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.
Tsitsipas, with Big Three missing, makes 4th round in Miami
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece returns to Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)MIAMI – For tennis up-and-comers like Stefanos Tsitsipas, the draw at the Miami Open began to look a lot less daunting even before the tournament began. “It’s a first test to see how it is playing without them,” Tsitsipas said after his third-round victory Saturday. 2-seeded Tsitsipas is among those with the best chance to take advantage, and he looked the part against Damir Dzumhur, winning 6-1, 6-4. “I created a lot of opportunities with my serve — I wasn’t rushing at all, finding the right angles and executing it perfectly,” Tsitsipas said. In women's play, top-ranked Ash Barty and three-time champion Victoria Azarenka advanced to a round of 16 showdown.
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.
Australian Open's hard quarantine 'took a toll' on players
When Tennys Sandgren resumed practicing after his can’t-go-anywhere hard quarantine ended, the American said Tuesday, his hands developed blisters from holding a racket. And, like Azarenka, both Sandgren and Pospisil lost their opening matches. “I wouldn’t say the whole tournament is a joke, but for some players, it’s not feasible. “I needed fresh air or maybe a bigger room or better conditions to play against the best players,” she said. Players in the “regular” quarantine were allowed to leave their rooms for five hours per day during the first two weeks after getting to Australia.
Nadal, Barty advance in straight sets at Australia Open
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his first round match against Serbia's Laslo Djere at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Daniil Medvedev extended his winning streak to 15 matches with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over Vasek Pospisil and seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. 9 Matteo Berrettini defeated Kevin Anderson, a two-time finalist at majors, 7-6 (9), 7-5, 6-3. Barty lost to Sofia Kenin in the Australian Open semifinals last year and then skipped the U.S. Open and her title defense at the French Open because she stayed in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. AdTwo-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren also went through the hard lockdown.
Serena Williams, Osaka drawn in same half at Australian Open
United States' Serena Williams makes a forehand return to compatriot Danielle Collins during a tuneup event ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. 3 Naomi Osaka, the U.S. Open champion. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, Johanna Konta and Elina Svitolina are also in Kenin's quarter. Williams already has won seven Australian Open titles and her 23 major titles is a record in the Open era. In the top half, Djokovic’s bid for a third consecutive Australian title — and ninth overall — could get tricky.
With quarantines almost over, tennis set to start Down Under
It was a controversial start to the government-mandated quarantine ahead of the Australian Open beginning Feb. 8, 2021. The government-mandated quarantine ahead of the Feb. 8-21 Australian Open had a controversial start. There was some considerable doubt during that second wave whether the Australian Open would even be remotely possible in Melbourne. Players, coaches and officials were flown in on 17 jets chartered by Tennis Australia and met by biosecurity officials and placed immediately into hotel quarantine. They include 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu, whose coach was among those who tested positive, and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
3 more COVID-19 cases linked to Australian Open arrivals
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley defended Djokovic for appealing to Australian Open organizers to ease restrictions so players could move to private residences with tennis courts. (Morgan Sette/AAP Image via AP)Two players are among the three latest COVID-19 cases that have emerged from testing conducted on passengers who arrived on charter flights bringing people to Melbourne for the Australian Open. More than 1,200 players, coaches, staff, officials and media arrived on flights in a 36-hour period until Saturday morning to prepare for the Australian Open, which starts Feb. 8. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said some of the cases linked to the tournament will be reclassified as “non-infectious shedding." The most heartening thing at the end in the chat there was a scroll of thank yous from all the stars and players," Tiley said, according to AAP.
72 tennis players in lockdown after virus cases on flights
Italian tennis player Simone Bolelli, left, and Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez are escorted to their training session in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. The number of players in hard quarantine swelled to 72 ahead of the Australian Open after a fifth positive coronavirus test was returned from the charter flights bringing players, coaches, officials and media to Melbourne for the season-opening tennis major. Some players have expressed anger at being classified as close contacts merely for being on board those flights with people who later tested positive. But local government, tennis and health authorities have said all players were warned of the risks in advance. The Australian Open starts Feb. 8 following a week of warmup tournaments at Melbourne Park and the ATP Cup.
