'Not normal': Djokovic raises quarantine-injury connection
Italy's Matteo Berrettini, left, receives medical treatment during a break while playing Russia's Karen Khachanov during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. 1-ranked Djokovic, who sees what is happening all around Melbourne Park and draws a direct connection to the 14-day quarantines imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic when players arrived in Australia in January. Ad“It's too many injuries, honestly,” Djokovic said, then sighed heavily, during an on-court interview after his four-set quarterfinal victory against Alexander Zverev. “I'm just hoping this is all temporary, so we can kind of go back to what we are kind of used to, without interruptions of practice,” Djokovic continued. It's really — it's taken its toll, unfortunately, on all of us.”Zverev's midsection, like Djokovic's, was taped up for their match.
Smashing success: Djokovic beats Zverev, into Australian SF
Serbia's Novak Djokovic smashes his racket during his quarterfinal match against Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)MELBOURNE – Novak Djokovic smashed a racket, sending a piece of the frame flying. He dropped the opening set against Alexander Zverev, one of the young guys trying to shove aside Djokovic and the rest of the Big Three. And this is Djokovic at the Australian Open, where no man ever has been better. So, naturally, Djokovic pulled himself together and pulled out the victory, reaching his ninth semifinal at Melbourne Park by eliminating No.
Serena tops Halep at Australian Open, sets up Osaka showdown
United States' Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Romania's Simona Halep during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)MELBOURNE – Serena Williams was not pleased with the way her play suddenly was slipping in the Australian Open quarterfinals. That was her most recent Grand Slam title. 24 on Saturday, she could end up needing to have beaten each of the top three players in the rankings: Halep, Osaka and, perhaps in the final, No. AdAt 35, Hsieh used her tricky, two-handed shots off both sides to become the oldest woman in the professional era to make her Grand Slam quarterfinal debut.
Injured Djokovic advances to quarters at Australian Open
Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a backhand return to Canada's Milos Raonic during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. For anyone curious about the severity of his injury, he put it into context after qualifying for the Australian Open quarterfinals for the 12th time. The eight-time Australian Open champion planned to spend most of the next two days recovering ahead of his quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev. “If you’re here, it’s for a reason - there’s no doubt about it,” Dimitrov said after his 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 win. AdAnd not since Patrick McEnroe — John’s brother — in 1991 has a man ranked as low as 114th made it to the Australian Open quarterfinals.
Hey, Australian Open TV viewers: Those claps aren't real
Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic smashes the ball to Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei in front of rows of empty seats during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. The Australian Open continues but without crowds after the Victoria state government imposed a five-day lockdown in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a quarantine hotel. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)MELBOURNE – Hey, Australian Open TV viewers: The crowd's loud clapping and mid-match chatter you hear on the telecasts are not real. It just happened here.”Aslan Karatsev is a 27-year-old Russian who is ranked 114th and needed to go through three rounds of qualifying just to get into the main draw at the Australian Open. And not since Patrick McEnroe — John's brother — in 1991 has a man ranked as low as 114th made it to the Australian Open quarterfinals.
The Latest: Djokovic beats Raonic, reaches QFs in Australia
AdHe said: “If it’s any other tournament than a Grand Slam, then I’d withdraw from that event, that’s for sure. Defending champion Novak Djokovic has started his fourth-round match against Milos Raonic at the Australian Open. He'll play either U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem or Grigor Dimitrov next and he says he doesn't have a preference. Their match is to be followed by eight-time Australian Open champion Djokovic against 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic — assuming Djokovic decides he can play. Other men in action include reigning U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem and the man he beat in that final, Alexander Zverev.
No crowds, but Australian Open will continue during lockdown
Fans cheer for Australia's Nick Kyrgios, back to camera, during his third round match against Austria's Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)MELBOURNE – The Australian Open will be allowed to continue but without crowds for at least five days after the Victoria state government imposed a snap lockdown starting Saturday in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a quarantine hotel. Andrews said the Feb. 8-21 Australian Open could continue “because these people are at their workplace.”“It will be happening, but there’ll be no one there watching it," he said. Under the initial plan for the Australian Open, the government allowed up to 30,000 people daily the first week at Melbourne Park, or about 50% of capacity. Most of those were during a second deadly wave last year when a hard lockdown was put in place in Melbourne.
