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Wednesday August 4th, 2021 2:02AM

The Latest: Mladenovic blows 6-1, 5-1 lead in US Open loss

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):

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3:15 p.m.

This is quite a comeback.

No. 30 seed Kristina Mladenovic served for the victory while leading 6-1, 5-1 against Varvara Gracheva in the second round of the U.S. Open — and lost.

Mladenovic let that huge lead slip away, failing to convert four match points along the way, and eventually, Gracheva came all the way back to win 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-0.

Said Mladenovic: “She was brave and she went for it.”

Gracheva is a Russian who is ranked 102nd and is a month past her 20th birthday.

This is her first Grand Slam tournament.

She will face No. 8 Petra Martic in the third round.

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2:05 p.m.

Sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova needed only two sets to reach the the third round of the U.S. Open, the Grand Slam event that his been her most elusive.

Kvitova beat Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (3), 6-2 in an hour and 40 minutes Wednesday, overcoming her nervousness in the first set.

This is her 14th U.S. Open. It's the only Grand Slam tournament where she has failed to reach the semifinals. She reached the quarterfinals twice, in 2015 and 2017. She has two Wimbledon titles.

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1:05 p.m.

Angelique Kerber is on her way to the third round of the U.S. Open, which she won in 2016.

The No. 17 seed opened play Wednesday and beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3, 7-6 (6) in an hour and 40 minutes. Kerber emerged on the WTA Tour by reaching the semifinals at Flushing Meadows in 2011. Last year, she got knocked out in the first round.

The women's bracket also had an upset Wednesday. No. 12 Marketa Vondrousova lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1, 6-2 in only 65 minutes.

___

The second round of the U.S. Open is underway with a cloudy sky and a chance of rain at Flushing Meadows.

Seventeenth-seeded Angelique Kerber is getting things started in the women's bracket against Anna-Lena Friedsam, ranked No. 109 in the world. Former champion Naomi Osaka plays Wednesday night after a day off to rest a worrisome left hamstring.

On the men's side, top-seeded Novak Djokovic tries to remain unbeaten in 2020 when he plays Kyle Edmund. Djokovic is 24-0 this year, has won 18 of his last 19 matches in Grand Slam tournaments and is heavily favored to pick up his fourth U.S. Open title.

The weather could play a factor, given the chance of rain, especially through early afternoon. Temperatures of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) are predicted.

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More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP Sports - Men's Tennis, AP Sports - Women's Tennis
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