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Sunday December 17th, 2017 10:17PM

The Latest: Nadal says no in-match coaching little 'stupid'

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open, the last Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year (all times local):

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11:45 p.m.

Rafael Nadal figured out a change of tactics on his own, so he didn't need the help.

But he thinks it's "a little bit stupid" that players can't talk to their coaches during matches.

He says that players "have a coach traveling for you, with you during the whole season and practicing with you every day, and is a little bit stupid that in the most important moment, he cannot tell you anything."

Nadal talked strategy with his uncle Toni and Carlos Moya before the match, but it was up to him to decide to hit away from Juan Martin del Potro's backhand after feeling he was too predictable while winning the first set.

The U.S. Open did experiment with in-match coaching in events outside the main draw in singles and doubles, allowing verbal coaching from the player box when the player and coach were on the same end of the court, and signal coaching when they were at opposite ends.

Sounds like Nadal would embrace that change.

He says in his opinion it "will be good if — I don't know if the coach has to come on court, but would be good if the coach can talk."

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10:25 p.m.

Rafael Nadal will play for his 16th Grand Slam title after beating Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.

The two-time U.S. Open champion will face 28th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa on Sunday.

It was Nadal's 15th straight victory in a Grand Slam semifinal since del Potro beat him in 2009 at Flushing Meadows.

The Spaniard is in his third major final of the year. He also won the French Open in June and will have a huge edge in experience against Anderson, a first-time Grand Slam finalist.

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9:55 p.m.

Rafael Nadal is a set away from playing for another U.S. Open title.

Nadal leads Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, taking control of the match by winning nine straight games after dropping the opening set.

That gave him a 3-0 lead and the 24th-seeded del Potro appeared tired at times trying to play his way back into the set.

Nadal has won two U.S. Open titles and was trying to position himself to face No. 28 seed and first-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson on Sunday.

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9:10 p.m.

Rafael Nadal dominated the second set 6-0 against Juan Martin del Potro to even their U.S. Open semifinal at one set apiece.

The No. 1 seed needed just 27 minutes to square the match after del Potro took the first set 6-4.

Nadal broke del Potro in the second game after he didn't even have a break point in the first set, then added another break to seize a 4-0 lead. He finished it off with one more break to close out the set.

Nadal won 25 points to just eight for del Potro.

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8:45 p.m.

Juan Martin del Potro is outhitting Rafael Nadal again in the U.S. Open semifinals.

The No. 24 seed won the first set 6-4, winning 17 of 22 points on his first serve and putting it away with one of his powerful forehand winners.

He routed Nadal in three sets in the 2009 semifinals in Flushing Meadows before going on to beat Roger Federer for his lone major title.

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8:25 p.m.

Tiger Woods, who knows plenty about winning major championships, is attending the U.S. Open semifinals.

Woods is sitting in the third row of Rafael Nadal's guest box during the No. 1 seed's match against Juan Martin del Potro.

Still unable to return to golf while he recovers from back injuries, Woods was shown on the stadium's video boards during a first-set changeover and drew warm applause. He smiled and waved.

Woods, like Nadal, is second in major titles won in his sport.

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7:55 p.m.

Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro, both former U.S. Open champions, are on the court in quest of getting to another final.

They also met in the 2009 semifinal at Flushing Meadows, when del Potro routed Nadal before beating Roger Federer for the title.

He knocked off Federer in the quarterfinals and now is trying to beat them back-to-back for the second time.

The top-seeded Nadal hasn't lost a Grand Slam semifinal since that defeat, winning 14 straight.

The winner faces No. 28 seed Kevin Anderson on Sunday.

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7:20 p.m.

Kevin Anderson will play for his first Grand Slam title after beating Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in the U.S. Open semifinals.

Anderson advanced to face No. 1 Rafael Nadal or 24th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in the final, where he will be the lowest-ranked man to play for the U.S. Open title since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

The South African, ranked 32nd but seeded 28th in Flushing Meadows, is the first South African to play for the U.S. Open title since Cliff Drysdale in 1965.

The 12th-seeded Carreno Busta was also in his first major semifinal and hadn't dropped a set in reaching it. But he was constantly under pressure on his serve, while Anderson used his power to pound 22 aces.

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7 p.m.

Things got a little hairy in the women's doubles semifinals.

And after it cost Lucie Safarova the point, she called out her friend on social media for a lack of sportsmanship after her team lost.

The moment came during Safarova and Barbora Strycova's 6-2, 7-5 loss to fellow Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova.

