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.

Frances Tiafoe lifts Team World to 1st Laver Cup win

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LONDON — The last to arrive, befitting his reputation in the locker room, Frances Tiafoe strutted into the post-match news conference after clinching Team World’s Laver Cup victory over Roger Federer’s star-studded Team Europe and shouted, “Champs are here!”

Then the 24-year-old from Maryland joined his teammates at the table where the silver trophy was resting Sunday night, put down a bottle of water, pulled a Budweiser out of his red jacket and smiled that wide smile of his.

Performing with the same infectious showmanship and crunch-time success he displayed en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal at the U.S. Open earlier this month, Tiafoe staved off four match points and came back to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-6, 7-6 (11), 10-8, giving Team World its first triumph in five editions of an event founded by Federer’s management company.

“I don’t like losing,” said Federer, a 20-time major champion whose final match before retirement was a loss alongside Rafael Nadal in doubles against Tiafoe and Jack Sock on Friday night. “It’s not fun. It just leaves not the best taste.”

When Tsitsipas put a forehand into the net to end Sunday’s contest – and the three-day competition – Tiafoe dropped his racket and fell to his back on the court, where teammates piled atop him. After getting on his feet, Tiafoe cupped a hand to his ear, asking spectators for more noise, then pointed to his chest and yelled, “I’m him! I’m him!”

“When it becomes a circus out here, and I’m just using the crowd and acting like a little kid and having a bunch of reactions … I end up playing really well and I start building momentum off it,” Tiafoe said. “I’m able to play and function in that better than my opponents, it seems.”

Using the nickname other players gave Tiafoe to reflect the way he embraces big moments, Team World captain John McEnroe said: “Frances is `Prime Time.’ He loves this stuff.”

McEnroe had been 0-4 while leading his squad against his former playing rival, Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg; both indicated they would be back for the 2023 Laver Cup in Vancouver, but that might be their last go-round.

This one served as a celebration of Federer and the 41-year-old Swiss star’s career.

Tiafoe responded with a quip when asked whether he might owe Federer some form of “I’m sorry” for beating him in his finale or for defeating his team, which also included Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for a total of 66 major singles titles. That, incidentally, is 66 more than Team World, a collection of 20-somethings (Sock turned 30 on Saturday).

“”I’m not going to apologize to him. He’s got a lot to apologize for after the last 24 years – after beating everybody on the tour,” said Tiafoe, who went 0-3 against Federer in singles head-to-head. “I will say thank you for having me in this amazing event, what he’s done for the game. He’s a class act. Happy to know him, happy to call him a friend, happy to call him a colleague, and best wishes in his second act. But I will not apologize.”

Team Europe entered Sunday at O2 Arena with an 8-4 lead; the first team to 13 points would win.

Each match on Day 3 was worth three points, and Team World went ahead thanks to a pair of victories by Felix Auger-Aliassime, a 22-year-old from Canada. He beat Djokovic 6-3, 7-6 (3), after partnering with Sock to edge Murray and Matteo Berrettini 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in doubles.

Tiafoe then made it 13-8, but it wasn’t easy.

He went a tournament-record 8-0 in tiebreakers at Flushing Meadows this month and was just as resilient Sunday.

“It’s been a long time that Frances has been playing the big guys close and losing a lot of close battles. It’s great to see lately he’s been winning,” said Taylor Fritz, an American who is the same age as Tiafoe and has known him for years. “It’s about time that he steps up and the matches go the other way. Today was a joke.”

That’s because Tiafoe was a single point from losing to Tsitsipas four times in their second-set tiebreaker, but somehow got through that. Then, at 4-all in the concluding match tiebreaker – first to 10, win by two – Tiafoe sprinted from behind the baseline to near the net and barely got to a drop shot by Tsitsipas, somehow lunging to flick an angled winner.

While most of the 16,365 fans went wild, Tiafoe went around the net and stood still, hands on his hips, relishing the atmosphere.

“We put him in the slot that he was in today for a reason,” said Team World’s Tommy Paul, another 24-year-old American, “and he stepped up for us, big time.”

Sonego beats Bublik at Moselle Open to win 1st title of 2022

Winston-Salem Open - Day 5
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METZ, France – Lorenzo Sonego clinched his first title of the season by beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the Moselle Open final.

The 27-year-old Italian did not drop a set all tournament as he won the third title of his career and first on hard courts.

The unseeded Sonego recovered from 0-40 down in the fifth game of the match and secured victory when the seventh-seeded Bublik sent a backhand return long.

He then danced on court as he celebrated a perfect tournament where he also beat defending champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals.

Sonego’s win will move him up 21 places in the ATP rankings and into 44th place.