Getty Images

U.S. Open Day 3 live coverage

Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP) The Latest on the U.S. Open (all times local):

11:50 p.m.

Rafael Nadal is the first match winner with the roof closed.

The fourth-seeded Spaniard defeated Andreas Seppi 6-0, 7-5, 6-1 to advance to the third round, where he will take on Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.

Nadal’s victory came after the new, $150 million roof in Arthur Ashe Stadium was closed with the score 3-3 in the second set.

10:45 p.m.

The U.S. Open’s new $150 million retractable roof atop Arthur Ashe Stadium has been closed for the first time during a match.

The cover was shut because of rain that fell at 3-3 in the second set of Rafael Nadal’s second-round match against Andreas Seppi on Wednesday night.

It took about 5 minutes to close and play resumed.

After dealing with rain delays and postponed finals for years, the U.S. Tennis Association finally built a movable roof over its main stadium. It is available for this year’s tournament, which started Monday, but the first two days were dry.

The only use of the roof until Nadal’s match came when it was shut at the start of the tournament’s opening ceremony Monday night, then opened as Phil Collins sang “In the Air Tonight.”

9:20 p.m.

Madison Keys wrapped up her U.S. Open match much earlier this time.

After her first-round victory took nearly 2+ hours and ended close to 2 a.m., the eighth-seeded American routed 16-year-old Kayla Day 6-1, 6-1 in 48 minutes Wednesday.

Day, the youngest player in the draw, was playing in her first Grand Slam tournament. Ranked 374th, she got in as the winner of the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships. In the first round, she was leading 6-2, 4-2 when her opponent, Madison Brengle, retired with an arm injury.

Keys had defeated another American, Alison Riske, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 in a match that started Monday night and ended Tuesday morning. She hasn’t lost before the third round at a major since the 2014 U.S. Open.

9:05 p.m.

Anastasija Sevastova says moments like her U.S. Open upset of Garbine Muguruza are why she came out of retirement.

Sevastova beat the French Open champ 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the world’s largest tennis venue. In an on-court interview, the 26-year-old Latvian said she returned to tennis early last season for “Grand Slams, playing on the biggest stage.”

Sevastova stepped away for nearly two years because of a series of injuries, mostly to her back. She says: “It’s amazing – on Ashe, in night match. What’s going to be bigger?”

Up two breaks in the second set, Sevastova was serving for victory and had two match points. But Muguruza got both breaks back to put the pressure on. Sevastova then broke the third-seeded Spaniard’s serve to clinch the win. She acknowledged she was shaking at the end, adding: “I had to solve my head, my self, all the thoughts of what could be, what could not.”

9 p.m.

Garbine Muguruza has lost in the second round in back-to-back majors since winning the French Open title.

The third-seeded Spaniard was upset in straight sets Wednesday by Anastasija Sevastova, who returned to tennis last season after a nearly two-year retirement. The 48th-ranked Sevastova won 7-5, 6-4 to reach the third round at the U.S. Open for the first time.

Muguruza has never been past the second round at Flushing Meadows. The 22-year-old fell to 124th-ranked Jana Cepelova in the second round at Wimbledon after she beat Serena Williams in the French Open final for her first major title.

She needed three sets to win her first-round match Monday, when she struggled with her breathing. Down two breaks in the second set Wednesday, she saved two match points and rallied to get the set back on serve. Then she got broken to end the match.

The 26-year-old Sevastova, who reached the round of 16 at the 2011 Australian Open, retired in May 2013 because of a series of injuries, mostly to her back. She returned in January 2015.

She had been 0-2 against top-five opponents.

8:10 p.m.

American teen CiCi Bellis is sticking around a little longer at the U.S. Open this time.

The 17-year-old qualifier rallied to beat fellow American Shelby Rogers 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round Wednesday. Two years ago, Bellis became the darling of the tournament when she upset Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova in the first round, before losing in her next match.

The 23-year-old Rogers is ranked a career-best 49th. A surprise quarterfinalist at the French Open this year, she received treatment on her right arm during the second set Wednesday.

Rogers beat Bellis in three sets at a lower-level event in May.

7:50 p.m.

Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champ, advanced to the third round.

The seventh-seeded Cilic needed just 1 hour, 40 minutes to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday.

6:05 p.m.

Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic hit 15 double-faults and lost to 120th-ranked qualifier Ryan Harrison of the United States 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 in the U.S. Open’s second round.

The fifth-seeded Raonic was treated by a trainer for problems with his left wrist and left thigh during Wednesday’s match and generally looked weary as play went on.

For Harrison, a 24-year-old born in Louisiana and now based in Texas, this is his first trip to the third round at a Grand Slam tournament. He had been 0-6 in second-round matches.

Until Monday, he hadn’t won any main-draw match at any major since the 2013 French Open.

Harrison and his younger sibling Christian are the first pair of brothers to both qualify for the U.S. Open.

5:25 p.m.

Angelique Kerber had to work a bit harder in her second match, but she’s still through to the U.S. Open third round without dropping a set.

The Australian Open champ blew a 4-1 lead in the second set then had to save three set points before pulling out a 6-2, 7-6 (7) win in 92 minutes over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Wednesday.

In the first round, the second-seeded Kerber spent just 33 minutes on court, winning all seven games before her ill opponent retired.

Kerber, who lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, has a chance to overtake her for the No. 1 ranking depending on their results at Flushing Meadows.

The 57th-ranked Lucic-Baroni upset second-seeded Simona Halep in the third round in 2014.

4:30 p.m.

Johanna Konta has won a three-set match after collapsing to the court late in the second.

The 13th-seeded Konta advanced to the third round at the U.S. Open with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 victory in 2 hours, 33 minutes over Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday.

As medical staff attended to her, she told them her heart started racing and she felt as though she was in shock. Temperatures were in the mid-80s on Wednesday.

After several minutes, Konta was able to stand up and walk to her chair. She went back on court and double-faulted to give the second set to the 71st-ranked Pironkova, then was taken to the locker room before the start of the third.

4:15 p.m.

Two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova has always said she prefers the genteel calm of the All England Club to the bustle of New York City.

The U.S. Open remains the only major at which Kvitova has yet to reach at least the semifinals, but maybe she’s started to figure out her annual trip to the Big Apple: Just don’t practice.

See, the traffic and general frenzy of getting to Flushing Meadows on off days had proved to be more draining than useful to Kvitova. Last year, when she was recovering from mononucleosis, she started a new tradition of skipping practice.

It certainly seemed to work – she reached the quarterfinals here for the first time.

After a 7-6 (2), 6-2 second-round win over Cagla Buyukakcay on Wednesday, the 14th-seeded Kvitova explained: “For me, it’s really exhausting to still be in the car and it’s a lot of people here. You just practice, like, 45 minutes. I didn’t need any more anyway.”

So she stays in Manhattan, goes to get coffee, does a little shopping, puts in a bit of fitness work – and mostly rests up.

3:45 p.m.

Johanna Konta is back on court after collapsing during her U.S. Open second-round match.

The 13th-seeded Konta went down late in the second set Wednesday against Tsvetana Pironkova. As medical staff attended to her, she told them her heart started racing and she felt as though she was in shock. Temperatures were in the mid-80s on Wednesday.

After several minutes, Konta was able to stand up and walk to her chair. She went back on court and double-faulted to give the second set to Pironkova, then was taken to the locker room before the start of the third.

Konta won the first set 6-2 and was up a break in the second, which the 71st-ranked Pironkova went on to win 7-5.

3:30 p.m.

Playing an opponent also coming off a five-set match, American John Isner advanced in four sets in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The 20th-seeded Isner beat Steve Darcis 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (10), 6-3 in 2 hours, 54 minutes Wednesday. Both rallied from two sets down in the first round: Isner spent 3 hours, 27 minutes on court Monday, while Darcis needed 4 hours, 11 minutes.

Isner had a chance to close out the victory in the third-set tiebreaker but wasted four match points.

The 106th-ranked Darcis also faced the extra fatigue of going through qualifying to make the main draw.

Isner improved to 9-0 in U.S. Open second-round matches. He had 38 aces Wednesday, when he received treatment on his right knee and for blisters on his foot.

3:05 p.m.

Two-time U.S. Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki has defeated a top-10 opponent for the first time in nearly a year, bouncing back from a horrid start to beat 2004 champ Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The ninth-seeded Kuznetsova won the first four games of the match and was one point from going up 5-0. Then Wozniacki ran off seven straight games en route to a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the second round Wednesday.

