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Kvitova ends Anisimova’s run at Aussie Open

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MELBOURNE, Australia — It took two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova being on top of her game to bring a very abrupt ending to 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova run of upsets at the Australian Open.

The 28-year-old Kvitova wanted no part of another loss to Anisimova, who beat her last year at Indian Wells and was the youngest American since Jennifer Capriati in 1993 to make it this far at Melbourne Park.

It took 59 minutes to win 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday. Kvitova was the model of consistency that the two other seeded players previously vanquished by Anisimova – No. 24 Lesia Tsurenko and No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka – were not.

Kvitova broke Anisimova’s serve five times – including the opening game – and never faced a break point. She got 86 percent of her first serves into play, and won all but five of the points when she did.

She’s now on a nine-match winning streak, her four wins here come after a title run in Sydney last week, and is into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2012.

Up next will be either five-time major winner Maria Sharapova, or local hope Ash Barty. That fourth-round meeting was the next match on Rod Laver Arena.

It’s no concern of Kvitova’s who wins that one.

“Doesn’t matter who I’m going to face in the quarterfinals,” she said. “I’m there – and that’s (what’s) important.”

Among other matches on Day 7, 17-time major winner Rafael Nadal was playing 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, and six-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer was taking on 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Kvitova had to miss the Australian Open in 2017 because she was still overcoming injuries to her left hand she sustained in a home invasion the previous month at her place in the Czech Republic. She lost in the first round here last year.

Anisimova beat her 6-2, 6-4 in 70 minutes in their only previous meeting, but Kvitova came out ready this time.

She took the first three points of the match to immediately have Anisimoa under pressure, facing triple breakpoint.

The teenager saved two, but Kvitova’s powerful backhand service return had her scrambling and the first game was gone.

Anisimova won the first two points on Kvitova’s serve, but the former Wimbledon champion of 2011 and ’13 responded by winning the next four to hold.

A double-fault gave Kvitova three break points in the next game, and she forced an error on the backhand side to convert it. So quickly, it was 3-0.

Anisimova was still taking big swings at the ball and hitting cleanly, but the left-handed Kvitova was consistently in the right place to hit winners – including two important forehands down the line.

The first set was over in 32 minutes and Anisimova could only shrug, like she was asking what was happening.

In contrast to the first game, Anisimova held serve to open the second set. But that was her last. She was still in the contest in the fifth game when she was one point from holding again, but Kvitova won 10 straight points to take the match away from her again.

“It’s always pressure out there when you’re the favorite. You never know how the younger players are playing,” Kvitova said. “They’re here with nothing to lose, they’re fearless.

“I started pretty well (and) the nerves went a little bit out for me,” she added. “I’m really enjoying the time on court, and playing tennis.”

Joao Souza provisionally suspended

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LONDON — Brazilian tennis player Joao Souza has been provisionally suspended again amid a corruption investigation by the Tennis Integrity Unit.

Souza had already been provisionally suspended on March 29 but was reinstated on April 8 following a successful appeal.

The TIU says that the provisional suspension has been put back in place “following consideration of additional evidence submitted by the TIU,” adding that no more appeals will be accepted.

No further details were given for the reason of the suspension.

The 30-year old Souza is currently ranked No. 422, having reached a career-high of No. 69 in 2015.

Also in 2015, Souza played in the longest Davis Cup singles match ever, losing to Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 15-13 in the fifth set after 6 hours, 42 minutes.

The TIU is a joint initiative of the Grand Slam Board, the International Tennis Federation and the ATP and the WTA tours.

Medvedev shocks Djokovic to reach Monte Carlo semis

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MONACO – An erratic Novak Djokovic suffered a surprise 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 defeat against Daniil Medvedev in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals Friday.

The 10th-seeded Russian was appearing in the last eight of a Masters tournament for the first time but was not overawed. In fact, it was the top-ranked Djokovic who made the most mistakes. The two-time champion looked out of sorts in tricky conditions and produced 47 unforced errors.

“On a windy day like today, conditions are changing every game,” Djokovic said. “It’s tough to find rhythm and he doesn’t give you much rhythm. He was very patient and played well tactically.”

After failing to serve out the match, when his Serbian opponent broke back to 5-2 down, Medvedev broke for the fifth time to seal a memorable victory.

Djokovic double-faulted at 30-30 to give Medvedev his first match point and a backhand winner secured a first win against his top-ranked rival at the fourth attempt, and a first victory against a No. 1.

“It was amazing,” Medvedev said. “He played worse than before and I am gaining more experience. He was not so good in the first set and made a lot of mistakes.”

Medvedev twice had his thighs massaged during changeovers in the third set. “Cramp didn’t affect my game,” he said.

The 23-year-old Monaco resident next faces the unseeded Dusan Lajovic, who also reached a Masters semi for the first time when he beat Italian qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5.

Lajovic has not dropped a set at the clay-court event and is more surprised than anybody.

“I didn’t expect this. I was sick before the tournament and taking antibiotics,” the 28-year-old Serb said. “But it’s the best week of my career.”

The same goes for the 23-year-old Medvedev, who is ranked 14 and is chasing a fifth career title.

He had lost the three previous matches against Djokovic, including a tough four-setter in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open.

“In Australia he was at his best, but I made him run for his win there,” said Medvedev.

Djokovic won that tournament to secure a third straight Grand Slam title and 15th overall, moving two behind Nadal and five adrift of Roger Federer’s record haul of 20.

But Djokovic has now failed to reach the last four in three straight tournaments, after also falling short at Indian Wells and Miami.

“I am lacking that determination to go for shots on some points,” he said.

At times it looked like Djokovic would take control and he clinched the second set with two aces. But his shot-making was below its usual high standards and his drop shot rarely worked.

Nadal has won at Monte Carlo a record 11 times. The second-ranked Spaniard plays the unseeded Guido Pella of Argentina later.

The other match is between No. 9 Borna Coric of Croatia and No.13 Fabio Fognini of Italy.