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. “A lot of people were complaining, and I told myself I wasn’t going to complain,” Brady said. 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
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. Djokovic and Zverev were playing against each other in an ATP Cup doubles match when the draw was made for the Australian Open.
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.