NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03:  Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot to Johanna Larsson of Sweden during her third round Women's Singles match on Day Six of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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.

Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber out in 4th round of Australian Open

2017 Australian Open - Day 7
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) There was some symmetry about the fourth-round exits of top-ranked Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open.

Both had the top seeding for the first time at a Grand Slam tournament. Both went out on the same court and, at least on paper, the same day.

It was tough at the top on Sunday: Five-time finalist Murray lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to No. 50-ranked Mischa Zverev in the afternoon match on Rod Laver Arena, and defending women’s champion Kerber lost 6-3, 6-2 to CoCo Vandeweghe in an upset that finished at six minutes past midnight.

It was the first time since the French Open in 2010 that both top-seeded players went out in the same round. In the quarterfinals at Roland Garros that year, Roger Federer lost to Robin Soderling and Serena Williams lost to Sam Stosur.

Murray and Kerber didn’t make it to the second week.

Vandeweghe had never been past the third round at the season-opening Grand Slam, and lost in the first round here last year. But she pounded Kerber with a powerful forehand, clubbing 13 of her 30 winners from that wing.

Kerber saved a match point in the first round last year before winning her first major title, beating Serena Williams in the final. She replaced Williams atop the rankings after winning the U.S. Open.

Murray lost the final here to six-time champion Novak Djokovic last year, but finished 2016 at No. 1 after a strong finish to the season that included titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the ATP Finals.

He was undone by some old-school serve and volley from Zverev, who played the match of his life. He’ll now meet 17-time major winner Federer in the quarterfinals.

In between the upsets was pretty rocky, too. Federer was down 5-1 in the first set against Kei Nishikori but found a way to fend off the 2014 U.S. Open finalist, who was cramping and needed late treatment on his back, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

It was his 200th career win over a top 10 player.

Federer was ecstatic. “It was about staying with him. … almost going down 6-0, I thought `It’s not going to get any worse from there,'” said Federer, on the comeback from six months on the sidelines to repair his injured left knee. “Huge win for me in my career.”

Murray was stunned.

“Right now I’m obviously very down because I wanted to go further in this event,” Murray said. “I’ve had tough losses in my career in the past. I’ve come back from them. This is a tough one.”

Murray’s exit follows the second-round departure of Djokovic, beaten in the second round by No. 117-ranked wild-card entry Denis Istomin.

It’s the first time since 2002 that the top two seeds in the men’s draw haven’t reached the Australian Open quarterfinals, and the first time at a Grand Slam since the French Open in 2004.

The absence of Djokovic and Murray certainly opens up it up for others.

U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who had his major breakthrough here in 2014, is a growing contender after beating Andreas Seppi 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4). He’ll play a quarterfinal against 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Dan Evans 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

In the bottom half of the draw, 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal is the only man still in contention who has won a Grand Slam title.

The top half of the women’s draw is open, too. Venus Williams returned to the quarterfinals for the ninth time with a 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 181-ranked Mona Barthel.

The seven-time major winner next plays No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3.

French Open champion Garbine Muguruza beat Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3 and will next play Vandeweghe – they’re both in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park for the first time.

Kerber’s loss contined a poor run since she won the U.S. Open last September. She’s played seven tournaments without winning a title, only reached one final, and was 5-7 against top 50 players.

The bigger upset of the day, then, was produced by Zverev, the older and apparently lesser-talented brother of Alexander who had never gone past the third round of a major and was appearing at only his third Grand Slam in six years.

Zverev attacked Murray, unsettling his natural baseline game, and won 65 of 118 points at the net.

He made some stunning, lunging volleys on clutch points, but for him it was all a blur.

“It was like I was in a little coma, I just served and volleyed my way through,” Zverev said. “Honestly there were a few points where I don’t know how I pulled it off.”

Murray couldn’t do a lot to counter it.

“It’s the shots he was coming up with when he did come forward.” Murray said. “He came up with some great pickups, you know, reflex volleys especially at the end when it was tight.”

