cloudyn.png
Tuesday August 3rd, 2021 11:37PM

Williams withdraws from semifinals in Australian Open tuneup

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams withdrew from an Australian Open tuneup tournament citing a right shoulder injury on Friday within hours of setting up a semifinal match against top-ranked Ash Barty.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion usually doesn't play in a tournament in the week before a Grand Slam event, but made an exception before last year's U.S. Open and for this Australian Open because of all the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 39-year-old American was playing her first tournament since withdrawing from the French Open before her second-round match because of an Achilles tendon injury in October. She, like all players traveling to Australia for the tournament, had to quarantine for 14 days and had limited practice during that time.

With the year's first major starting Monday, Williams may be better resting.

She had three wins at the Yarra Valley Classic — one of six tournaments at Melbourne Park this week — culminating with a 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 win in a match tiebreaker over Danielle Collins on Friday.

The withdrawal came after her post-match news conference — when she made no reference to any issues — so no full explanation was offered.

It means Barty gets a walkover into the final and will also get some rest Saturday.

There were 70 matches on the order of play Friday, an expanded program a day after all matches in six tournaments were postponed so that 160 players and 507 people overall could isolate and undergo testing because a worker at a quarantine hotel returned a positive test. Tennis Australia said all tests were negative.

To speed things up a little at the back end of the tournament, 17 courts were being used and women’s matches were reduced to two regular sets with a 10-point match tiebreaker if required.

Williams and Barty both had to play the match tiebreaker — Barty beat Shelby Rogers 7-5, 2-6, 10-4.

Before withdrawing, Williams said she was looking forward to the semifinals.

“It’s definitely a good opportunity to see where I’m going against the current No. 1, that’s really important for me," Williams said. “Obviously I think for her, as well, to see where she’s going against my game.

“It’s been a long 12 months. Tennis has been played but not really, so ... hopefully this is like a new year where things will be different."

Garbine Muguruza beat defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals, reversing their result of their 2020 final at Melbourne Park. She will next play No. 8 Marketa Vondrousova.

OSAKA IN, HALEP OUT

Second-seeded Naomi Osaka moved into the semifinals of the Gippsland Trophy by beating Irina Begu 7-5, 6-1.

That made it two losses from two for Romanian players in the quarterfinals. Top-seeded Simona Halep lost to No. 9 Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-1.

AZARENKA ADVANCES

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka rallied from two breaks down in the first set and had to save two match points in the match tiebreaker before beating Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 1-6, 11-9 to advance at the Grampians Trophy, an event staged for the players forced into hard lockdown during quarantine.

On either side of a delay on outside courts because of rain, former Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian champion Angelique Kerber beat No. 8 Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-4 and Belinda Bencic, the highest-ranked player in the tournament, lost to Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-2.

GERMANY UPSETS SERBIA

Alexander Zverev rebounded from a narrow singles loss to Novak Djokovic to help Germany win the deciding doubles match that earned the team a spot in the ATP Cup semifinals at the expense of defending champion Serbia.

Jan-Lennard Struff beat Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to give Germany a 1-0 lead in Group A, but the top-ranked Djokovic leveled it up with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 7-5 win over Zverev.

Struff and Zverev combined to beat Nikola Cacic and Djokovic 7-6 (4), 5-7, 10-7 in the doubles, advancing to the semifinals against Russia on Saturday.

“It’s unfortunate we lost the tie — that’s what this competition is all about,” Djokovic said of back-to-back matches with Zverev. “It’s about the team, not about winning one match, singles match. Yeah, it’s a tough one.”

Pablo Carreno Busta clinched a semifinal spot for Spain with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Michail Pervolarakis in the opening singles match against Greece, even though the Greeks went on to win 2-1. Spain ended up with enough points to top Group B, which also includes Australia.

“I knew we needed this point," said Carreno Busta, who was playing again because second-ranked Rafael Nadal had back stiffness. “With this victory, we are into the semifinals, so it was very important to us.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas later beat Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 7-5 and then combined with Pervolarakis in the deciding doubles match, which lasted only one game before the Spanish pair retired.

WAWRINKA WINS

Top-ranked Stan Wawrinka beat Alex Bolt 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) to move into the quarterfinals of the Murray River Open along with No. 3 Felix Auger-Aliassime and No. 4 Borna Coric, who beat local favorite Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4.