Australian Open arrivals hit by 4 COVID-19 positive tests
Health authorities confirmed there'd been three positive tests for COVID-19 returned on Saturday, and another on Sunday. The Australian Open starts on Feb. 8. Kei Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open runner-up, and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka were among a group of players who arrived on the flight from Los Angeles. Also, Americans Madison Keys and Tennys Sandgren returned positive tests, but Sandgren was given permission to fly after Australian health authorities determined he was no longer contagious though still shedding viral particles. South Australia health officials “confirmed that there is no one who has an active COVID-19 infection in the entire tennis cohort based in Adelaide,” the Australian Open said on Twitter.
Players arrive for Australian Open; straight into quarantine
Spain's Rafael Nadal, center, arrives at Adelaide Airport ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship, Adelaide, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. The Australian Open is set to start Feb. 8. To do so, they are having players undergo COVID-19 tests before they board their charter flights, again after they arrive and frequently during the quarantine period. Totally recovered!”The Australian Open has already been delayed three weeks because restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. All other tournaments will be in Melbourne, including the 12-team ATP Cup starting Feb. 1 and two WTA events in the week leading into the Australian Open.
Kenin voted WTA Player of Year; Azarenka gets Comeback honor
Sofia Kenin collected the WTA Player of the Year award on Tuesday after winning the Australian Open in January for her first Grand Slam title and finishing as the runner-up at the French Open in October. Kenin entered this year with an 11-11 career mark in Grand Slam tournaments and zero trips beyond the fourth round at any of the sport’s top four events. That triumph made Kenin the youngest Australian Open champion since 2008, when Maria Sharapova was 20. Kenin went on to get to the fourth round at the U.S. Open, then the final at the pandemic-postponed French Open before losing to Swiatek for the title. Mladenovic and Babos won two Grand Slam doubles titles this season, at the Australian Open and French Open.
Sabalenka cruises past Azarenka for title at Ostrava Open
OSTRAVA – Third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka cruised to the title at the inaugural Ostrava Open on Sunday, defeating fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-2 in the first WTA all-Belarusian final. It was the second title of the season for the 12th-ranked Sabalenka after the Qatar Total Open in Doha in February, and seventh overall of her career. “I hope you’ll get better soon,” she wished Azarenka in a brief on-court speech after her victory. The 14th-ranked Azarenka tried to come back after she received treatment when she was 4-1 down in the second set, breaking Sabalenka who then replied immediately with her fifth break and served out the match. Last month, Azarenka eliminated Sabalenka 6-1, 6-3 in the second round of the U.S. Open before reaching the final.
The body clock of France thrown off-kilter by autumn tennis
The sun sets over court 14 as Italy's Jannik Sinner, right, and Argentina's Federico Coria, left, play their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Students would have one eye or — don't tell teacher — both on the tennis as they crammed for baccalauréat high-school final exams. Instead, they are wondering who is beating who at the tennis while they're stuck in class with face masks in a new academic year. In short, the country's whole body clock has had to adjust to the postponement not only of the tennis but also of the Tour de France. Sitting here like ducks” when a match supervisor asked that she wait on court for a downpour to pass.
'Bad timing and bad luck': Injured Serena out of French Open
“If it was my knee, that would be more really devastating for me. I feel like my body is actually doing really, really well,” said Williams, who turned 39 on Saturday. Williams took a long pause, clutched at that leg and then took a medical timeout so a trainer could wrap it. I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long-term in this tournament, will I be able to get through enough matches? And so, for me, I don’t think I could,” Williams said Wednesday.
The Latest: Gauff undone by 19 double-faults in French loss
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)PARIS – The Latest from the French Open (all times local):___9:35 p.m.American teenager Coco Gauff’s French Open debut has ended in the second round after she double-faulted 19 times in a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 loss to 159th-ranked qualifier Martina Trevisan. Stefano Travaglia beat the Japanese player 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-2 in the second round of the French Open after nearly four hours. 2-seeded Spaniard is looking to win his record-extending 13th French Open title and equal Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 major titles overall. ___2:55 p.m.U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka is out of the French Open in the second round. They said it was "a fighter plane which has broken the sound barrier.”___12 p.m.Serena Williams is out of the French Open.
The Latest: US Open runner-up Zverev wins 1st match in Paris
The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that does not use tiebreakers in the final set. 9 seed Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-3 at Court Suzanne Lenglen on Sunday. ___7:30 p.m.Stan Wawrinka made quick work of Andy Murray in their reunion of sorts at the French Open. One of his coaches is Wolfgang Thiem, the father of fellow Austrian Dominic Thiem — the U.S. Open champion, and French Open runner-up the past two years. The 20-year-old Korda beat Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
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.