Her ranking down to 74th after an ankle injury and on-court struggles, Wozniacki is unseeded at the U.S. Open for the first time since her debut in 2007. She had won two matches at the same tournament just once since early March.

It’s Wozniacki’s first trip to the third round at a major since Wimbledon last year.

1:30 p.m.

Novak Djokovic will move on to the third round of the U.S. Open after his opponent withdrew before their match because of injury.

The top-ranked Djokovic faced a potentially tricky second-round matchup Wednesday against Jiri Vesely, who defeated him in their only meeting last spring. But Vesely pulled out of the tournament with left forearm inflammation a couple of hours before their match would have started.

12:20 p.m.

The 2015 U.S. Open runner-up, Roberta Vinci, cruised into the third round for the sixth straight year.

The seventh-seeded Italian beat American Christina McHale 6-1, 6-3 on Wednesday. Vinci needed just 22 minutes to win the first set.

The 55th-ranked McHale was trying to reach the third round at the U.S. Open for the third time.

Vinci stunned Serena Williams in last year’s semifinals to thwart her bid for the first Grand Slam since 1988, then lost to countrywoman Flavia Pennetta in the final.

Victoria Azarenka misses direct entry for U.S. Open

Getty Image
Leave a comment

NEW YORK — Two-time U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka is ranked just below the cutoff for direct entry into the year’s last Grand Slam tournament.

Azarenka, a former No. 1 and twice the champion at the Australian Open, is No. 108 this week, seven spots outside of an automatic spot in the main draw.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Wednesday that defending champion and top-ranked Rafael Nadal is one of six past male singles champions in the U.S. Open field, along with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic. Another past title winner at Flushing Meadows, Stan Wawrinka, is ranked 199th this week.

The women’s winners with direct entry based on this week’s rankings are six-time champion Serena Williams, two-time champ Venus Williams, defending champ Sloane Stephens, Maria Sharapova and Samantha Stosur.

Nadal-Djokovic semifinal suspended after 3rd set

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) It was the kind of tennis that Wimbledon’s Centre Court crowd would gladly have watched all night long.

The show being put on by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was so good it could have been an instant classic had they been able to finish their semifinal before the tournament’s 11 p.m. curfew.

Instead, the two players – and a disappointed audience – were sent home after the third set on Friday with Djokovic leading 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) following a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.

The two players didn’t even get onto the court until after 8 p.m. because of an earlier marathon semifinal won by Kevin Anderson and when Djokovic converted his second set point in the tiebreaker – having saved three of Nadal’s – the clock had ticked a couple of minutes past 11. That left organizers no choice but to call it a night, although the announcement from the chair umpire led to a scattering of boos from some fans who clearly wanted more.

Most of them will have to watch the rest on TV.

The match will resume at 1 p.m. local time on Saturday, before the women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber. At stake is a place in Sunday’s men’s final against the man who was partly at fault for keeping Nadal and Djokovic out there so late. Anderson’s win over John Isner lasted 6 + hours and went to 26-24 in the fifth set.

Djokovic-Nadal had clearly been the headline act of the day – they have five Wimbledon titles between them and met in the 2011 final while Anderson and Isner had never made the semifinals before – and their tennis was at another level from the earlier match. Even Anderson said he could feel during his match that the crowd would rather be watching the next one.

“They’ve paid to see two matches, and they came pretty close to only seeing one match,” Anderson said. “I can feel the crowd (get) pretty antsy for us to get off the court. They’ve been watching us for over six hours.”

While Anderson-Isner was mostly a serving duel with a few longer rallies thrown in, Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing each other around the court and coming up with spectacular winners from every corner.

Many of the best points came in the tiebreaker, including a 23-shot rally that Nadal finished off with a forehand half-volley drop shot to set up his first set point.

It was one of three successful drop shots from the Spaniard in the tiebreaker alone, but Djokovic answered with one of his own to save the second set point at 7-6.

He eventually went up 10-9 with the help of a backhand passing shot and an errant shot into the net by Nadal brought the entertainment to an end – for now.

It led to the unusual situation of both players leaving the court to a huge ovation – and applauding the fans in return – but without there being a clear winner or loser.

To be continued.