Murray had reached the quarterfinals or better on his previous seven trips to Australia but never won the title – losing finals in 2010 to Federer and in `11, `13, `15 and `16 to Djokovic.

He had not lost to a player ranked as lowly as Zverev at a major since his loss to No. 51 Juan Ignacio Chela here in 2006. It was also the earliest exit by a top-seeded player at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003.

Murray out in 4th-round upset, Federer advances in Australia

2017 Australian Open - Day 7
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Andy Murray had already been upset by Mischa Zverev, undone by some old-school serve and volley, and Roger Federer was down 5-1 in the first set against Kei Nishikori.

As Sunday stretched from afternoon to evening, the second week of the Australian Open appeared set to take on a drastically different complexion than any in a decade.

Unlike newly-installed No. 1 Murray, though, the long-time top-ranked Federer found a way to fend off his fourth-round rival.

The sum result of back-to-back long matches on Rod Laver Arena was a quarterfinal pairing of 17th-seeded Federer against No. 50-ranked Zverev.

Five-time finalist Murray lost in a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to Zverev, the older and apparently lesser-talented brother of Alexander who had never gone past the third round of a major and was appearing at only his third Grand Slam in six years.

Federer held off 2014 U.S. Open finalist Nishikori, who was cramping and needed late treatment on his back, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

Murray’s exit follows the second-round departure of six-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, beaten in the second round by No. 117-ranked wild-card entry Denis Istomin.

It’s the first time since 2002 that the top two seeds haven’t reached the Australian Open quarterfinals, and the first time at a Grand Slam since the French Open in 2004.

“Right now I’m obviously very down because I wanted to go further in this event, and it wasn’t to be,” Murray said. “I’ve had tough losses in my career in the past. I’ve come back from them. This is a tough one. I’m sure I’ll come back OK.”

The absence of Djokovic and Murray from the quarterfinals – the first time since 2007 that at least one of them hasn’t reached the last eight at a major – opens up opportunities.

U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who had his major breakthrough here in 2014, is a growing contender after beating Andreas Seppi 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4). He’ll play a quarterfinal against 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Dan Evans 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

On the other half of the draw, 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal is the only man still in contention who has won a Grand Slam title.

Zverev attacked Murray, unsettling his natural baseline game, and won 65 of 118 points at the net.

He made some stunning, lunging volleys on clutch points, but for him it was all a blur.

“Honestly, I don’t know, it was like I was in a little coma, I just served and volleyed my way through,” Zverev said. “Honestly there were a few points where I don’t know how I pulled it off.”

Murray couldn’t do a lot to counter it.

“It’s the shots he was coming up with when he did come forward.” Murray said. “I mean, he came up with some great pickups, you know, reflex volleys especially at the end when it was tight.

“He served very well when he needed to … he deserved to win because he played great when he was down, and also in the important moments.”

Seven-time major winner Venus Williams returned to the quarterfinals for the ninth time with a 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 181-ranked Mona Barthel.

She will next play No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3.

French Open champion Garbine Muguruza reached the quarterfinals in Australia for the first time, beating Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3.

Murray had reached the quarterfinals or better on his previous seven trips to Melbourne Park – losing the finals in 2010 to Federer and in ’11, ’13, ’15 and ’16 to Djokovic.

He had not lost to a player ranked as lowly as Zverev at a major since his loss to No. 51 Juan Ignacio Chela here in 2006. It was also the earliest exit by a top-seeded player at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt’s fourth-round departure in 2003.

The younger Zverev brother was in the crowd at Rod Laver, where the bulk of fans were pulling heavily for Murray as the fourth set began, shouting “Come on Andy!” after nearly every point.

Murray was agitated right from the start, hitting into the net early on and screaming loudly as glanced at his players’ box.

Serving at 4-3, Zverev hit two easy shots into the net, including a routine-looking overhead from Murray’s defensive lob, drawing gasps from the crowd.

But as he held on for what turned out to be the biggest win of the year, he gained support with daring play and frequent trips to the net.

After closing it out on his first match point, he walked calmly to the net and clasped his hands together in front of his chest, almost in relief.