TOKYO — Showing no lingering effects of a shoulder injury, Novak Djokovic coasted into the semifinals of the Japan Open on Friday with a straight-sets win over Lucas Pouille.
Top-ranked Djokovic, who is attempting to win a title on his tournament debut for the 10th time, needed just 50 minutes at Ariake Colosseum to dispatch the fifth-seeded Pouille 6-1, 6-2 and set up a semifinal with either Hyeon Chung or David Goffin, who won here in 2017.
Djokovic got off to a strong start, winning the first game with a powerful ace, one of five in the first set.
He broke Pouille in the next game to take a 2-0 lead and went up 5-1 after another break before serving to win the first set in just 20 minutes.
The second set was more of the same with Djokovic breaking Pouille in the first game and taking a 4-1 lead before Pouille won his first game of the set.
Pouille showed a brief sign of life by breaking Djokovic to make it 4-2 but that was as close as he would get. Djokovic broke in the next game and then served out to win with a powerful forehand to the corner.
Djokovic retired with a left-shoulder injury during his fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka at the U.S. Open.
In his first competitive match since facing Wawrinka, Djokovic was knocked out of the doubles with Filip Krajinovic on Monday but beat Alexei Popyrin in the first round and Japanese wild card entry Go Soeda in the second round.
In other matches, Reilly Opelka beat Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-3, 6-3 and will face John Millman in the semifinals. Millman overpowered Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-0.
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.”
PARIS — French Open debutant Peyton Stearns produced the biggest win of her career by defeating former champion Jelena Ostapenko to reach the third round at Roland Garros.
Stearns, a former player at the University of Texas, only turned professional in June last year.
Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open but has since failed to advance past the 3rd round. The 17th-seeded Latvian dropped her serve five times against Stearns and hit 28 unforced errors in her 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 loss.
The 21-year-old Stearns has been climbing the WTA rankings and entered the French Open at No. 69 on the back of an encouraging clay-court campaign.
Third-seeded Jessica Pegula also advanced after Camila Giorgi retired due to injury. The American led 6-2 when her Italian rival threw in the towel.
Only hours after husband Gael Monfils won a five-set thriller, Elina Svitolina rallied past qualifier Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
In the men’s bracket, former runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas ousted Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The fifth-seeded Greek was a bit slow to find his range and was made to work hard for two sets but rolled on after he won the tiebreaker.
No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 3 Novak Djokovic are on court later. Alcaraz meets Taro Daniel on Court Philippe Chatrier, where Djokovic will follow against Martin Fucsovics in the night session.