Getty Images

The Latest: Latvia’s Ostapenko into French Open semifinals

Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) The Latest on the French Open (all times local):

8:05 p.m.

Teenager Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the semifinals of the French Open by rallying past former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Ostapenko is the first woman from Latvia to make it to a Grand Slam semifinal in the professional era. At age 19, the 47th-ranked Ostapenko is also the youngest player in the tournament.

As she often has since the start of the tournament, Ostapenko took many risks, hitting 38 winners to make up for her 50 unforced errors on court Suzanne Lenglen.

That dangerous approach paid dividends as she hit a crosscourt forehand winner then a backhand down the line to break for 5-2 in the decider. She served out the match at love.

The last teenager to advance to the semifinals at Roland Garros was Ana Ivanovic 10 years ago.

7:50 p.m.

Timea Bacsinszky will celebrate her 28th birthday by playing in the semifinals of the French Open after a straight-set victory over home favorite Kristina Mladenovic.

Bacsinszky beat 13th-seeded Mladenovic 6-4, 6-4 in a match which was twice delayed by rain.

Mladenovic appeared to deal better with the initial delay. She fought off break point to hold at the start of the second set and then immediately broke.

But Bacsinszky broke back. The Swiss player then won 12 of the 15 points before rain started falling again.

Bacsinszky almost dropped her serve but held on and won the match when Mladenovic hit a forehand wide.

The No. 30 seed will next face either No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark or unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, who also celebrates her birthday on Thursday.

7:35 p.m.

The second rain interruption at the French Open was very brief, and play has resumed in the women’s quarterfinals.

Play was halted for about 30 minutes.

No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland is leading 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 4-3 on Court Philippe Chatrier, while No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark is up 6-4, 2-6, 2-1 on Court Suzanne Lenglen against unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

7:10 p.m.

Play has been halted again in the women’s quarterfinals at the French Open because of rain.

No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland was leading 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 4-3 at Court Philippe Chatrier, while No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was leading unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-4, 2-6, 2-1 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

After a more than three-hour rain interruption, play lasted about 20 minutes before covers were put back over the clay courts.

6:40 p.m.

Play has resumed in the women’s quarterfinals at the French Open after a delay of more than three hours because of rain.

No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland is leading 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 1-1 at Court Philippe Chatrier, while No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark is leading unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-4, 2-5 at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

6:15 p.m.

The French Open men’s quarterfinals involving Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been postponed because of rain.

Because of showers and heavy wind much of the afternoon, the two men’s singles matches on Tuesday’s schedule have been moved to Wednesday: No. 4 Nadal vs. No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta, and No. 2 Djokovic vs. No. 6 Dominic Thiem.

Nadal is a nine-time champion at Roland Garros. Djokovic is the defending champion. If they both win their quarterfinals, they would meet in a semifinal showdown.

The two women’s quarterfinals scheduled for Tuesday are still suspended in progress.

The tournament hopes to be able to resume those before the day is done.

4:45 p.m.

It’s gala time at the French Open with the world champions’ dinner taking place in Paris later Tuesday.

Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, who sealed the year-end No. 1 rankings last year, will receive their awards from the International Tennis Federation at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines in downtown Paris.

Former Spanish players Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez will also be honored with the Philippe Chatrier Award “for their services to the game as players and coaches.”

They first teamed up in 1984 and won 44 tournaments together, including two Grand Slam titles. They later opened the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona.

3:45 p.m.

Davis Cup singles matches would be reduced to best-of-three-sets instead of the current best-of-five under a proposal recommended by the International Tennis Federation board of directors.

Davis Cup doubles matches will remain best-of-five.

Other possible changes that will be voted on in August include that Davis Cup and Fed Cup finalists will have the right to host first-round matches the following year, and the costs paid by host nations will be cut.

3:30 p.m.

Play has been halted in the women’s quarterfinals at the French Open because of rain.

No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland was leading 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 1-1 at Court Philippe Chatrier, while No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was leading unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-4, 2-5 at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

2:20 p.m.

Play has started in the French Open women’s quarterfinals.

