U.S. Open Live Coverage: Day 9

Getty Images
0 Comments

10:25 p.m.

Novak Djokovic moved into the U.S. Open semifinals for the 10th consecutive year when No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stopped because of a hurt left knee, the defending champion’s third opponent to pull out with an injury.

 After the top-seeded Djokovic won the first two sets 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday night, Tsonga was visited by a trainer and had his left leg taped below the knee. Tsonga double-faulted on the opening point of the third set, then retired from the match.

Djokovic’s second-round opponent, Jiri Vesely, withdrew from the tournament with a sore left forearm. The man Djokovic was supposed to play in the third round, Mikhail Youzhny, quit after six games because of a strained left hamstring.

8:25 p.m.

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki reached her fifth U.S. Open semifinal, and first at any Grand Slam tournament in two years, by beating an injured Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-0, 6-2 on Tuesday night.

The 48th-ranked Sevastova twisted her right ankle on the opening point of the second game and clearly was hampered by that. During the changeover after the third game, a trainer examined and taped up the ankle during a medical timeout.

Wozniacki, twice the runner-up at Flushing Meadows, will meet No. 2 Angelique Kerber in Thursday’s semifinals.

It’s been quite a resurgence for Wozniacki, who is ranked only 74th after dealing with injuries and hadn’t won a match at a major in 2016 until last week. But she eliminated 2004 champion Svetlanta Kuznetsova in the second round and No. 8 Madison Keys in the fourth.

Wozniacki’s last trip to the semifinals of a major came in 2014, when she lost the U.S. Open final to her good friend Serena Williams. Wozniacki also was a finalist in New York in 2009, losing to Kim Clijsters. Wozniacki lost in the tournament’s semifinals in 2010 and 2011.

6:20 p.m.

Lopez and Lopez have once again beaten Bryan and Bryan at a major tournament.

The eighth-seeded Spanish doubles team of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez defeated third-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals to deny the Bryans their quest for a 17th Grand Slam title. It was a rematch of the French Open final, where the Lopezes also beat the Bryans in three sets.

The Lopezes, who are not related, move on to the semifinals to take on the winner of the match between Spaniards Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and No. 12 seeds Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Alexander Peya of Austria.

Marc Lopez teamed with Rafael Nadal to win the gold medal in men’s doubles at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

5:45 p.m.

Roberta Vinci, who stunned Serena Williams on the way to last year’s U.S. Open final, says she will ponder retiring at the end of this season.

After the 33-year-old Italian lost to Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-0 in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday, Vinci was asked by a reporter whether she’d be back in 2017.

“I don’t know. This is the question you’re going to ask me now?” a smiling Vinci said good-naturedly.

A year ago, Vinci beat Williams in the semifinals, then lost to good friend Flavia Pennetta of Italy in the first Grand Slam final for each. Immediately after the match, Pennetta announced she would leave the tour after last season.

Vinci is currently ranked No. 8. She was bothered over the past two weeks by an injured left Achilles tendon and back pain, but still reached her fourth quarterfinal in New York.

“I really don’t want to be someone who says ‘I’m retiring,’ then, after two weeks, ‘No, I’m not retiring.’ ‘I’m retiring.’ ‘I’m not.’ I don’t know. It’s something I’ll need to figure out at the end of the year,” Vinci said in Italian, with a laugh. “Let’s see what I’m feeling and if I have a desire to continue. Putting aside my injuries, I’m playing good tennis.”

4:17 p.m.

Gael Monfils reached his first Grand Slam semifinal since 2008 with a straight-set victory at the U.S. Open over 24th-seeded Lucas Pouille, who upset Rafael Nadal a round earlier.

The 10th-seeded Monfils beat Pouille 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in an all-French quarterfinal Tuesday.

Monfils had lost six consecutive major quarterfinals since reaching his only previous semifinal, 8 and-a-half years ago at the French Open.

But the entertaining Monfils has been playing the best tennis of his career lately, winning all 15 sets he’s played at Flushing Meadows during this tournament.

Pouille, meanwhile, ran out of steam. He never had won a U.S. Open match until last week and his 4-hour-plus win against Nadal on Sunday was his third five-setter in a row.

1:40 p.m.

Roberta Vinci fell apart after losing the opening set on a foot fault, allowing No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber to take last nine games and win their U.S. Open quarterfinal 7-5, 6-0 on Tuesday.

Kerber, who has a chance to overtake Serena Williams at No. 1 after the tournament, moved into her third Grand Slam semifinal of the year. She won the Australian Open in January, then lost to Williams in the Wimbledon final in July.

At last year’s U.S. Open, Vinci stunned Williams in the semifinals, ending the American’s bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam.

On Tuesday, she was two points away from taking the first set when she served for it at 5-4, but she got broken there. Then, trailing 6-5, and serving at love-40, Vinci was called for a foot fault on a second serve. That resulted in a double-fault that ceded the set. As she walked to the sideline, Vinci looked at the line judge who made the call and smiled sarcastically, giving him a thumb’s up and applauding with her racket.

In the second set, Vinci won only 10 points.

12:35 p.m.

Former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic says she’ll take the rest of the season off because of wrist and toe injuries.

Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, tweeted Tuesday about the decision to step away from the tour until 2017 – making the announcement one week after losing in the first round of the U.S. Open.

She said she has a recurring wrist injury and was advised by her doctor to take time off. In addition, she will have surgery on a toe she broke at the Australian Open in January 2015.

12 p.m.

Novak Djokovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Roberta Vinci will seek to return to the U.S. Open semifinals Tuesday, part of a lineup that also features two Frenchmen battling for a spot in the final four.

The No. 1-seeded defending champ Djokovic takes on ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, one of three French players in the quarterfinals. The other two, 24th-seeded Lucas Pouille and 10th-seeded Gael Monfils, face off for only the second time. Monfils won the previous meeting in five sets at last year’s Australian Open.

On the women’s side, in a contest of unseeded players, the two-time U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki plays Anastasija Sevastova, who had never won four straight matches at any major until now.

The other women’s quarterfinal features two top-10 players: second-seeded Angelique Kerber, this year’s Australian Open champ, and No. 7 Roberta Vinci, last year’s U.S. Open runner-up.

The roof on Ashe may be a factor. Forecasts call for partly cloudy skies, blustery winds and a chance of afternoon showers.

Alycia Parks reaches 1st WTA quarterfinal in Ostrava

alycia parks
Robert Prange/Getty Images
2 Comments

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.

The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.

The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.

“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.

Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.

Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.

Djokovic beats Van de Zandschulp to reach Astana quarters

novak djokovic
Nir Keidar/Getty Images
1 Comment

ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.

Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.

“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.