Mertens, Sabalenka win U.S. Open doubles title

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NEW YORK — Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka are both focused on their promising singles careers.

But if they’re going to play doubles, they may as well win a Grand Slam tournament. Mertens and Sabalenka defeated Victoria Azarenka and Ash Barty 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium to win the U.S. Open women’s doubles championship. Mertens and Sabalenka lost only one set in the tournament and won their first Grand Slam title as a team. The fourth-seeded team faced only one other seeded team on their way to the title.

“From the start of the season, start of the year actually, we were like, we’re going to play together,” Mertens said. “We didn’t think we would achieve this big thing.”

Mertens was defeated in singles play in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Bianca Andreescu.

“Even if we lose singles, and it’s always tough, we still committed to play doubles,” Mertens said. “Of course in a Grand Slam you want to win, you want to win matches. You want to win this title. So we’re just 100 percent committed to both. Of course, singles is a priority still.”

BIG DRAW

The US Open set an attendance record for the event with 737,872 fans over the two weeks of the main draw. Arthur Ashe Stadium sold out 23 of 24 sessions.

JUNIOR ACHEIVERS

Maria Camila Osorio Serrano found out winning a championship has its perks. The U.S. Open juniors champion walked into the media room and asked, “Aca se ha sentado Federer?”

Yes, Roger Federer did sit in that same seat.

Serrano took the junior singles title with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Alexandra Yepifanova.

Asked her celebratory plans, the 17-year-old out of Colombia quipped, “party.”

“No, I’m kidding. I’m not 18 yet,” she said, smiling. “I need to be 21. I need to wait a little bit. Maybe when I get back to Colombia. Party.”

Jonas Forejtek of the Czech Republic won the other junior championship on Saturday with a 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-2 victory over Emilio Nava.

WHEELCHAIR WINNERS

Alfie Hewett won his second straight wheelchair men’s title with a 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) victory over Stephane Houdet. The 48-year-old Houdet became the oldest male to play in a Grand Slam singles final.

Diede de Groot beat Yui Kamiji 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to win the women’s wheelchair Open championship.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

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PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”