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U.S. Open Live Coverage: Day 10

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9:05 p.m.

Serena Williams and Simona Halep are heading to a third set in their U.S. Open quarterfinal.

Williams, seeded No. 1 and seeking her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title, took the opening set 6-2 on Wednesday night despite being broken for the first time in the tournament.

The No. 5-seeded Halep then saved seven break points in the second game of the second set, and broke Williams in the very next game to lead 2-1. Eventually, after saving all 12 break points she faced in that set, Halep grabbed it 6-4 on her fifth set point.

That is the first set Williams has lost in five matches at Flushing Meadows this year.

7:50 p.m.

A first-round U.S. Open women’s singles match will be looked into by tennis’ anti-corruption organization because of possible irregular betting patterns.

Tennis Integrity Unit spokesman Mark Harrison said Wednesday that 15th-seeded Timea Bacsinszky’s 6-1, 6-1 victory over Vitalia Diatchenko last week is the only match that has been the subject of an alert at Flushing Meadows this year.

U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said the tournament “is aware of the betting alert” and that the TIU is handling the mattter.

Widmaier added that “betting alerts need to be investigated, but they are certainly not gospel” and do not “necessarily indicate any nefarious doings.”

The New York Times first reported on the alert to the TIU.

6:15 p.m.

The U.S. Tennis Association says a digital audio sound processor at court level malfunctioned during the U.S. Open quarterfinal between Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori.

The second-ranked Murray dropped seven consecutive games after a let call caused by a loud noise from the malfunctioning equipment during a fourth-set point and lost to Kei Nishikori 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 on Wednesday.

Murray disagreed with chair umpire Marija Cicak’s decision to immediately halt things when play was interrupted by a sound similar to that of a gong being struck. It happened with Murray already up two sets to one and holding a second break point at 1-all in the fourth.

Murray complained about the ruling right away, gave away the next three points to lose the game, then brought it up again with Cicak at the ensuing changeover, saying something similar had happened earlier without a re-do of the point.

The USTA says the malfunctioning unit will be replaced between Wednesday’s day and night sessions.

6:10 p.m.

Andy Murray dropped seven consecutive games after a let call caused by a loud noise in the arena’s speaker system during a fourth-set point and lost to Kei Nishikori 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the U.S. Open quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Murray, the No. 2 seed and 2012 champion at Flushing Meadows, disagreed with chair umpire Marija Cicak’s decision to immediately halt things when play was interrupted by a sound similar to that of a gong being struck. It happened with Murray already up two sets to one and holding a second break point at 1-all in the fourth.

Murray complained about the ruling right away, gave away the next three points to lose the game, then brought it up again with Cicak at the ensuing changeover, saying something similar had happened earlier without a re-do of the point.

Nishikori was the 2014 runner-up at Flushing Meadows.

5:05 p.m.

Andy Murray was bothered by the chair umpire’s decision to call a let on a loud noise that came from the stadium’s speaker system and now finds himself headed to a fifth set against Kei Nishikori in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Murray led two sets to one – 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 – and held break points at 1-all in the fourth Wednesday. But during that second break chance, the point was interrupted by a noise something akin to a gong being struck. Chair umpire Marija Cicak immediately halted play. Murray complained about that right away, then again at the ensuing changeover, when he also spoke to a tournament supervisor.

He wound up losing 12 of 14 points right after the let call and five games in a row to drop that set 6-1.

1:20 p.m.

Karolina Pliskova dominated with her serve to roll past 18-year-old Ana Konjuh and into the U.S. Open semifinals.

The 10th-seeded Pliskova won 6-2, 6-2 in just 57 minutes Wednesday, losing only one point on her serve in the first set. She’ll face No. 1 Serena Williams or fifth-seeded Simona Halep on Thursday.

The 24-year-old Czech came into the U.S. Open with the distinction of being the only woman in the top 20 to never reach a Grand Slam round of 16. Now she’s blown past that milestone, riding the momentum of a breakthrough title at Cincinnati, where she beat second-ranked Angelique Kerber in the final.

