Getty Images

U.S. Open Live Coverage: Day 6

1 Comment

3:20 p.m.

Serena Williams’ dominating third-round victory at the U.S. Open was notable for a new career milestone: 307 Grand Slam wins.

Williams’ 6-2, 6-1 win over 47th-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden improved her major-tournament mark to 307-42, putting her one win up on Martina Navratilova among women and tying Roger Federer among all players in the Open era.

Appearing in a day match for the first time at this year’s tournament, Williams wore a new white outfit that made a fashion statement with bold, pink sleeves. In her post-match interview, she called them her “Wonder Woman sleeves.”

Williams lived up to that nickname, with no sign of a right shoulder problem that had hampered her leading into the tournament. She ripped six aces and 24 winners in a match that lasted just one hour.

2:20 p.m.

Eighth-seeded Dominic Thiem overcame a shaky start Saturday to secure a spot in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

Thiem blasted 47 winners, 20 in the last set, on his way to a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 victory over 39th-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta. The Spaniard is now winless against top-10 players in 11 tries.

Thiem, a 23-year-old Austrian, is considered one of the game’s top young players. He’s had four tour wins and a run to the French Open semifinals this year.

He previously reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open in 2014.

Thiem will play the winner of the match later Saturday between Juan Martin del Potro and 11th-seeded David Ferrer.

1:50 p.m.

Fifth-seeded Simona Halep smashed her racket in frustration en route to a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, third-round victory over 34th-ranked Timea Babos at the U.S. Open.

Halep, a semifinalist at Flushing Meadows a year ago, rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the deciding set and appeared to struggle with the power of the big-serving Hungarian, who blasted five aces and 25 total winners.

Halep threw down, and apparently cracked, her racket after losing a point late in the final set. It all ended just a few points later when Babos double-faulted on match point.

After the match, Halep said she wasn’t able to move well because of a back problem. She acknowledged she didn’t play her best, saying “I don’t know how I came back.”

Halep, whose best Grand Slam result was a run to the French Open final in 2014, next takes on 11th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro for a spot in the quarterfinals.

12:40 p.m.

Carla Suarez Navarro has defeated Elena Vesnina to secure a spot in the U.S. Open round of 16.

The 11th-seeded Spaniard’s 6-4, 6-3 victory over the 20th-seeded Vesnina marks the third time she has reached the fourth round or better at Flushing Meadows. Her best result was a quarterfinal run in 2013, losing to eventual champion Serena Williams.

Suarez Navarro next faces the winner of the match that has gone into a third set between fifth-seeded Simona Halep and 31st-seeded Timea Babos.

11 a.m.

Former champions Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Venus Williams and Juan Martin del Potro lead Saturday’s lineup at the U.S. Open, all of them seeking to book their spots in the round of 16.

Top-seeded Serena Williams, who is bidding for a record 23rd Grand Slam singles title, takes on 47th-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Sister Venus, the sixth seed and oldest woman in the tournament at 36, plays later in Ashe against 26th-seeded Laura Siegemund of Germany.

On the men’s side, No 2-seed and 2012 champion Andy Murray plays in the afternoon in Ashe against 40th-ranked Paolo Lorenzi. In the nightcap in Ashe, 14th-seeded Nick Kyrgios gets his chance on center stage, facing 63rd-ranked Illya Marchenko of Ukraine.

The 2009 champion, Juan Martin del Potro, seeks to continue his comeback from wrist injuries with a tough matchup against 11th-seeded David Ferrer in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Players will face cloudy skies and the coolest weather of the tournament so far, with highs only in the mid 70s.

Nastase banned from Fed Cup and Davis Cup until 2019

AP Photo
Leave a comment

LONDON — Ilie Nastase has been banned from the Fed Cup and Davis Cup until 2019 because of his foul-mouthed comments and bad behavior as Romania’s captain during a Fed Cup match against Britain.

In addition to the ban, the International Tennis Federation said Friday the 1973 French Open champion will not be able to work in an official capacity for a further two years, until 2021.

The 71-year-old Nastase was also fined $10,000. He has three weeks to appeal the decision.

“Mr. Nastase made a comment about Serena Williams’s unborn child that was highly inappropriate and racially insensitive,” the ITF said.

Nastase also “made advances of a sexual nature towards Anne Keothavong, the captain of the Great Britain team” and “made abusive and threatening comments to the match officials and to members of the Great Britain team.”

Although he will have to sit out ITF events, the ban does not apply to Grand Slam, ATP or WTA tournaments, which are not under the governing body’s jurisdiction.

Nastase was provisionally suspended in April after he speculated about the skin color of the baby that Williams is expecting and for outbursts during a Fed Cup match between Romania and Britain.

He previously acknowledged making mistakes and having shortcomings, but stressed “the cause I fight for is tennis, the sport I really love, which I cannot separate from my life.”

As Fed Cup captain, Nastase hurled abuse at British player Johanna Konta, Keothavong and the umpire. The referee ejected Nastase.

Nastase, a former top-ranked player, was barred from the French Open and was not invited to the Royal Box at Wimbledon, where he was a two-time finalist.

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

World Cup of Tennis put on hold for at least a year

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON–The International Tennis Federation is putting off its proposal for a World Cup of Tennis Finals for another year.

The ITF said last month it wanted to combine next year’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals into one event to raise the profile of the two national team competitions. But on Thursday, the governing body said it would not put the motion to a vote at its annual general meeting next month in Vietnam.

Other proposals, such as reducing the men’s matches to best-of-three sets and possibly skipping the final match of the series if it is already decided, will still go before member nations for ratification at the Aug. 4 meeting in Ho Chi Minh City.

“We promised change and are already delivering change with a significant series of reforms,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement. “Taking another year to build consensus around the World Cup of Tennis Finals will allow us to finalize an even stronger recommendation to the AGM.”

Last month, the ITF said it wanted to start staging the World Cup of Tennis in November 2018 in Geneva. The Swiss city was to host the event for three years at its 18,000-seat Palexpo.

The ITF said then that it had made the announcement of the host city well in advance in an effort to follow the successful model used by the Super Bowl and Champions League final.

But that has now been put on hold as the governing body tries to sell its idea to its voting members.

“This decision shows that we do not act unilaterally,” Haggerty said, “and are working with all our stakeholders to find the best solution for tennis.”

Haggerty also announced the creation of a World Cup of Tennis Finals task force. Board members Katrina Adams and Bernard Giudicelli have been appointed as co-chairs.

“The World Cup of Tennis Finals will unlock considerable new revenue for investing back into the sport through the ITF’s member nations,” Haggerty said. “Investment in the development of the next generation remains the priority of the ITF and its national associations.”