NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29:  Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his first round Men's Singles match win against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan on Day One of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Getty Images

U.S. Open Day 1: Live Coverage

Leave a comment

Welcome to live coverage of day one of the U.S. Open. Here are the results so far:

11 p.m.

Novak Djokovic was bothered by his right arm during a first-round victory at the U.S. Open, getting treatment from a trainer, hitting slow serves and grimacing after some shots.

Still, the defending champion got through the match Monday night, beating Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

This was the No. 1-ranked Djokovic’s first Grand Slam match since losing to Sam Querrey in the third round of Wimbledon.

Djokovic spoke before the U.S. Open about dealing with a left wrist injury that flared up in the days before the Rio Olympics this month. But it was his right arm that was problematic against Janowicz, a former top-20 player who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2013 and is now ranked 247th after his own series of injury issues.

9:40 p.m.

Jack Sock withstood Taylor Fritz’s repeated comebacks to win the second five-set match between American men Monday at the U.S. Open.

The 26th-seeded Sock took the first two sets, dropped the next two, then went up two breaks in the fifth only for the 18-year-old Fritz to erase both of those. But Sock broke Fritz’s serve again to clinch a 7-6 (3), 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 6-4 win in 3 hours, 21 minutes.

Sock overcame 17 double-faults and 73 unforced errors to beat Fritz in five sets in the first round at a major for the second time this year – they also met at the Australian Open in Fritz’s Grand Slam debut. The players combined for 99 winners Monday.

Fritz, last year’s U.S. Open boys singles champ, is ranked a career-best 53rd.

9:10 p.m.

Fifth-seeded Milos Raonic advanced to the second round at the U.S. Open with a straight-set win.

The Wimbledon runner-up beat 86th-ranked Dustin Brown 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on Monday. Raonic had 41 winners.

The U.S. Open is the only major at which the Canadian has yet to make at least the quarterfinals.

Brown upset Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in the second round last year.

7:55 p.m.

Arthur Ashe Stadium’s new roof has made its world premiere.

As Phil Collins sang the first notes of “In the Air Tonight” during the U.S. Open’s opening ceremony Monday night, the two retractable panels began to slide apart. Less than five minutes later, just after the song had ended, they had fully opened to reveal a hazy sky.

Many fans’ eyes and smartphones pointed upward instead of at the on-court stage as Collins performed. He was later joined by “Hamilton” original cast member Leslie Odom Jr.

There was no rain Monday to formally test the $150 million roof, but it still got a workout as part of the opening festivities. Officials closed it after the day session.

6:50 p.m.

Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig has lost in the first round of the U.S. Open.

The 32nd-seeded Puig was upset by 61st-ranked Zheng Saisai 6-4, 6-2 on Monday. Puig had insisted Saturday that she was mentally ready for the year’s final major after the whirlwind of the past couple of weeks, when she stunningly beat three Grand Slam champions to become Puerto Rico’s first gold medalist and was feted at a parade on the island.

Still, she recognized it was quite possible her U.S. Open trip wouldn’t go well, reminding herself that she’s just 22 years old. She’s now 1-3 at Flushing Meadows.

Zheng, also 22, upset Agnieszka Radwanska at the Olympics. She’ll be seeking to make it to the third round at a major for the first time.

6:20 p.m.

French Open champ Garbine Muguruza says she thinks the heat caused her to have trouble breathing early in her U.S Open first-round match.

The third-seeded Spaniard had to call for the trainer after dropping the first set to Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens with temperatures in the low 90s. Muguruza said after Monday’s three-set victory that she had forgotten there were towels with ice available to cool off during changeovers. She also was able to relax more, which helped.

Muguruza says she had some trouble breathing in practice a couple of days earlier as well, but she felt fine during her warmup Monday. The conditions reminded her of the Australian Open, though she never remembered it being this uncomfortable in New York.

Then again, the 22-year-old has never stuck around past the second round in singles at the U.S. Open.

5:35 p.m.

French tennis star Gael Monfils often brings down the house with his wild shots.

In the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday, his play took down a panel along the back of Court 17. Trying to chase an overhead, Monfils went leaping into the wall to attempt to reach the ball.

His right foot kicked a clock apparatus, and a moment later as he was reaching down to pick up his racket, the whole panel tumbled forward, spilling out wires from behind and clipping the back of his heels.

Monfils was feeling fortunate afterward that he hadn’t been seriously injured. The digital panel was in worse shape from the collision, with the pieces all askew.

Asked if he had realized how hard he hit the wall, Monfils said: “When you are in the moment you don’t feel really anything. Just jump.”

The 10th-seeded Frenchman went on to beat Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (5).

5:15 p.m.

In a matchup of American tennis present and future, 31-year-old John Isner rallied from down two sets to edge 18-year-old Frances Tiafoe in the first round of the U.S. Open.

