AP Images

Venus Williams wins opening match at Wimbledon

3 Comments

LONDON — Venus Williams won her first tennis match since being sued by the estate of a Florida man who died after a car crash police say she caused.

The 10th-seeded Williams beat Elise Mertens 7-6 (7), 6-4 Monday in the first round at Wimbledon, a tournament the American has won five times.

Last week, Williams was sued by the estate of a Florida man who died 13 days after a car crash. The lawsuit came one day after Palm Beach Gardens police released a report saying Williams caused the June 9 crash.

On No. 1 Court, Williams had to wait through a 33-minute rain delay to win her opening match. She had two match points before the rain came. Play was stopped with Williams leading 5-3 and at 40-40 in the second set.

When play resumed, Mertens held serve to make it 5-4, but Williams served out the match.

Defending champion Andy Murray also won his opening match, beating Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal was due to play next on No. 1 Court, while Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion who was injured in a knife attack at her home late last year, was due next on Centre Court.

Second-seeded Simona Halep and No. 17 Madison Keys also won Monday. Halep, who lost in this year’s French Open final, beat Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 6-4, 6-1. Keys defeated Nao Hibino of Japan 6-4, 6-2.

Keys, who is right-handed, was playing for the first time since having a second surgery on her left wrist.

“It’s obviously not perfect,” Keys said. “I haven’t been able to do the repetitions that ideally I would have wanted to do, but it feels fine. Doesn’t hurt anymore. That’s really all I care about.”

In the men’s draw, Nick Kyrgios retired from his first-round match after losing the first two sets.

The 20th-seeded Australian was trailing Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-3, 6-4 when he called for a trainer to work on his left hip. He then decided to stop the match.

Kyrgios also retired with an injury from his first-round match at Queen’s, a Wimbledon warm-up tournament.

“I kind of knew I was in trouble. I have been feeling my hip ever since I fell over at Queen’s. Never got it right,” Kyrgios said. “I was doing everything I could to help it, but just not enough time.”

Two-time semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also reached the second round. The 12th-seeded Frenchman beat Cameron Norrie of Britain 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Ninth-seeded Kei Nishikori and 24th-seeded Sam Querrey also advanced.

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

Matteo Berrettini breaks through on grass to win Stuttgart Open

AP Photo
Leave a comment

STUTTGART, Germany — Matteo Berrettini beat Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6 (11) to win the Stuttgart Open and his third tour-level title on Sunday.

The Italian saved five set points in a second-set tiebreaker and clinched his first title on grass. His other titles came at Budapest in April, and Gstaad, Switzerland, last year.

The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime previously reached championship matches in Rio de Janeiro in February and the Lyon Open in May – both on clay.

Berrettini won all 50 of his service games during the week in Stuttgart. He did not face a break point against Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime progressed to the final in his first professional grass tournament without playing Saturday as compatriot Milos Raonic withdrew ahead of their semifinal due to back problems.

Playing on two surfaces, Vekic reaches Nottingham semis

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NOTTINGHAM, England — Former champion Donna Vekic finally got to play on grass at the Nottingham Open on Friday but had to overcome multiple rain delays and another switch indoors before reaching the semifinals.

The second-seeded Vekic defeated Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-4 in a match played on two surfaces as rain again played havoc with the schedule.

The opening two days were completely washed out before organizers decided to switch the first and second rounds indoors as rain fell for four consecutive days.

Vekic, who won the tournament in 2017, will play Germany’s Tatjana Maria in her third straight semifinal in Nottingham. Maria earlier defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 7-6 (7) in the only match completed on grass so far at the tournament.

Also Friday, American Jennifer Brady defeated fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-3 to set up a semifinal against top-seeded Caroline Garcia.

Garcia rallied to beat Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 in the last quarterfinal.