Siniakova hit a shot that appeared to graze Hradecka's hair before going back over the net. That should have given the point to Safarova and Strycova, but the chair umpire didn't see it and Hradecka didn't acknowledge it, so Siniakova and Hradecka got the point.

Safarova posted video of the point on Instagram , writing: "Win or lose you should always play fair! Wouldn't expect that from a friend."

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6:40 p.m.

Serena Williams might be on a leave of absence from the tennis tour, but she is definitely paying attention to the U.S. Open.

The 23-time major champion gave a Twitter shoutout Friday to Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, who will play in the first all-American women's final at Flushing Meadows since Williams beat her older sister Venus 15 years ago.

In the first of three posts, Williams wrote : "There are NO words to describe how proud and how happy I am for @Madison_Keys ... and @SloaneStephens for making the US open finals."

Williams continued : "These amazing women continue to change the game and bring excellence, power, finesse and change to tennis."

And she closed by writing : "What a joy it will be to watch this- hopefully first of many finals. Let's go ladies!" followed by three heart emojis.

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6:30 p.m.

Kevin Anderson has taken control of his U.S. Open semifinal against Pablo Carreno Busta, winning the last two sets.

The No. 28 seed leads 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and is a set away from being the lowest-ranked finalist (No. 32) at the U.S. Open since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

The hard-hitting South African has pounded 20 aces, including one at 132 mph to end the set, to just one for Carreno Busta.

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6:05 p.m.

Martina Hingis will play in the finals of both women's doubles and mixed doubles at the U.S. Open.

Hingis won two semifinals on Friday.

First she teamed with Yung-Jan Chan to beat Shuai Peng and Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-4 in women's doubles. They'll play Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova for that title.

Then Hingis and Jamie Murray defeated women's singles semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe and men's doubles champion Horia Tecau 6-4, 7-6 (8) in mixed doubles. Murray is the older brother of two-time Wimbledon singles champion Andy Murray.

Hingis and Murray will face Michael Venus and Chan Hao-Ching in the mixed final.

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5:45 p.m.

Kevin Anderson has evened the U.S. Open men's semifinals, becoming the first player to take a set off Pablo Carreno Busta in the tournament.

Anderson won the second set 7-5 after Carreno Busta grabbed the opening set 6-4.

The No. 12-seeded Carreno Busta had won his first 16 sets in the tournament before the 28th-seeded Anderson started finding the range on his power shots late in the second set, capitalizing when Carreno Busta double-faulted to give him set point trailing 5-6. Anderson broke on the next point.

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5 p.m.

Pablo Carreno Busta has taken the first set 6-4 against Kevin Anderson in the first U.S. Open men's semifinal.

The 12th-seeded Spaniard broke Anderson's serve for a 4-3 lead and never faced any danger in improving to 16-0 in sets so far in Flushing Meadows. He is trying to become the first player to win the U.S. Open without dropping a set since Neale Fraser in 1960.

The No. 28 seed Anderson had been broken only three times in his first 90 service games in the tournament. He committed 14 unforced errors to just one for Carreno Busta in the set.

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4:25 p.m.

Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and Kevin Anderson of South Africa have started play in the first U.S. Open men's semifinal.

It's the furthest either man has ever gone in a Grand Slam tournament. The No. 12-seeded Carreno Busta got to the final four easily, not dropping a set against five opponents ranked outside the top 30.

The U.S. Open hasn't had a champion who didn't drop a set since Neale Fraser in 1960.

Anderson, the No. 28 seed, has won both meetings.

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1:50 p.m.

The 12th-seeded team of Horia Tecau of Romania and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands won their first U.S. Open men's doubles championship.

Tecau and Rojer defeated the 11th-seeded Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 6-4, 6-3 in the final at Flushing Meadows on Friday.

This is the second Grand Slam title for Tecau and Rojer, who won Wimbledon in 2015.

Tecau and Rojer eliminated top-seeded Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the semifinals.

The two Lopezes, who are not related, won the 2016 French Open.

___

1 p.m.

Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro will meet in one U.S. Open men's semifinal. Pablo Carreno Busta and Kevin Anderson will play in the other.

The matches Friday offer quite a contrast in experience and name recognition.

Neither Carreno Busta nor Anderson has played in a semifinal at any Grand Slam tournament.

The other semifinal features a pair of past champions at Flushing Meadows. Nadal won the tournament in 2010 and 2013 for two of his 15 Grand Slam titles. Del Potro was the U.S. Open champion in 2009, when he beat Nadal in the semifinals and Roger Federer in the final.

This time, he takes on those two greats of the game in reverse order: del Potro beat Federer in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

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More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

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