The Latest: Djokovic into Australian Open final for 9th time
All rights reservedMELBOURNE – The Latest on the Australian Open (all times local):9:45 p.m.Novak Djokovic reached the Australian Open final for the ninth time by beating No. ___7 p.m.Barbora Krejcikova has set up a shot at an Australian Open doubles double over the next couple of days. ___3:35 p.m.Naomi Osaka has stopped Serena Williams’ latest bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title in the Australian Open semifinals. The 23-year-old Osaka also won last year's U.S. Open and the 2019 Australian Open. Djokovic is seeking a ninth Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam trophy overall.
223-2: Nadal blows 2-set lead against Tsitsipas in Australia
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after winning a point against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)MELBOURNE – Rafael Nadal entered his Australian Open quarterfinal with a 223-1 record when grabbing the first two sets of a Grand Slam match. Neither Tsitsipas nor Medvedev has won a Grand Slam tournament. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic will face 114th-ranked qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who is making his Grand Slam debut. It looked like it could be a repeat of their 2019 semifinal in Australia, when Nadal overwhelmed Tsitsipas and allowed him to win just six games.
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.
Williams withdraws from semifinals in Australian Open tuneup
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. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)MELBOURNE – Serena Williams withdrew from an Australian Open tuneup tournament citing a right shoulder injury on Friday within hours of setting up a semifinal match against top-ranked Ash Barty. Garbine Muguruza beat defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals, reversing their result of their 2020 final at Melbourne Park. On either side of a delay on outside courts because of rain, former Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian champion Angelique Kerber beat No. 4 Borna Coric out in the quarterfinals after wins over Australian players earlier in the day.
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.
Australia marks national day with protests, calming words
Russell Dawson of the Koomurri Aboriginal Dancers participates in a smoking ceremony during Australia Day ceremonies in Sydney, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)SYDNEY – Government leaders marked a socially distanced Australia Day with calming words Tuesday as protesters denounced celebrations of a day some dub “Invasion Day” because of historical wrongs committed against Indigenous people. Protest organizers called for Australia Day, which recognizes the day the British navy arrived with convict ships and raised a flag signaling the intent to found a British colony, to be abolished. Journalist Kerry O’Brien rejected an Australia Day award he was to receive this year to take a stand against Court receiving her honor, and Canberra Dr. Clara Tuck Meng Soo handed back her 2016 award in protest. “Our stories since that day have been of sorrow and of joy, of loss and redemption, of failure and of success.”
'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. “That’s disappointing on many levels, of course,” said John Isner, the 21st-seeded man who was beaten in four sets by 20-year-old American qualifier Sebastian Korda. Williams took a long pause, clutched at that leg and then took a medical timeout so a trainer could wrap it. “I’m so close to some things, I just feel like I’m almost there," she said, "so I think that’s what keeps me going.”___AP Tennis Writer Fendrich reported from Washington; AP Sports Writer Pugmire reported from Paris.
'Runaway train': Serena wins French Open opener; Nadal, too
Serena Williams of the U.S. screams in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Kristie Ahn of the U.S. at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Both began this French Open with straight-set victories against overmatched foes in Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday. Nadal began his attempt to pull even with rival Roger Federer for the most by a man, 20, by beating Egor Gerasimov of Belarus 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. He'll be aiming for his 18th major championship at this French Open, which he finally gets underway Tuesday with his first Grand Slam match since being disqualified at the U.S. Open. Among the other key results on Day 2 of a chilly, pandemic-postponed French Open were losses by 2019 runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, who was beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Polish teenager Iga Swiatek; three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber; 2017 U.S. Open finalist and 2018 French Open semifinalist Madison Keys; and men’s seeds No.
Original 9 trailblazers stood for tennis equality in 1970
In this Sept. 23, 1970, photo provided the Houston Library, tennis players hold up $1 bills after signing a contract with World Tennis magazine publisher Gladys Heldman to turn pro and start the Virginia Slims tennis circuit. The Original 9 will gather by Zoom to celebrate the inaugural Virginia Slims event. It included the Welsh Open Women’s Championship, the U.S. Eastern Women’s Grass Court Championship and the U.S. She called it “perfect timing” when tobacco ads were banned on TV in 1971, making a budget available for Philip Morris to sponsor the women's tennis circuit. Heldman quickly set up the $7,500-purse Virginia Slims Invitational in Houston for the same week as Kramer’s event.
Down but not out, Serena Williams yells herself to Open win
Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after defeating Maria Sakkari, of Greece, during the quarterfinals of the US Open tennis championships, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK Theres no crowd at the U.S. Open this year to pull for Serena Williams and try to push her to victory. Shouting at herself point after point, Williams came back from a third-set deficit against a woman she lost to less than two weeks ago, and took another step closer to Grand Slam title No. When the match ended, Williams turned and yelled toward her husband, who stood at his front-row seat and yelled right back. She sent a backhand return long to give Sakkari her fifth set point, then pushed a forehand out.
Serena Williams is fit and ready to play after 6-month break
FILE - In this May 27, 2019, file photo, Serena Williams of the U.S. plays a shot against Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. If the French Open were being held as scheduled right now -- instead of postponed to September because of the coronavirus pandemic, Williams again would have had a shot at her 24th major to pull even with Margaret Court for the most in history. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
Serena Williams is fit and ready to play after 6-month break
(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)LEXINGTON, Ky. – Serena Williams flexed and then kissed a sinewy right bicep to show down time well spent in training even without bench pressing. Williams now looks to flex her muscles on a tennis court for the first time in six months. Serena Williams, ranked No. If the results from Williams’ previous comeback from a long break are any indication, she has something to look forward to. Her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, built a tennis court for her.
AP Was There: Seles tops Graf in riveting French Open final
If you play 10-8 in the final set, it definitely is special, she said. Seles was up a service break at 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3 in the final set. The two continued on serve until Seles broke for an 8-7 lead as Graf missed on a short forehand. But Graf broke right back, hitting a perfect backhand drop shot on one point. One or two points really decided it.Seles won $372,896, putting her over the $5 million mark in career earnings.
Tennis, anyone? Not on this sunny Sunday at the French Open
Instead, the grounds are deserted amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the famed tennis tournament on hold until late September. Also visible: construction equipment left behind when France went into lockdown on March 17 littering the inside of Roland Garros. In early February, the French Tennis Federation proudly released a video to announce the roof was ready. Tangled green foliage has draped itself over the main sign that says, Fdration Franaise de Tennis French tennis federation with Stade Roland Garros written underneath in black letters. Normally, that would not be visible with the amount of people around on Day 1 of the French Open.
2 years, 4 operations later, CiCi Bellis back on Slam stage
Bellis told this story with a smile at the Australian Open — and why not? Four surgical procedures and two years have come and gone since she was last healthy enough to participate in a Grand Slam tournament. On Thursday, she was out there on a Grand Slam court, playing in singles and doubles. But he also recalled where it happened to him in 2019 -- at the Australian Open. CLIMBING THE HEIGHTSGarbiñe Muguruza has scaled the heights of tennis -- two Grand Slam titles; the No.