A frustrated Kyrgios smashed his racket and threw it out of the 1573 Arena.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/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
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Williams withdraws from semifinals in Australian Open tuneup
Serena Williams has withdrawn from a semifinal match against top-ranked Ash Barty in an Australian Open tuneup event
4:25AM ( 20 minutes ago )
South Korea's trade minister drops bid to become WTO chief
South Korea’s top trade official is dropping her bid to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, making it highly likely that the job will go to former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
4:07AM ( 38 minutes ago )
The Latest: Czech Republic tightens entry rules
The Czech Republic is further tightening entry rules in an effort to limit the growing spread of highly contagious variants of the coronavirus
4:06AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
NBA tells teams it plans March 7 All-Star Game in Atlanta
The NBA has told its teams it expects to finalize plans in the coming week to have an All-Star Game in Atlanta
1:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
LeBron's triple-double powers Lakers past Nuggets, 114-93
The Los Angeles Lakers roared away in the second half for a 114-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets
12:47AM ( 3 hours ago )
Trent, Anthony lead undermanned Portland past 76ers 121-105
Gary Trent Jr. scored 24 points and Enes Kanter had 17 points and 18 rebounds to lead the undermanned Portland Trail Blazers to a 121-105 win over the Philadelphia 76ers
11:39PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Sports
Testing times: Organizers say Aussie Open will start on time
The Australian Open tournament director expects the year’s first tennis major to start as scheduled next week despite 160 players being among the 507 people forced back into isolation after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for COVID-19
2:58AM ( 1 day ago )
No matches, testing times for tennis players in Australia
The Australian Open tournament director expects the year’s first tennis major to start as scheduled next week despite players being among the hundreds of people forced back into isolation after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for COVID-19
11:23PM ( 1 day ago )
No play, but plenty of tests for players at Australian Open
Players are isolating and getting tested for COVID-19 instead of playing tuneup tournaments four days before the Australian Open as concern grows over the impact on the year’s first tennis major
8:36PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Tennis
Serena Williams through easily in 1st Australian Open tuneup
Serena Williams restarted her now-lengthy quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Daria Gavrilova in an Australian Open tuneup tournament at Melbourne Park
2:57AM ( 4 days ago )
Coco Gauff through in 3 tough sets in Australian Open tuneup
Coco Gauff didn’t make it easy on herself in her first-round match at an Australian Open tuneup event
1:57AM ( 4 days ago )
Serena visits zoo before win; Djokovic on court in Australia
Serena Williams decided a trip to the zoo with her daughter was the first thing she wanted to do between leaving quarantine and playing Naomi Osaka in an exhibition match in Adelaide
1:02AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - Men's Tennis
The Latest: Bucknell men's and women's hoops back on court
Bucknell basketball is back
6:04PM ( 1 week ago )
3 more COVID-19 cases linked to Australian Open arrivals
Two players are among the three latest COVID-19 cases that have emerged from testing conducted on passengers who arrived on charter flights bringing people to Melbourne for the Australian Open
6:55AM ( 2 weeks ago )
Lockdown: Tennis players getting on with life in Australia
The number of elite tennis players in lockdown in Australia swelled to 72 after a fifth positive COVID-19 case emerged from the charter flights into Melbourne for the season-opening major
5:44AM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Sports - Women's Tennis
South Korea's trade minister drops bid to become WTO chief
South Korea’s top trade official is dropping her bid to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, making it highly likely that the job will go to former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
4:07AM ( 38 minutes ago )
The Latest: Czech Republic tightens entry rules
The Czech Republic is further tightening entry rules in an effort to limit the growing spread of highly contagious variants of the coronavirus
4:06AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Global shares rise amid hopes for global economic rebound
Global shares are rising, echoing a rally on Wall Street, as hopes grow for a gradual global economic recovery from the damage of the coronavirus pandemic
3:49AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Surprise tax forms reveal extent of unemployment fraud in US
Unemployment agencies across the country were bombarded with so many claims during the pandemic that many struggled to distinguish the correct from the criminal
3:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Israel to begin easing lockdown on Sunday
Israel plans to begin slowly easing its latest coronavirus lockdown on Sunday, hoping that its rapid vaccination campaign helps to contain an outbreak accelerated by new variants
3:32AM ( 1 hour ago )