The 92nd-ranked Konjuh hadn’t been past the third round at a major before this tournament. Also a big server, she had more aces than Pliskova on Wednesday, but she was broken four times and made 27 unforced errors.

12 p.m.

The last spots in the U.S. Open semifinals will be decided Wednesday, with Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro seeking to keep their dominant runs going.

The top-seeded Williams, who hasn’t lost a set or had her serve broken in the tournament so far, faces No. 5-seeded Simona Halep. Williams has won seven of their last eight meetings.

The other women’s quarterfinal pits two women who’ve never been this far before at a Grand Slam tournament: 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and 92nd-ranked Ana Konjuh of Croatia.

On the men’s side, four of the tour’s best hard-court players meet in the last two men’s quarterfinals, with the No. 2-seeded Murray facing No. 6 Kei Nishikori in the afternoon, and No. 3 Stan Wawrinka taking on del Potro at night. Murray has dropped only one set in the tournament, and del Potro has lost none.

The roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium is currently open under partly cloudy skies, with a chance of rain in the afternoon.

Nadal, Dimitrov advance to Australian Open quarterfinals

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) After snuffing out local hopes for yet another Australian Open, Grigor Dimitrov huddled with Nick Kyrgios at the net and the pair exchanged encouraging words.

It was Kyrgios, having just lost 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the fourth round in a typically tempestuous performance, who left No. 3-ranked Dimitrov with this message: “Believe.”

Dimitrov has never won a major, coming closest here last year before losing a semifinal to Rafael Nadal in five sets, but is enhancing his credentials as a next generation champion.

Nadal secured his spot in a 10th Australian Open quarterfinal earlier Sunday on Rod Laver Arena, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 in 3 hours and 51 minutes.

The 16-time major winner draped an arm around his Argentine friend and patted him on top of the head. If he needed a fitness test in the first week in his comeback from an injured right knee, he got it.

“A great battle … he’s a good friend of mine,” Nadal said. “This is the first big match that I played in 2018. That’s confidence for myself … confidence I can resist for four hours on court at a good intensity.”

Nadal will next play 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, who collected his 100th Grand Slam match win with a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) victory over No. 10 Pablo Carreno Busta.

“I had the 300th win of my career at the U.S. Open in 2014, so this is also beautiful one,” Cilic said of his latest major milestone. “I hope I’m going to continue and gather three more here.”

Nadal lost last year’s Australian Open final to Roger Federer, but went on to regain the No. 1 ranking and win the French and U.S. Open titles before bringing his season to a premature end because of an injured right knee.

Despite not playing any competitive matches in his Aussie Open preparation, Nadal advanced through three rounds without dropping a set.

That streak finished when Schwartzman took the second set, rebounding three times after dropping serve to break back and win the tiebreaker.

Nadal lifted to win the third, but Schwartzman didn’t relent.

The second game of the fourth set lasted almost 13 minutes, with Nadal finally holding after saving five break points.

He broke again in the next game to regain control.

“It was a good test for me. It was a lot of hours on court. Moments under pressure,” Nadal said.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 afternoon win over Andreas Seppi and could relax and watch the night-time entertainment featuring Dimitrov and Kyrgios. They all played two weeks ago in Brisbane, where Edmund lost to Dimitrov, who lost to eventual champion Kyrgios.

Both Dimitrov and Kyrgios got tense at key times in the night match. Dimitrov was broken while serving for the match. Kyrgios was called for a foot fault, double-faulted on a set point and smashed an easy overhead into the net on a break point after dominating the rally. He had 36 aces, and some second serves recorded at faster than 202 kph (125 mph).

“Only a couple points in it, you know. It wasn’t like I got demolished out there,” said Kyrgios, who missed the chance to end the drought for local men that dates back to the 1976 Australian Open. “I had a lot of chances to win the match and I just came up short.”

He tipped his mate Dimitrov to go far.