The Latest: Goffin and Sinner begin main draw at French Open
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus complains about the weather conditions and ask the umpire to suspend the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Montenegro's Danka Kovinic at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)PARIS – The Latest on the opening day at the French Open:___Postponed and its crowds nearly all driven away, the French Open is finally underway, defying both the coronavirus and autumn rain with play for the first time under the new roof at the revamped Philippe Chatrier showpiece court. A crowd, if it could be called that, of around 150 spectators was on hand to see David Goffin, seeded 11th, and Jannik Sinner from Italy hit the first balls in main draw play Sunday under the Chatrier roof that means the French Open joins the other majors as being able to guarantee play in inclement weather. It will need it: the forecast is grim for the coming days of its covid-enforced autumn slot, pushed back from May and June. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Osaka says she's out of French Open with injured hamstring
U.S. Open champion Osaka has pulled out of the French Open because of an injured hamstring. 1-ranked Ash Barty in skipping the French Open, which opens on Monday, Sept. 21. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the French Open because of an injured left hamstring. Osaka joins defending champion Ash Barty in skipping the French Open, which opens on Sept. 27 in Paris. “Unfortunately I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” Osaka said on Twitter.
Osaka comes back, tops Azarenka at US Open; 3rd Slam title
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, reacts during the women's singles final against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the US Open tennis championships, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in New York. Surprisingly off-kilter in the early going Saturday, Osaka kept missing shots and digging herself a deficit. By the end, Osaka pulled away to a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 comeback victory for her second U.S. Open championship and third Grand Slam title overall. But Osaka regained control, breaking to start a match-ending run of three games, covering her face when the final was over. Osaka and her coach have said they think the off-court activism has helped her energy and mindset in matches.
The Latest: Osaka, Azarenka set for US Open women's final
Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts after defeating Serena Williams, of the United States, during a semifinal match of the US Open tennis championships, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK – The Latest on on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):___3:30 p.m.Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka were supposed to play two weeks ago in Flushing Meadows. Osaka and Azarenka will meet in the U.S. Open women's final, with the winner earning her third Grand Slam singles title. She went on to win another in 2019 at the Australian Open, a title Azarenka won twice. Azarenka won that tournament, normally held in Ohio but moved because of the coronavirus pandemic, when Osaka had to pull out of the final with a hamstring injury.
Zverev erases 2-set deficit at US Open for 1st Slam final
Zverev constructed quite a comeback, getting his game in gear to beat a fading Carreño Busta 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 and reach the title match at Flushing Meadows. It was an inadvisable strategy against a human wall like the 20th-seeded Carreño Busta, who might not do much spectacularly but certainly does everything solidly. It’s not as if Carreño Busta was impeccable. Before the start of the fifth set, Carreño Busta took a medical timeout and got his back worked on by a strainer, something he did at the same stage of his marathon quarterfinal victory over Denis Shapovalov. This time, it was Zverev’s surge that continued, undeterred when Carreño Busta twice hit balls right at him during points in the fourth set.
Helped by net, bad call, Osaka gets past Brady in US Open SF
And now Osaka, still just 22, is one victory away from a third Grand Slam title. Osaka served at up to 120 mph; Brady reached 117 mph. That’s when, at 2-1 in the third set, Osaka earned her first break point with a backhand that clipped the net tape and trickled over. In the second set, though, it was Osaka who blinked, and Brady who collected the first break of the evening. Heady stuff for Brady, a 25-year-old from Pennsylvania who never had been past the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament before this week.
The Latest: Osaka begins US Open semifinal vs Brady
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, walks on the court before playing Jennifer Brady, of the United States, during a semifinal match of the US Open tennis championships, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK – The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):___Naomi Osaka is trying to return to the U.S. Open women's final, facing first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Jennifer Brady. Osaka was the 2018 champion at Flushing Meadows and followed that up by winning the Australian Open the next January. Pavic’s lob winner produced another break to give his team a 4-2 lead in the final set, and he served out the match at love. Naomi Osaka will play American Jennifer Brady in the first women's semifinal, and Serena Williams will take on Victoria Azarenka.
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.