Venus Williams back in U.S. Open after being given wild card

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – Venus Williams will be back in the U.S. Open this year after being given a wild card into what could be younger sister Serena’s final tournament.

Venus Williams won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2000 and 2001, and this year marks 25 years since she reached the 1997 final in Flushing Meadows as a 17-year-old in her first full season on tour.

Now 42, Williams did not play in the U.S. Open last year because of injury, but the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion recently returned to tour after missing nearly a year.

Serena Williams, 40, recently said she is preparing to leave tennis, though she did not specify it would come after the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 29.

Dominic Thiem, the 2020 U.S. Open men’s champion who has since dealt with injuries and fallen to No. 228 in the world ranking, also was granted a wild card by the U.S. Tennis Association.

The USTA also gave a wild card to Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion who didn’t compete in New York last year because of injury, along with fellow Americans CoCo Vandeweghe, Elizabeth Mandlik, Peyton Stearns and Eleana Yu.

Harmony Tan of France – who beat Serena Williams during a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon – and Australian Jaimee Fourlis also received wild cards.

Mandlik, the daughter of past U.S. Open champion Hana Mandlikova, earned hers by winning the U.S. Open wild-card challenge.

On the men’s side, wild cards went to Americans Sam Querrey, Emilio Nava, JJ Wolf, Ben Shelton and Learner Tien, along with Ugo Humbert of France and Australian Rinky Hijikata.

Also Wednesday, 2016 U.S. Open semifinalist Gael Monfils withdrew because of an injury to his right foot sustained last week during his match against Jack Draper in Montreal. Monfils, who missed time earlier this season after a procedure on his right heel, announced he needed further treatment for the injury.

Taro Daniel of Japan moved into the main draw.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.