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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.

2-time Wimbledon champ Kvitova wins return from knife attack

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PARIS — Sweat-soaked and still wearing her match outfit, Petra Kvitova was looking for someone to hug as she wandered into the players’ lounge in the French Open’s main stadium shortly after leaving the court Sunday.

She found her father, Jiri, and her brother, also Jiri, who greeted her with warm embraces and joyous kisses on the cheek. Kvitova’s family members rarely attend her tournaments, but this was different – “special” was the word she, and others, kept using.

Less than six months after a knife attack at her home, two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova was back competing, winning the first match of her comeback 6-3, 6-2 at Roland Garros against 86th-ranked Julia Boserup of the United States.

“I’m happy with the game, of course,” Kvitova said, “but I mean, it wasn’t really about the game today.”

Indeed, just being there under a cloud-filled sky at Court Philippe Chatrier was a triumph of sorts for Kvitova, who needed surgery on her left hand – the one she uses to hold her racket – after being stabbed by an intruder in the Czech Republic in late December. She was undecided until late last week whether to even try to play in the French Open.

“For us, it’s amazing. It’s miracle. Not even me or Petra thought she could be ready to come back so soon,” said her coach, Jiri Novak. “The prognosis was, let’s just say, not optimistic.”

During her on-court interview, Kvitova addressed Novak, her family and others in her guest box, saying: “Thank you for everything you helped me through (in) this difficult time.”

Several members of her entourage wore black T-shirts with white capital letters on the front that read, “Courage. Belief. Pojd.” That last word, which is the Czech equivalent of “Come on!” and was spelled with a red heart instead of the “O,” is often yelled by Kvitova to celebrate particularly good shots.

“The belief and the mind, the heart, it’s really important,” Kvitova said afterward. “So that’s … what we try to show everyone. I hope that it will be kind of inspiration for other people, as well.”

There were plenty of opportunities for her to clench a fist and scream “Pojd!” on Sunday against Boserup, who was making her debut in the French Open’s main draw and facing a lefty for the first time.

“She’s one of the nicest girls, and we are all really happy to see her back. After what she went through, it’s incredible,” Boserup said. “So it’s a victory for her to be back on court. It was really special.”

Kvitova began things with a quick forehand winner on the opening point.

“Amazing,” she said. “I surprised myself.”

Kvitova wound up compiling the match’s first 10 winners and finished with a 31-9 edge in that category. She took 15 of the first 20 points en route to a 3-0 lead and never really faced a whole lot of resistance, other than when she saved three break points – the only ones she had to deal with in the match – while ahead 3-1.

When it was over, Kvitova dropped her racket near the baseline and removed her blue headband. As she walked to the net for a handshake, her eyes welled with tears.

“We are happy that she is healthy. The hand is good – and also the head,” her brother Jiri said. “Mentally, she is back.”

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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

Venus Williams eases into French Open’s second round after beating Qiang Wang

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In a record 20th appearance at the French Open, Venus Williams eased into the second round with a straight sets victory over Qiang Wang of China.

Williams, who is seeded 10th, saved two set points to win 6-4, 7-6 (3).

The 36-year-old American will play Kurumi Nara of Japan in the next round.