Kvitova gets emotional after return to French Open quarters
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates winning her fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against China's Zhang Shuai in two sets 6-2, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)PARIS – Petra Kvitova owns two Wimbledon titles, so making it to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the 13th time should not necessarily feel like a big deal to her. Which is why Kvitova’s emotions swelled and her eyes watered after she beat Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 on Monday at the French Open, where she hadn’t reached the round of eight since 2012. Everything came to my mind -- my whole family, people who I loved, (who helped) me through the tough, tough time,” Kvitova said. I just wanted to get some carbs, some potato or rice, whatever.”MAINSTREAM MEDIAFrench Open quarterfinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas plugged into his YouTube channel during his run to the Australian Open semifinals in 2019.
Coach? Motivator? Kenin's dad moves, Paris match changes
“First of all, I mean, I don’t know, like, why HER coach sat in that section,” said Kenin, who is seeded No. Djokovic is seeking a second French Open championship and 18th major trophy overall. Tsitsipas and Rublev both dropped the first two sets they played in Paris last week — and now both are making a French Open quarterfinal debut. Their meeting Wednesday comes 10 days after Rublev beat Tsitsipas in three sets in the final of the Hamburg Open on Sept. 27 — Day 1 of the French Open. “I know he’s a tough cookie.”___AP Tennis Writer Fendrich reported from Washington; AP Sports Writer Pugmire reported from Paris.
Djokovic leads been-there-done-that crew at wild French Open
Is it the two-week gap from the end of the U.S. Open to the start of the French Open? The women’s matchups established Saturday: Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin against Fiona Ferro; two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova against Zhang Shuai; Paula Badosa against Laura Siegemund; and No. “You can go out any round,” said Garbiñe Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion who was beaten by the 57th-ranked Collins 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in Saturday's last match. The 22-year-old from Spain, ranked 87th, defeated 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-3. “It’s really nice, I think, overall for tennis to see new faces, young players,” Djokovic said.
The Latest: Dimitrov in French's 4th for 1st time; foe sick
But he had been 0-4 in the third round at the French Open until now. ___4:20 p.m.Fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the fourth round at the French Open for the second year in a row. The 22-year-old has now upset seventh-seeded Matteo Berrettini to storm into the fourth round with a 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 win. That many men haven’t gone that far on their debuts at Roland Garros since four debutants made the last 16 in 1994. ___1:10 p.m.Andrey Rublev advanced to the French Open fourth round with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win against the unseeded South African Kevin Anderson.
Ivanisevic, the coach of Djokovic, tests positive for virus
ZAGREB Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, who now coaches Novak Djokovic and attended the top-ranked player's exhibition series in Serbia and Croatia, said Friday he has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Croatian great, who won his only Grand Slam title at the All England Club in 2001, wrote on Instagram that he tested positive after two negative tests in the last 10 days. I would like to inform everyone who has been in contact with me that I tested positive and ask them to take extra good care of themselves and their loved ones, Ivanisevic wrote. Four players from those events, including Djokovic and his wife, have said they have the virus. Djokovic has called the rules to keep everyone safe at the U.S. Open extreme.___More AP tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Thiem apologizes for playing in Djokovic's tennis event
Novak Djokovic has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia. Grigor Dimitrov, a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist from Bulgaria, said Sunday he tested positive. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)VIENNA Third-ranked tennis player Dominic Thiem apologized Thursday for taking part in an exhibition series hosted by Novak Djokovic in which four players tested positive for the coronavirus. I am extremely sorry.The top-ranked Djokovic tested positive on Tuesday. Djokovic said on Tuesday that he and his wife tested positive and admitted it was too soon to host such an event.
Djokovic's parents defend their son, blame another player
A billboard depicting Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic is seen on a building in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Djokovic has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)BELGRADE Novak Djokovics parents defended their son on Wednesday and blamed another tennis player for spreading the coronavirus at a series of exhibition matches hosted by the top-ranked player. Djokovics outspoken father blamed the cancellation of the tour on Grigor Dimitrov, one of the three other players to test positive in the last few days. NBA player Nikola Jokic, a Serb who plays for the Denver Nuggets, has also tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Latest: Another tennis player tests positive for virus
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Another tennis player has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition series organized by Novak Djokovic in Serbia and Croatia. Viktor Troicki says he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus. The former top-20 player from Serbia played against Djokovic in Belgrade during the first part of the two-leg tour. Three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria said Sunday he has tested positive for the virus. Borna Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive.
Another player tests positive for virus after Djokovic event
Djokovics charity tennis exhibition series combined with an overall softening of coronavirus restrictions in Serbia has led to a spike in the number the positive cases among professional athletes. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)BELGRADE Another tennis player has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition series organized by Novak Djokovic in Serbia and Croatia. The former top-20 player from Serbia played against Djokovic in Belgrade during the first part of the two-leg tour. Grigor Dimitrov, a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist from Bulgaria, said Sunday he tested positive for the virus. Borna Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive.
