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Bianca Andreescu beats Venus Williams at ASB Classic

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu knocked off another former No. 1 on Friday, beating seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams 6-7 (1) 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals at the ASB Classic.

The 18-year-old Andreescu, who is ranked 152nd in the world and had to go through qualifying to make the tournament, defeated top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the second round.

“I believe that anything is possible and tonight I think I did the impossible,” Andreescu said. “My goal was only to qualify and maybe get a couple of rounds in but now I beat a couple of top players so who knows? I believed in myself to the end. I fought and I really enjoyed myself.”

After being broken in the opening game of the second set, Andreescu reeled off 11 straight games to take control of the match.

Also, defending champion Julia Goerges saved a match point in the third set before beating Eugenie Bouchard 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6).

Playing with a swirling wind that made serving difficult for both players, Goerges hit seven aces and 47 winners.

“I think this was one of the toughest matches I’ve ever played and probably the toughest here in Auckland,” Goerges said. “The winds today were swirling around, coming suddenly and then gone.

“Chairs were flying around, hats, everything. But you can’t do anything about it, you just have to accept it and stay positive about it.”

Bouchard held a match point on serve at 6-5 in the final set but couldn’t convert.

Viktoria Kuzmova reached the semifinals by beating American teen Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. At 17, Anisimova is the youngest player in the top 100.

Nadal gets his revenge over Tsitsipas to reach Rome final

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ROME (AP) After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Rafael Nadal looked more like his old, dominant self when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to reach the Italian Open final.

It was a measure of revenge for Nadal after losing to Tsitsipas in three sets at this stage in Madrid last week. The victory should also restore Nadal’s confidence as he seeks a record-extending 12th title at the French Open starting next weekend.

“I’m playing better every match, every weekend,” Nadal said.

Aiming for a ninth trophy in Rome, Nadal’s opponent in Sunday’s final will be either Novak Djokovic or Diego Schwartzman, who were playing later.

Nadal is in the middle of his longest title drought to begin a season since he came onto the scene in 2004. His last trophy came in Toronto last August.

The crowd attempted to encourage Tsitsipas with chants of “Tsi-Tsi-Tsi; Pas-Pas-Pas” but the 20-year-old Greek player couldn’t keep up with Nadal on the long rallies – even though he didn’t play a day earlier after Roger Federer withdrew from the quarterfinals.

Conditions were much slower than on the high-altitude court in Madrid, which favored Nadal and made it tougher for Tsitsipas to execute his attacking game.

Midway through the first set, Nadal produced an awesome forehand winner up the line on the run, drawing a loud roar from the packed Campo Centrale crowd.

Nadal broke Tsitsipas’ serve early in both sets.

In the women’s tournament, Johanna Konta rallied past sixth-seeded Kiki Bertens 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in nearly three hours to reach the biggest clay-court final of her career.

Konta’s only previous final on clay came recently in Rabat, Morocco, where she lost the title match to Maria Sakkari.

Konta could get a rematch with Sakkari if the Greek qualifier beats fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the other semifinal.

Midway through the first set, Konta surprised Bertens with a drop shot winner during a baseline rally, causing Bertens to fall on her stomach to the clay as she rapidly changed directions. Then in the next game, Konta ran down a drop shot and produced an angled winner.

Bertens was coming off the Madrid Open title.

“She played really smart with the drop shots,” Bertens said. “I was all the time getting myself together and trying to push for more energy. But it was not there.”

The 42nd-ranked Konta served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken at love. But Bertens double faulted to let Konta serve for the second set and Konta got an early break in the third.

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John Isner out of French Open with injury

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PARIS — John Isner has pulled out of the French Open because of an injured left foot, ending his streak of 24 consecutive appearances at Grand Slam tournaments.

The 34-year-old Isner announced his withdrawal Friday on Twitter.

He is ranked No. 11, the top American man, but has not competed since hurting his foot during the Miami Open final March 31.

Isner was a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, his best Grand Slam performance. He hasn’t missed a major since the 2013 Australian Open.

He’s reached the fourth round at Roland Garros three times, including in 2018, and is one of only two men to push 11-time champion Rafael Nadal to a fifth set there.

Isner is best known for winning the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in the fifth set against Nicolas Mahut in Wimbledon’s first round in 2010. The match lasted more than 11 hours over three days.