Serena at night, Medvedev starts defense on US Open's Day 1
Play in the two-week tournament begins Monday with the top half of the men’s bracket and bottom half of the women’s bracket, which includes Serena Williams playing the opening match of what is expected to be her final U.S. Open — and could be her last tournament appearance anywhere. The women’s singles final is Saturday, Sept. 10; the men’s singles final is Sunday, Sept. 11. Williams will play the first night match of the tournament in Arthur Ashe Stadium when she faces Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.news.yahoo.com
Former finalist Thiem withdraws from Australian Open
Still regaining his form from a wrist injury, former finalist Dominic Thiem announced Tuesday that he is withdrawing from the Australian Open and will instead begin his 2022 season in South America. Thiem said he had a “slight setback” in his preparation but is “now feeling well again.” “I will start the season in South America at the Cordoba Open in Argentina, end of January, and therefore I will not play this year at the Australian Open,” Thiem said.news.yahoo.com
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.
Cloud 9: Djokovic wins 9th Australian Open, 18th Slam title
Plus, he's still gaining on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings, now up to 18 overall, two shy of the men’s record those rivals share. After greeting Medvedev, Djokovic went to the sideline, lifted his white shirt and peeled off pieces of beige athletic tape along his abdomen. “It has been a roller-coaster ride for me, especially in the last couple weeks,” Djokovic said, cradling his silver trophy in his left arm. 4-seeded Medvedev was appearing in his second Grand Slam final; he was the runner-up to Nadal at the 2019 U.S. Open. “There are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australia,” Djokovic said.
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.
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.
Australian Open goes quiet as lockdown keeps crowds away
Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic serves to compatriot Karolina Pliskova during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Crowds were gone from the Australian Open on Saturday because of a five-day hard lockdown imposed by the state government to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. And with the lack of fans, players were faced with an all-too-familiar feeling: a distinct lack of buzz. The Australian Open was allowed to continue during the lockdown — but without fans. He struggled without a crowd in a warm-up tournament before the Australian Open.
No crowds, but Australian Open will continue during lockdown
(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)MELBOURNE – The Australian Open will be allowed to continue but without crowds after the Victoria state government imposed a snap, five-day 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. The seven-time Australian Open winner didn't hear the news until after the match. “It was a good last match before the lockdown, it's really sad to say.”The Australian Open was the first Grand Slam tournament in a year to allow sizeable crowds. 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.
Djokovic holds off Tiafoe; Venus hobbles out in Australia
Serbia's Novak Djokovic makes a forehand return to United States' Frances Tiafoe during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. 1, had never beaten anyone in the Top 5, and now he'd just won a tiebreaker against Novak Djokovic to level their second-round match at the Australian Open. But it wasn't quite enough to beat the eight-time Australian Open champion, who won the 3 1/2-hour afternoon match 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 6-3. AdAnother U.S. Open champion, Naomi Osaka, needed only an hour to sweep Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3. 29 Ugo Humbert 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in a rollicking night cap full of turns and twists.
The Latest: Shapovalov edges teenage Sinner in 1st round
The 10th-seeded Frenchman is a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist, but he can't seem to win anywhere at the moment. ___4:55 p.m.U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem has moved into the second round at the Australian Open, where he was the runner-up to Novak Djokovic a year ago. Thiem had been 0-3 in Grand Slam finals until emerging for the championship at Flushing Meadows in September. The first tournament of this year’s Grand Slam season began after a three-week delay because of the coronavirus pandemic. Serena Williams begins her latest bid for a 24th Grand Slam singles title in the following match against Laura Siegemund.
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.
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.
Serena visits zoo; Djokovic finally on court in Australia
United States' Serena Williams plays a forehand return to Japan's Naomi Osaka during an exhibition tennis event in Adelaide, Australia, Friday, Jan. 29. (Kelly Barnes/AAP Image via AP)ADELAIDE – Serena Williams was preparing to play Naomi Osaka at an Adelaide exhibition tournament on Friday. Krajinovic won the first set 6-3 and Djokovic the second by the same score to give the Serbian tag-team victory. “It’s part of what we do, we learn over the years to play with the pain," Djokovic said. Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said players who had been in hard lockdown would be given priority.
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.
ATP: Start of 2021 calendar includes delayed Australian Open
The 2021 Australian Open will begin three weeks later than planned. That is part of a pandemic-altered 2021 tennis calendar released by the mens professional tour Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. The ATP Cup, two ATP events and two WTA tournaments will take place in Melbourne the week before the Australian Open. One WTA tournament will happen during the second week of the Australian Open, local media said. The ATP is looking for new dates for the Rio Open, which was supposed to begin Feb. 17 but now conflicts with the two-week Australian Open main draw.
