his play; now 20-0 in 2020
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot from Tennys Sandgren during the third round at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK Novak Djokovics neck felt much better, and his tennis looked much better, in a 6-2, 6-4 victory over unseeded American Tennys Sandgren at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday that improved the No. The Western & Southern Open is usually held in Ohio but was moved to the U.S. Opens site in Flushing Meadows this year to make for a two-event, no-spectator bubble amid the pandemic. He has won five of the past seven Grand Slam tournaments, including at the Australian Open in February. Womens quarterfinal matchups set earlier in the day were two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka against Anett Kontaveit, former No.