Serena's gone, Open must go on: Kvitova, Pegula set rematch
Much like for so many other folks, Serena Williams’ last match at the U.S. Open was must-see TV for players still in the tournament, so Jessica Pegula and Petra Kvitova tuned in from their hotel rooms the night before their victories led off Saturday’s schedule and set up a fourth-round showdown.
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.
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.
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.
Quarantined in New York, Mladenovic wins doubles in Paris
The French player and Hungarian partner Timea Babos defended their Roland Garros doubles title on Sunday, winning their fourth Grand Slam title together. She was placed in quarantine and the U.S. Tennis Association removed the top-seeded team of Mladenovic and Babos from the doubles competition. Seeded second in Paris, Babos and Mladenovic beat the 14th-seeded pairing of Alexa Guarachi from Chile and American Desirae Krawczyk 6-4, 7-5 in Sunday's final. As well as winning at Roland Garros last year, they have also won twice at the Australian Open, in 2018 and 2020. As well as four titles won with Babos, Mladenovic also won in the doubles at Roland Garros in 2016 with French countrywoman Caroline Garcia.
Osaka tosses racket, overcomes test from teenager at US Open
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, serves to Marta Kostyuk, of the Ukraine, during the third round of the US Open tennis championships, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in New York. Another past U.S. Open champion moving into the fourth round Friday was 2016 titlist Angelique Kerber, who defeated 20-year-old American Ann Li 6-3, 6-4. Kerbers next opponent is another American, 28th-seeded Jennifer Brady, a 6-3, 6-3 winner against Caroline Garcia. The key moment: Kostyuk held five break points that could have given her a 3-1 lead in the final set. Each time on court during the tournament, Osaka is wearing a different mask in memory of a victim of racial injustice.
'Didn't play good': No. 1 Pliskova won't dissect Open loss
I didnt play good, Pliksova said, so thats it.When another member of the media said this back-and-forth must be boring to Pliskova, she said, Yeah, a little bit. Three Americans turned in upsets of seeded women. Other seeded women who were eliminated: No. Pliskova had chances to take the second set against Garcia, who had been 0-8 against top-five opponents at Grand Slam tournaments. On the second, Garcia smacked a quick-strike forehand to a corner and Pliskova's running reply found the net.