The 125th-ranked Tiafoe had a chance to serve out the match in the fifth set Monday, but Isner broke back then pulled away in the final tiebreaker to win 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3) in 3 hours, 27 minutes.

It was just the second career comeback from two sets down for Isner. Tiafoe had never before played a five-set match.

The 20th-seeded Isner has finished each of the last four years as the top-ranked U.S. man and has now won 11 straight Grand Slam first-round matches. He’s 5-0 against fellow Americans at majors.

Tiafoe, who got in with a wild card, has just two career tour-level wins. He had played in two previous Grand Slam tournaments, losing in the first round both times.

4:50 p.m.

French Open champ Garbine Muguruza lost the first set, called for the trainer and complained about trouble breathing. She won the second set without dropping a game, then pulled out a tough third set to move on at the U.S. Open.

The third-seeded Spaniard beat Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the first round Monday. She had to save a break point at 3-3 in the third.

The 22-year-old Muguruza went just 3-3 in her next six matches after winning her first major title at Roland Garros, before making a semifinal run at Cincinnati.

With temperatures in the low 90s, the heat rule went into effect before the third set, giving the players a 10-minute break.

The 137th-ranked Mertens is 20 years old and was making her Grand Slam debut. This was the first time she faced a top-20 opponent.

Muguruza has never gone past the second round at the U.S. Open.

4:45 p.m.

Playing with his left wrist heavily bandaged, Rafael Nadal won his first Grand Slam match in more than three months, easily beating Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 at the U.S. Open.

Nadal’s first-round victory in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday was straightforward. He produced 14 of his 21 winners via his forehand, which showed little sign of being troubled by a wrist he says is still not completely healed.

Nadal hadn’t played at a major since winning his second-round match at the French Open on May 26. He then withdrew from Roland Garros before the third round and sat out Wimbledon because of the problematic wrist.

3:20 p.m.

American teen CiCi Bellis is now 2 for 2 in the first round of the U.S. Open.

The darling of the 2014 tournament after she stunned Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova as a 15-year-old, Bellis is back in the main draw this year and beat 65th-ranked Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-3 on Monday.

Bellis, now 17, is ranked 158th and advanced through qualifying to make the field. She next faces another American, Shelby Rogers, who upset 27th-seeded Sara Errani.

2:45 p.m.

Polona Hercog says she had been sick for several days before her first-round U.S. Open match, in which she retired after suffering from dizziness and cramping.

The 120th-ranked Slovenian was trailing 6-0, 1-0 to second-seeded Angelique Kerber on Monday. Hercog says she felt dizzy after long rallies, and her legs started cramping in the fourth or fifth game. The 90-degree heat didn’t help.

Had Hercog withdrawn before the match, a “lucky loser” who fell in qualifying could have replaced her. Told that Croatian player Donna Vekic had sarcastically tweeted “classy” about the match, Hercog said: “It’s not my fault she lost in the last round of qualies.”

Hercog says she felt OK during warmups and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to face the Australian Open champ on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

2:05 p.m.

Two-time U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki rallied from a set down for her first Grand Slam match win of 2016.

Wozniacki beat American qualifier Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Monday in the first-ever match at the new 8,000-seat Grandstand. She lost in the first round at this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon and skipped the French Open because of a right ankle injury that forced her to miss 2+ months. The former No. 1 player’s ranking has slipped to 74th, and she’s unseeded at Flushing Meadows for the first time since her debut in 2007.

The 20-year-old Townsend, ranked 146th, was playing her second U.S. Open.

1:50 p.m.

Australian Open champ Angelique Kerber advanced to the second round at the U.S. Open when her opponent retired early in the second set without winning a game.

The second-seeded Kerber led 6-0, 1-0 after 33 minutes when Polona Hercog stopped. The 120th-ranked Slovenian won just nine points in seven games.

After the first set on a 90-degree day, Hercog took a medical timeout. Trainers checked her blood pressure and rubbed ice bags on her legs.

Hercog, who’s never been past the third round at a major, came in 2-1 against Kerber in tour-level matches, though they hadn’t met since 2011.

Kerber, who lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, has a chance to overtake her for the No. 1 ranking depending on their results at Flushing Meadows.

1:30 p.m.

Richard Gasquet, the first seeded player to lose at the U.S. Open, summed up his quick exit this way: “Not sure I could do worse.”

The 13th-seeded Gasquet, a semifinalist at Flushing Meadows in 2013, hadn’t lost in the first round at a Grand Slam tournament since the French Open 6+ years ago.

His 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 loss Monday was the first career victory over a player ranked in the top 15 for No. 84 Kyle Edmund of Britain.

1:25 p.m.

Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champ, is through to the second round with a straight-set win.

The seventh-seeded Cilic beat 108th-ranked Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 on Monday despite posting more unforced errors than winners (24-23). Cilic is coming off his first Masters title, beating Andy Murray in the final at Cincinnati.

Dutra Silva is now 0-3 against top-10 players. He came in 3-3 in his career at the U.S. Open and 0-5 in the other majors.

1:05 p.m.

In his U.S. Open debut, Kyle Edmund has upset 13th-seeded Richard Gasquet.

The 21-year-old Brit won 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 on Monday against the 2013 U.S. Open semifinalist. Edmund, ranked 84th, had 40 winners, 21 on his forehand. He has twice made it to the second round at the French Open.

Gasquet hadn’t lost in the first round at a major since 2010 at Roland Garros.

12:45 p.m.

The woman who stunned Serena Williams at last year’s U.S. Open en route to the final, Roberta Vinci of Italy, won the first match in the tournament’s refurbished Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Vinci, who is seeded No. 7, overcame some second-set jitters to beat 46th-ranked Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-2, 6-4 on Monday.

In the 2015 semifinals at Flushing Meadows, Vinci – unseeded and ranked 43rd at the time – upset Williams, ending the American’s bid for tennis’ first calendar-year Grand Slam in 27 years. That put Vinci into her first major final, where she lost to another Italian, childhood friend Flavia Pennetta.

The temperature hit 90 degrees Monday, but the new retractable roof atop Ashe provided some shade for spectators – and, on one side of the court, players.

11:20 a.m.

Play has started at the 2016 U.S. Open under sunny skies with no rain in the forecast for days, which could delay the first official use of the new retractable roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The $150 million roof, which can close in about seven minutes, is to be used, according to tournament officials, only “in the event of inclement weather or the strong possibility of inclement weather.”

Neither is expected in the next few days, with forecasts calling for clear skies and highs in the 80s.

The roof is still set to make its debut, of sorts, at Monday night’s opening ceremony. The U.S. Tennis Association plans to shut the roof after the day session and open it for effect while Phil Collins performs “In the Air Tonight.”

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Venus Williams advances, No. 4 Simona Halep out on Australian Open’s first day

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 16:  Venus Williams of the United States celebrates winning her first round match against Kateryna Kozlova of the Ukraine on day one of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Venus Williams went onto Rod Laver Arena right after Shelby Rogers’ upset win over fourth-seeded Simona Halep, a result which sent the former French Open finalist out in the first round of the Australian Open again.

Back-to-back first-round exits at the season’s first major was not how Williams planned to mark her 73rd Grand Slam tournament.

The 36-year-old Williams made it two wins from two for American women on the center court at Melbourne Park on the first day, twice rallying from a break down in the first set to beat Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (5), 7-5.

The seven-time major winner lost in the first round of the Australian Open last year to eventual semifinalist Johanna Konta. Despite her 48 unforced errors, Williams made a more positive start this time.

“It’s never easy playing the first round – you’re just trying to find the rhythm,” Williams said. “She played amazing. It’s very satisfying to get through a match against an opponent who is on fire.”

Rogers caused the first upset of the tournament, and did it on the center court, with her 6-3, 6-1 win over Halep.

Playing just her second main draw match ever at the Australian Open, the No. 52-ranked Rogers broke the 2014 French Open finalist’s serve four times. It was the second year in a row that Halep lost in the first round at Melbourne Park, and the fourth time overall.

Rogers made a surprising run to the French Open quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Garbine Muguruza last year, when she was ranked No. 108, but only advanced to the second round at one other tournament in 2016.

Her only previous win against a top 10 player was in 2014, when she beat then No. 8-ranked Eugenie Bouchard in Montreal, but the run at Roland Garros gave her confidence.

“The biggest thing I took away from that was just that I can compete with the top players in the world and I’m good enough,” Rogers said. “So I have definitely carried that away from the French Open and just been enjoying it a little bit. There has been a lot of positive feedback, which has been nice.”

Halep, a two-time quarterfinalist in Australia, said she’d been hampered by pain in her left knee that was compounded by the pressure of the match.

“Definitely (Rogers) played well. I think she played very high standard,” Halep said. “She was aggressive, and she hit very strong.”

Seventh-seeded Muguruza saved a set point in the first set, needed a medical timeout and had to fend off three break-point chances at 1-4 in the second set before advancing with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Marina Erakovic.

Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig raced through her opening match, beating Patricia Tig 6-0, 6-1, and No. 20 Zhang Shuai and No. 27 Irina-Camelia Begu also advanced.

Australian teenager Destanee Aiava’s milestone match ended in a 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to German qualifier Mona Barthel. The 16-year-old Melbourne high school student became the first player born in this millennium to play a main draw match at a major.