“He hasn’t even found his best form yet and he’s still getting through all those matches, which is pretty frightening,” Kyrgios said. “Once he finds his feet and he has more confidence, he’s got a real chance at winning it.”

Dimitrov thanked him for the support, and said he’s growing more confident in his game.

Caroline Wozniacki continued to cash in on her second chance, reaching the quarterfinals here for the first time since 2012 with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Magdalena Rybarikova.

After saving match points and coming back from 5-1 down in the third set of her second-round win, No. 2-ranked Wozniacki said she was “playing with the house money” and had nothing to lose.

Wozniacki next plays Carla Suarez Navarro, who rallied from a set and 4-1 down to beat No. 32 Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-4, 8-6.

The other quarterfinal will feature the winners of two tune-up events. Brisbane International champion Elina Svitolina beat Denisa Allertova 6-3, 6-0 in a match that started just before midnight.

Fourth-seeded Svitolina next plays Hobart International winner Elise Mertens, who beat Petra Martic to reach the quarterfinals in her Australian Open debut.

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More AP coverage: http://www.apnews.com/tag/AustralianOpen

Kerber beats Sharapova in 3rd round; Halep in long-haul win

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Angelique Kerber is the only major winner remaining in the Australian Open women’s draw after ending Maria Sharapova’s comeback tour to Melbourne Park.

The 2016 champion routed Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in the third-round match on Saturday night to extend her winning streak to 12 matches, including winning the Sydney International title last week.

Five-time major winner Sharapova was back at the Australian Open for the first time since 2016, when a failed test for meldonium led to a 15-month doping ban.

It was all over in one hour and four minutes, a vast contrast to top-ranked Simona Halep’s 4-6, 6-4, 15-13 win in three hours, 45 minutes over American Lauren Davis in the opening match on Rod Laver.

The third set took 2:22 and momentum swung. Halep wasted chances to serve for the match in the ninth, 11th and 15th games, then had to save three match points in the 22nd. There were 11 service breaks and two medical timeouts – for Davis to get treatment on both feet – before Halep converted on her first match point.

“I never played the third set so long, so I’m really happy I could stay and win it. I’m almost dead,” Halep said of the match which equaled Chanda Rubin’s win over Arantxa Shanchez Vicario in 1996 – also 48 games – for the Australian Open record in terms of most games.

“I just feel that my muscles are gone,” said Halep, who badly twisted her left ankle in the first round. “My ankle is, I don’t know how it is because I don’t feel it anymore! But … it was nice to win this match.”

Halep will play Naomi Osaka, who beat 18th-seeded Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-2 in a match that was moved from the center court to Margaret Court Arena because of the two long matches on Rod Laver.

No. 20 Barbora Strycova beat U.S. qualifier Bernarda Pera 6-2, 6-2, leaving U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys as the only American woman to reach the fourth round.

Keys advanced 6-3, 6-4 over Ana Bogdan and will next play No. 8 Caroline Garcia, who beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

Sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova beat No. 29 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 7-5 in a match featuring just one service break.

On the men’s side, Hyeon Chung took out a Zverev for the second time this week. Chung beat fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 5-7, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 six days after a win over No. 32 Mischa Zverev in the first round.

Another unexpected loss at a major had the highly-touted Zverev admitted he may have a problem.

“Definitely not physical, so… I have some figuring out to do, what happens to me in deciding moments in Grand Slam,” he said.

The 20-year-old Zverev has five titles on the elite tour but his fourth-round exit at Wimbledon last year remains his best run at a major.

Tomas Berdych ended 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro’s return to Melbourne Park for the first time since 2014 with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 win.

Fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 to set up a fourth-round match against Tennys Sandgren, who continued his career-best run by beating Maximilian Marterer 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (5).

Former world junior No. 1 Marton Fucsovics beat Nicolas Kicker 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and No. 25 Fabio Fognini overcame Julien Benneteau 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

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More AP coverage: http://www.apnews.com/tag/AustralianOpen