No. 13 Kristina Mladenovic of France is playing No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland at Court Philippe Chatrier, while No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark faces unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

It is windy on both courts and dust from the clay is getting in players’ eyes.

But the rain that pelted Roland Garros earlier Tuesday has gone away – at least for the moment. The forecast calls for showers to return.

1 p.m.

It has been rainy and windy before the scheduled start of the French Open quarterfinals. And the forecast calls for similar weather later.

First up on each of the tournament’s two main courts on Tuesday’s schedule are women’s matches: No. 13 Kristina Mladenovic of France against No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland at Court Philippe Chatrier, and No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark against unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

None of the eight women’s quarterfinalists, including those playing Wednesday, owns a major title.

The men’s quarterfinals slated for later Tuesday are No. 4 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta in an all-Spanish matchup, and No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia vs. No. 6 Dominic Thiem of Austria.

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

Muguruza upsets No. 1 Pliskova, reaches Cincinnati final

AP Photo
Leave a comment

MASON, Ohio — Garbine Muguruza reached her first Western & Southern Open final with a 6-3, 6-2 upset of defending champion Karolina Pliskova on Saturday.

The Wimbledon champion will meet on Sunday the winner of the later semifinal between Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens.

The final will be the first on American soil for Muguruza, who lost to Pliskova in last year’s W&S semifinals. The Spaniard had lost six straight matches against Pliskova since winning their first in 2013.

Muguruza clinched the win when the top-ranked Pliskova sailed a forehand long on the fifth match point. Pliskova, who played part of one match and all of another on Friday after rain forced postponements on Thursday, had 28 unforced errors to Muguruza’s 13.

Muguruza was coming off playing the tournament’s longest match, a 2-hour, 45-minute three-set win over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday. That followed a 2-hour, 18-minute win over Madison Keys on Thursday, when she fought off three match points.

Muguruza took charge early on Saturday, breaking Pliskova in the first and last games of the first set.

She gained a second-set edge with a backhand winner on break point for a 4-2 lead before closing it out in 1 hour, 19 minutes.

Surprise 2009 US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin retires

AP Photo
Leave a comment

Melanie Oudin is retiring from professional tennis, eight years after her captivating run to the U.S. Open quarterfinals as a teenager.

The 25-year-old American announced her decision in a series of posts on Twitter on Friday.

“Tennis has given me so much and I will always be grateful,” Oudin wrote. “It wasn’t exactly the entire career I had dreamed of, but in life things don’t always go as planned.”

Oudin has dealt with a series of health problems in recent years. Those included a diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis (rab-doe-my-OL-uh-sis), a muscle-damaging condition which may be caused by intense exertion, in 2013, and a procedure to address occasional episodes of an accelerated heartbeat the following year.

She has not played a professional match since entering lower-level ITF tournaments last season.

“Unfortunately, since the end of 2012, I have been struck with numerous health issues and injuries. I would work so hard to come back after being out, and then something else would happen,” Oudin wrote. “It has definitely taken a toll on me mentally and physically over the last five years or so.”

Oudin has been ranked as high as 31st but is now outside the top 400.

She won one WTA singles title, on grass at Birmingham, England, in 2012, and teamed with Jack Sock to win the U.S. Open mixed doubles championship in 2011. Oudin also was a member of the U.S. Fed Cup team.

At the 2009 U.S. Open, as an unseeded and unknown 17-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, the 70th-ranked Oudin pulled off a series of stunning results, upsetting four higher-ranked women – including Maria Sharapova and Beijing Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva – to become the youngest quarterfinalist at Flushing Meadows since Serena Williams in 1999.

The vivacious teen whose shoes were stamped with “BELIEVE” during those magical, memorable two weeks in New York closed her three-tweet message to fans and others Friday with that very same word, in all capital letters for emphasis.

“I will definitely miss competing. … I am very proud of how I always competed with lots of heart throughout my whole career,” she wrote.

“I am sad to leave the sport I know and love,” Oudin said, “but I am very optimistic about what the future holds for me.”

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

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