In two all-U.S. matches, Samantha Crawford defeated Lauren Davis 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 and Alison Riske beat Madison Brengle 7-5, 6-3.

Two other seeded players lost early women’s matches, with Varvara Lepchenko beating No. 19 Kiki Bertens 7-5, 7-6 (5) and former No. 1-ranked Jelena Jankovic beating No. 26 Laura Siegemund 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.

On the men’s side, fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori needed 3 hours, 34 minutes to beat Andrey Kuznetsov 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-2.

There were two early retirements. No. 10-seeded Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist, was leading 6-1 when Luca Vanni retired from their match, and Jeremy Chardy was leading 4-0 when Nicolas Almagro retired with an injured right calf muscle in the first set.

No. 27 Bernard Tomic and No. 29 Viktor Troicki advanced along with No. 31 Sam Querrey, who beat Quentin Halys 6-7 (10), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-4, and Ryan Harrison.

New look: Murray, Kerber start Australian Open as top seeds

161108-andy-murray
Getty Images
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) It’s new and exciting for Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, entering a Grand Slam tournament with the No. 1 in front of their names.

Both reached the top of the rankings for the first time near the end of 2016, ending long reigns by Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

And so they’ll open their Australian Open campaigns on Rod Laver Arena on day one – both against Ukrainians.

Murray, a five-time runner-up, opens his pursuit of a first Australian title against Illya Marchenko in the last day match on the main show court. Kerber opens the night session against Lesia Tsurenko. She’ll be followed on court by Roger Federer, who is returning from six months on the sidelines.

The `one-round-at-a-time’ cliche is well worn in tennis. For Kerber, though, it’s pertinent. Seeded seventh last year, the left-handed German had to save a match point in the first round against Misaki Doi. Spurred on by that, she went on to beat Serena Williams in the final and claim her first Grand Slam title. She added a second major at the U.S. Open and ascended to the No 1 ranking.

“I think this point where I was match point down, that was the important point for my career,” Kerber said Sunday, speaking of her first-round escape against Doi. “You never know (if) I lost the match, what would have happened.”

It gave her the freedom to play without pressure, and that made all the difference.

“When I’m looking back, I was feeling that I got a second chance to stay in the tournament,” she said. “I was playing since then without expectation … just enjoying everything.”

Kerber can hang on to the top ranking by reaching to the final here, but she’s already feeling there’s more to defend than her title.

“It’s a new challenge for me, for sure,” she said. But, “We are starting from zero here. I have to be ready from the first round again.

“I will try to not put too much expectation and pressure on myself. I mean, I will try to do it like last year – that was the way I had my success.”

Record-chasing, six-time champions Djokovic and Williams, seeded No. 2 and anchoring the bottom half of the men’s and women’s draws, won’t be in action until day two. Djokovic is aiming to be the first man to win seven Australian titles. Serena Williams is chasing an Open-era record 23rd major title.

Newly-engaged Williams hasn’t wanted to talk about the record, being a little bit superstitious. Williams is concentrating on her first-round match against Belinda Bencic, who was seeded 12th here last year and who beat her in Toronto in 2015.

While Serena has to wait, the Williams family will be represented on Rod Laver Arena on Monday by her older sister, Venus. The 13th-seeded Venus Williams will play against Kateryna Kozlova following fourth-seeded Simona Halep’s opener against Shelby Rogers.

French Open champion Garbine Muguruza starts play on Margaret Court Arena against Marina Erakovic, and U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka opens the night session on the second show court.

Fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori gets things underway against Andrey Kuznetsov on Hisense Arena, where Nick Kyrgios will make his return to the tour against Gastao Elias.

The 21-year-old Kyrgios finished 2016 under a ban in a season overshadowed by clashes with officials and fans and by the tanking at the Shanghai Masters which led to an eight-week suspension.

The ban was reduced to three weeks when Kyrgios agreed to consult a sports psychologist, allowing to warmup for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup.

That’s where Federer made his return from six months out to give his injured left knee time to heal. The 17-time major winner didn’t play after Wimbledon and his ranking slid to No. 17 by this week. That resulted in him getting a tougher draw than usual at the tournament he has won four times, and where he has reached the semifinals in 12 of the last 13 years. If results go with rankings, he’ll play two qualifiers before a potential third-round match against No. 10 Tomas Berdych. Nishikori and Murray are also in his quarter.

Federer will open against another 35-year-old veteran, former No. 8-ranked Jurgen Melzer.

“That’s the part of the draw I care most about because of having not been playing,” Federer said.

Wild-card entry Destanee Aiava, a 16-year-old Melbourne high school student, is set to become the first player born in this millennium to play a main draw match at a Grand Slam when she meets German qualifier Mona Barthel on Show Court 2.