mcloudy.png
Friday June 18th, 2021 2:58PM

Williams advances in Australia, fans be banned from Saturday

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams overcame erratic strokes and two set points to beat Anastasia Potapova 7-6 (5), 6-2 Friday and reach the fourth round at the Australian Open.

The surprisingly close match entertained a modest crowd in Rod Laver Arena, but government officials announced fans will be banned from the tournament for five days beginning Saturday because of a COVID-19 outbreak at a Melbourne hotel. The Grand Slam tournament had been the first in a year to allow sizeable crowds.

Williams was eliminated in the third round at Melbourne last year, and appeared destined for the same fate until the 19-year-old Potapova became unnerved. Serving at 5-4, the young Russian held two set points but double-faulted five times and was broken.

Potapova squandered another lead in the tiebreaker, committing unforced errors on the final three points. The last was perhaps the best of the match, with Williams playing spectacular defense to extend a 21-shot rally that ended when a weary Potapova misfired on a forehand.

Another wild scramble two games later swung the match even more in Williams’ direction and had her laughing before the rally ended. She chased down a drop shot at the net, retreated to retrieve a lob, and watched from near the backstop as Potapova smacked an overhead into the net.

Williams won despite losing serve three times and committing 31 unforced errors.

“I definitely feel good to be in the fourth round,” she said. “It’s about surviving and playing better every round.”

Seeded 10th, she’ll next face Aryna Sabalenka, who matched her best Grand Slam showing by advancing to the round of 16 with a win over American Ann Li, 6-3, 6-1.

Williams, 39, is again seeking to tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles. Williams won her 23rd at the 2017 Australian Open.

Sabalenka is the only woman among the top 16 seeds who has yet to reach a major quarterfinal. Her best effort previously came when she earned a fourth-round berth at the 2018 U.S. Open.

“I really want to play well in the Grand Slams, go as far as I can,” Sabalenka said. “I’m trying to come out in the big stadiums and show my best.”

The Belarusian did that by overpowering Li from the start, winning her first two service games at love and then breaking at love. Sabalenka held every serve and pounded 15 forehand winners.

Sabalenka, 22, has won 23 of her past 26 matches.

Later matches on the men’s side included eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic against American Taylor Fritz.

In other third-round play, No. 14-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza defeated Zarina Diyas 6-1, 6-1. No. 19 Marketa Vondrousova beat Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-4.

___

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 advances in Australia, fans be banned from Saturday
Serena Williams overcame erratic strokes and two set points to beat Anastasia Potapova 7-6 (5), 6-2 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open
11:17PM ( 6 minutes ago )
ABC News to air newsmagazine on the Black experience
ABC News says it will air Soul of a Nation next month, which it believes is the first prime-time network newsmagazine focused on Black life in America
10:30PM ( 53 minutes ago )
San Francisco sues schools, cites high of suicidal students
The city of San Francisco says that suicide rates of children have hit record highs in a lawsuit aimed at pushing the city's school district to reopen classrooms
10:24PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Almirola wins first qualifying race for Daytona 500
Aric Almirola won the first Thursday night qualifying race for the Daytona 500
9:09PM ( 2 hours ago )
NHL adds game-day rapid testing to stem COVID-19 outbreaks
The NHL is adding game-day rapid tests for players, team personnel and on-ice officials as part of a series of expanded safety protocols in its latest bid to stem potential COVID-19 outbreaks
8:49PM ( 2 hours ago )
Raptors to keep calling Tampa home for rest of season
The Toronto Raptors aren’t going back to Toronto this season
7:35PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Feeling pressure: 2020 champ Kenin loses at Australian Open
Sofia Kenin’s bid to repeat as champion at the Australian Open ended when she lost in the second round to big-serving Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-2
8:48AM ( 14 hours ago )
The Latest: Nadal beats Mmoh in straight sets in Melbourne
Rafael Nadal shrugged off some heckling from a spectator and beat American qualifier Michael Mmoh 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the Australian Open
8:09AM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: Fognini unapologetic after spat with Caruso
Fabio Fognini and Salvatore Caruso clearly still hadn’t had enough of their all-Italian second-round duel at the Australian Open even after four hours and five sets
7:33AM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Tennis
A 1st for Rogers: She reaches 3rd round at Australian Open
American Shelby Rogers’ long, slow climb up the rankings is gaining momentum, and she’s into the third round at the Australian Open for the first time
9:23PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: American Rogers into Australian Open 3rd round
American Shelby Rogers has advanced to the third round at the Australian Open for the first time by beating qualifier Olga Danilovic 6-2, 6-3
8:32PM ( 1 day ago )
No sign of Grand Slam drought ending soon for American men
The last American man to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament was Andy Roddick at the U.S. Open in 2003, and there’s no sign the drought will end anytime soon
2:25PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Men's Tennis
Venus finishes Australian Open loss on injured ankle, knee
Venus Williams has exited the Australian Open in the second round after injuring her right ankle and left knee but continuing to play until the match was over
3:58AM ( 1 day ago )
Win is a win: '20 Australian champ Kenin gets by; Coco rolls
Sofia Kenin struggled in her first match as a defending champion at a Grand Slam tournament
11:54PM ( 2 days ago )
A win is a win: '20 Australian champ Kenin gets by in 2 sets
Sofia Kenin struggled in her first match as a defending champion at a Grand Slam tournament
9:41PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Women's Tennis
ABC News to air newsmagazine on the Black experience
ABC News says it will air Soul of a Nation next month, which it believes is the first prime-time network newsmagazine focused on Black life in America
10:30PM ( 53 minutes ago )
San Francisco sues schools, cites high of suicidal students
The city of San Francisco says that suicide rates of children have hit record highs in a lawsuit aimed at pushing the city's school district to reopen classrooms
10:24PM ( 59 minutes ago )
No crowds, but Australian Open will continue during lockdown
The Australian Open will be allowed to continue but without crowds for at least five days after the Victoria state government imposed a lockdown starting Saturday in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a quarantine hotel
10:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Belarusian Sabalenka advances to 4th round in Australia
Aryna Sabalenka has matched her best Grand Slam showing by advancing to a possible fourth-round showdown against Serena Williams at the Australian Open
10:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
Democrats pushing Biden's COVID-19 bill through House panels
Democrats have pushed half of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan through a House committee, and other House panels on their way to completing their own pieces of the sweeping legislation
10:08PM ( 1 hour ago )