Tennis champion Daniil Medvedev says it’s ‘tough’ to talk about the future of the sport
Newly crowned Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev told CNBC that tennis has a cloudy future, with players still not knowing when — or if — the Australian Open will go on due to the coronavirus pandemic. Medvedev, who won the highly prestigious ATP Finals tournament on Sunday at London's O2 Arena, said a lot of uncertainty remains in the sport. "(It's) tough to talk about the future, because we see with the Australian Open, it's not easy at this moment. Medvedev made history on Sunday when he defeated the current U.S. Open Champion and world number three, Dominic Thiem, to clinch the much sought-after title. The Russian tennis champion said the match was "one of the biggest wins of my career," after coming back from a set down to take the title.cnbc.com
Thiem, Nadal win opening matches at ATP Finals in London
(John Walton/PA via AP)LONDON – Dominic Thiem made sure this year's ATP Finals didn't begin the same way last year's ended. Nadal is looking to cap a season in which he earned his record-equaling 20th Grand Slam title and 1,000th match win on tour by capturing his first trophy at the ATP Finals. Nadal broke in the opening game of the second set as well and never faced a break point of his own. He served out the win on his second match point when Rublev's return sailed long. This is the 12th and last year that the ATP Finals is played at the 02 Arena before moving to Turin, Italy, next year.
Zverev beats Auger-Aliassime in Cologne to end title wait
COLOGNE – Alexander Zverev ended his 17-month wait for a title by drawing on the pain of his U.S. Open final defeat to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 and win the Cologne Indoors on Sunday. Zverev has said he thinks almost constantly about that final, and he credited it with raising his game in Cologne. Zverev's previous title was at the clay-court Geneva Open in May 2019 and he is now 12-8 in career finals. The second Cologne tournament was already holding qualification matches before Sunday's final in the first tournament took place. It will feature Zverev and U.S. Open quarterfinalist Denis Shapovalov, while former top-ranked player Andy Murray has withdrawn citing tendonitis.
French Open champ Swiatek rises to 17th; Djokovic, Nadal 1-2
2, followed by U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem and Federer. The 19-year-old Swiatek entered the French Open at No. 54 and became the lowest-ranked female champion at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament since the WTA computer rankings began in 1975. The top three in the women’s rankings remained as they were before the French Open, with Ash Barty at No. Halep did compete at the French Open, but her 6-1, 6-2 loss to Swiatek in the fourth round didn’t affect the three-time major champion’s ranking.
No. 1 Djokovic escapes in 5, will face No. 2 Nadal in final
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)PARIS – Novak Djokovic seemed well on his way to yet another ho-hum victory, yet another French Open final, yet another matchup against rival Rafael Nadal. It will be their 56th meeting, the most between two men in the professional era (Djokovic leads 29-26), 16th at a major (Nadal leads 9-6) and eighth at the French Open (Nadal leads 6-1). Tsitsipas broke again to steal that set when Djokovic netted a forehand, then got things to a fifth. After the fourth set, Djokovic changed socks and shoes, and Tsitsipas got a medical visit for a check of his left leg. Then there was this: Schwartzman upset Nadal in straight sets on clay at the Italian Open last month.
'Both gave everything': Schwartzman tops Thiem; Nadal next
A reporter wanted to know whether Schwartzman would be watching Nadal vs. Sinner. “For sure, I’m going to be awake,” said Schwartzman, who defeated Nadal at a clay-court tuneup in Rome last month. The ninth break put Schwartzman up 4-2 in the fifth when Thiem netted a backhand, and the last ended it, when Thiem put two drop shots into the net. From early on against Schwartzman, Thiem would bail out of points by trying mediocre drop shots, a bit of foreshadowing of the day’s denouement. He led the fourth 5-3, and held three set points while serving for it at 5-4.
The Latest: 19-year-old Swiatek into French Open semifinals
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)PARIS – The Latest from the French Open (all times local):___10:25 p.m.Polish teenager Iga Swiatek made it to her first Grand Slam semifinal by ending the surprising French Open run of qualifier Martina Trevisan of Italy. The reports said suspicious betting patterns concerned the fifth game of the second set when Sizikova was serving and broken to love. ___2:55 p.m.Nadia Podoroska is the first female qualifier in the Open Era to reach the French Open semifinals. Collins looked in control at 3-0 up in the second set but her Tunisian opponent won five straight games. This was her best run at the French Open while Collins had never previously been past the second round here.