The Latest: Miami Open tennis allows 750 fans per session
(AP Photo/File)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Miami Open plans to allow 750 fans on the grounds per session for this year’s tennis tournament, and they’ll be allowed to watch matches on the showcase court. Those matches will be played in the grandstand, which seats 5,000, meaning crowds there will be limited to 15% of capacity because of COVID-19 restrictions. The tournament will again be held at the Miami Dolphins’ stadium site, where it moved in 2019. The stadium court for showcase matches in 2019 will not be used this year. That’s less than 5% of the 2019 attendance total of 388,734 for an event that typically attracts most of the world’s top players.
Down but not out, Serena Williams into Australian Open QFs
United States' Serena Williams falls during her fourth round match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)MELBOURNE – Serena Williams tumbled to the ground, her heavily taped right ankle turning, her body contorting, her racket flying. Grabbing the last two games, Williams pulled out 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over No. Oh, my goodness.”Sabalenka — a 22-year-old from Belarus playing in only her second fourth-round Slam match — was visibly and audibly frustrated. Dominic Thiem — the Australian Open runner-up and U.S. Open champion in 2020 — looked physically compromised in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 loss to three-time major semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov.
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.
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.
Lockdown: Tennis players getting on with life in Australia
Italian tennis player Simone Bolelli, left, and Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez are escorted to their training session in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (Luis Ascui/AAP Image via AP)With no way out, tennis players in lockdown are figuring out ways to keep themselves fit within the confines of their Melbourne hotel rooms as they prepare for the Australian Open. Angelique Kerber, who won the Australian Open in 2016, spent her birthday in quarantine on Monday. But local government, tennis and health authorities have said all players were warned of the risks well in advance. “We’ve got to do whatever we can to make it as fair as possible for those players that are in lockdown.”___More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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.
The Latest: Memphis women's basketball cancels another game
Notre Dame forward Juwan Durham (11) drives to the basket against North Carolina forward Armando Bacot (5) and guard Leaky Black (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Memphis women’s basketball game against USF scheduled for Sunday has been canceled. It's the sixth game this season the team has been affected by health and safety concerns. ___The men's basketball game between Notre Dame and Howard scheduled for Monday has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns in the Howard program. “This was a tremendous opportunity to bring national exposure to our basketball team and the university.
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.
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.
Barty opts out of French Open title defense amid pandemic
BRISBANE Top-ranked Ash Barty will not defend her French Open title because of concerns over traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. After skipping the U.S. Open, which is being contested in New York without crowds, Barty has also decided against traveling to Europe for an event in Rome starting Sept. 14 and the Sept. 27-Oct. 10 French Open. Last years French Open was the most special tournament of my career so this is not a decision I have made lightly, Barty, who won her first major title on the clay courts of Roland Garros, said in a statement Tuesday. Nadal is expected to return to the French Open, which was postponed in May during the height of the lockdown. Organizers of the Australian Open remain confident the season-opening major will go ahead as scheduled in Melbourne in January.
Osaka-Goff rematch could happen in US Open's 3rd round
Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and 16-year-old Coco Gauff could face each other at the U.S. Open again after Thursdays, Aug. 27, 2020, draw for the Grand Slam tournament set up a possible third-round rematch. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)American teenager Coco Gauff and two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka could face each other at the U.S. Open again after Thursdays draw for the Grand Slam tournament set up a possible third-round rematch. Osaka, who won the 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australian Open, beat Gauff, then just 15, 6-3, 6-0 in the third round at Flushing Meadows a year ago. 1-ranked Ash Barty and 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu. The defending mens champion, Rafael Nadal, and 20-time Grand Slam title winner Roger Federer are also among those absent in New York this year.
Top-ranked Barty pulls out of US Open, citing travel risks
Top-ranked Ash Barty has withdrawn from the U.S. Open because she is not comfortable with traveling during the coronavirus pandemic. 1-ranked Ash Barty is skipping the first tennis major since January after deciding it's too risky to travel for the U.S. Open during the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-year-old Australian is the highest-profile player so far to opt out of the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 Grand Slam tournament in New York because of the global health crisis. The clay-court Grand Slam event was postponed earlier in the year and rescheduled to start Sept. 27, after the U.S. Open. Barty reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in January, the only major tennis tournament completed this year.