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U.S. Open Live Coverage: Day 8

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3:40 p.m.

Venus Williams failed to convert a match point and lost in the fourth round of the U.S. Open to a player a dozen years younger than her, 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

Pliskova reached the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career by coming back to edge seven-time major champion Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Monday in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 24-year-old Pliskova had never been past the third round in 17 previous appearances at majors.

At 36, Williams was trying to become the oldest Grand Slam quarterfinalist since Martina Navratilova was 37 at Wimbledon in 1994.

1:05 p.m.

Simona Halep made the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the second straight year, beating Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets.

The fifth-seeded Romanian won 6-2, 7-5 on Monday. She could face No. 1 Serena Williams next. The 22-time major champ plays Yaroslava Shvedova later in the day.

Suarez Navarro, seeded 11th, was seeking the sixth Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career.

Halep had a chance to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set but got broken. She then broke Suarez Navarro’s serve in the next game and successfully served it out in her second opportunity.

1 p.m.

Juan Martin del Potro is back in the U.S. Open quarterfinals after Dominic Thiem retired in the second set of their match.

The eighth-seeded Thiem took a medical timeout to have trainers look at his right knee after the set’s fifth game. He returned to the court for one point before deciding he couldn’t go on.

Del Potro had won the first set 6-3 and was up a break in the second.

Thiem, who turned 23 on Saturday, has had a breakthrough year, reaching the French Open semifinals and cracking the top 10. But the long season was starting to wear on his body.

Del Potro knows all about that. The 2009 U.S. Open champ missed the tournament the last two years after surgeries on his left wrist.

But his stunning run to the Olympic silver medal signaled he’s a contender again.

Del Potro got a huge break Monday when he spent only 72 minutes on court. He’s played just 10-plus sets through four rounds.

At No. 142, del Potro is the lowest-ranked U.S. Open quarterfinalist since Jimmy Connors in 1991.

11 a.m.

Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray and the Williams sisters are among those seeking to book their spots in the quarterfinals on Labor Day Monday at the U.S. Open.

Del Potro, the 2009 champ who has won over fans with his comeback from left wrist surgeries, takes on eighth-seeded Dominic Thiem, who broke into the top 10 this year after reaching the French Open semifinals.

The No. 2-seeded Murray, who is hoping to add Flushing Meadows to his Wimbledon and Olympic titles this year, takes on 22-seeded Grigor Dimitrov. And third-seeded Stan Wawrinka, who saved a match point in a five-set win Saturday, faces Illya Marchenko.

Among the women’s highlights are back-to-back afternoon matches on Ashe with the Williams sisters. Sixth-seeded Venus is on first against 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who is in the round of 16 at a major for the first time. Then top-seeded Serena meets 52nd-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova.

Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska is in the nightcap on Ashe, taking on 92nd-ranked Ana Konjuh.

Venus ready for return WTA Finals

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SINGAPORE (AP) Venus Williams returns to the year-end WTA Finals for the first time since reaching the 2009 final, and the fifth time overall, starting on Sunday in Singapore.

Williams joins top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania, second-ranked Garbine Muguruza of Spain, third-ranked Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic, fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, sixth-ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, seventh-ranked Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and ninth-ranked Caroline Garcia of France.

They’re all pretty special,” said Williams, of her career appearances in the year-end competition. “It’s the end of the year. Only Top 8 get here. It’s definitely something well earned.”

At 37-years-old, Williams is the third oldest player to qualify for the year-end championships behind a 39-year-old Billie Jean King in 1983, and a 38-year-old Martina Navratilova in 1994.

Williams is the oldest player in this draw with 27-year-old Wozniacki the next oldest.

Having played since 1995, Williams has seen the women’s game advance, saying: “The competition is so much greater. It’s a beautiful change, in fact.”

In 2008, Williams won the WTA Finals title, going 3-0 in the round-robin, and defeating Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the final.

She was also was a semifinalist in her first two appearances in the finals, in 1999 and 2000.

Williams reached two Grand Slam finals this season at the Australian Open, where she lost to what turned out to be an already pregnant younger sister, Serena, and at Wimbledon, where she fell to Muguruza.

Every player but Garcia has a possibility of playing themselves into the year-end No. 1 ranking depending on their result this week. Williams has ranked No. 1 for 11 weeks of her career.

In the round-robin, Williams is situated in the White Group with fellow big-hitters Muguruza and Pliskova, who both ranked No. 1 at some time during this season, and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Williams opens the competition against Pliskova on Sunday. The two are tied at one match apiece in their head-to-head.

She holds a 3-2 winning record over Muguruza and is 1-0 over Ostapenko.

“I think my group is more aggressive style players in the group and the other one is more defending,” Pliskova said. “I just like to play better these players.

“I start with Venus tomorrow, so I beat her once from match point and once I lost very close match. This one is open.”

Goerges ends 6-year title wait with victory at Kremlin Cup

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MOSCOW (AP) Julia Goerges ended her six-year wait for another WTA singles title Saturday with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Daria Kasatkina in the Kremlin Cup final.

Goerges cruised to victory against her Russian opponent, who was ranked one place below her at 28th.

The German swept the first five games of the first set before Kasatkina could even get on the board.

Kasatkina put up more resistance at the start of the second, forcing three break points in Goerges’ first service game, but couldn’t convert them and was broken next game.

Goerges is now 3-7 in career singles finals, with her last title in Stuttgart in 2011. Before Saturday’s match, she had lost six straight finals, including three in the space of two months this summer.