Virus cases at Djokovic's event put sports under scrutiny
Grigor Dimitrov, a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist from Bulgaria, said Sunday he tested positive for the virus. Borna Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive for the virus. In a separate incident, Serbian soccer club Red Star Belgrade said five of its players had tested positive for the virus. There has also been an increase in virus cases among soccer players in other countries, notably Russia. Djokovics decision to fly home to Serbia before being tested has also attracted scrutiny.
The Latest: Croatian tennis player Coric positive for virus
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Croatian tennis player Borna Coric says he has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition event. He says I want to inform you that I am positive for Covid-19. Coric was among about 1,000 people who were tested for the virus after Grigor Dimitrov announced that he tested positive. That led to the cancellation of an exhibition event in Croatia where top-ranked Novak Djokovic was scheduled to play in the final. Coric played a match against Dimitrov in Zadar on Saturday in the second leg of the exhibition series.
Dimitrov positive for COVID-19, exhibition event canceled
Grigor Dimitrov said Sunday he has tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the cancellation of an exhibition event in Croatia where top-ranked Novak Djokovic was scheduled to play. The Bulgarian player featured last week in the Serbia leg of the Adria Tour exhibition event organized by Djokovic. There was criticism that there was no social distancing at the exhibition, which took place before packed stands in Serbia, where the government lifted most virus restrictions last month. Dimitrov played a match against Borna Coric in Croatia on Saturday in the second leg of the exhibition series. Broadcaster Eurosport said Sunday the exhibition has now been canceled.
Djokovic defends packed stands at tennis charity tour event
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic set up a series of tennis tournaments in the Balkan region while the sport is suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)BELGRADE There was no social distancing and few among the thousands of fans wore face masks and Novak Djokovic approved. The fans filled the makeshift stands on Friday at Djokovic's Belgrade tennis club on the banks of the Danube River for the opening day of his charity tennis tour organized by him and his family. At the tennis, Djokovic defended the freedoms of the crowd. Djokovics Adria Tour is scheduled to move on to neighboring Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Latest: Outlaws run in front of limited fans in Missouri
The Outlaws returned last week in Iowa at Knoxville Raceway for a race run without fans. ___The NCAA is permitting athletes in all sports to participate in voluntary athletic activities on campus beginning June 1. Greg Abbott says he thinks college football will return on schedule with some level of fans in the stands. Once we get to college football season, our goal right now is to have college football season start as planned, with fans in stands, the Republican governor told Austin television station KXAN. ___The Southeastern Conference is allowing voluntary athletic activities to occur on each of its campuses starting June 8, at the discretion of each university.
Injury blights Nadal at Paris Masters; Djokovic into final
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts as hje making a point against Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov during their semifinal match of the Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)PARIS Injury blighted Rafael Nadal again as he pulled out of his Paris Masters semifinal on Saturday, meaning top-ranked Novak Djokovic will go for his fifth title at the indoor tournament against Denis Shapovalov. The same injury forced Nadal out just before the start of last year's tournament at Bercy Arena and ended his season. Earlier, Djokovic reached his sixth Paris Masters final beating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5), 6-4. His injury last year ensured Djokovic ended as No.
US Open reaches semifinal stage
Dimitrov entered the US Open ranked 78th -- his lowest figure at a major since the 2012 French Open -- and lost seven of his last eight matches entering the season's final major. One of those came against Kevin King, who was ranked 405th when he downed Dimitrov to open the US Open Series of hard-court tournaments in Atlanta in July. One of the two will land in a maiden grand slam final. The match turned when Vekic -- appearing in her first grand slam quarterfinal -- couldn't serve out the first set at 5-4. Andreescu is the fourth woman to reach the semifinals in her US Open debut, joining Chris Evert, Pam Shriver and Venus Williams.
Roger Federer stunned by Grigor Dimitrov in US Open quarterfinals
Roger Federer returns a shot to John Isner during the men's final of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium March 31, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Florida. 3 Roger Federer was stunned by Grigor Dimitrov, with the unseeded Bulgarian advancing to the semifinals 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. It's the first time Dimitrov, 28, has beaten Federer in eight tries. After the fourth set, Federer sought the trainer and left the court for a medical timeout, a rarity coming from him. The last time Federer lost in five sets came in July in the final of Wimbledon, when he lost to Djokovic despite having two match points on his serve.