clearn.png
Saturday September 25th, 2021 12:13AM

Serena Williams tops Halep at Australian Open; Osaka next

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — As well as she played at the start of her Australian Open quarterfinal, Serena Williams suddenly was struggling early in the second set.

After one mistake against No. 2 seed Simona Halep — who won the last time they played each other — Williams pointed at her racket strings and made a sour face, as if to make clear it wasn’t truly her own fault. After another, Williams looked up at her guest box with palms up and asked, “What is happening?”

That dismay did not last long. Williams claimed the last five games and beat Halep 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday to return to the final four at Melbourne Park for the first time since she won the tournament in 2017.

Seeking a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title, Williams set up a showdown against No. 3 Naomi Osaka, who will carry a 19-match winning streak into Thursday’s semifinals.

“She’s Serena,” Osaka said. “I feel really intimidated when I see her on the other side of the court.”

This will be their fourth career matchup — all on hard courts — and Osaka leads 2-1, the most memorable encounter, of course, coming in the final of the 2018 U.S. Open.

Williams got into an argument with the chair umpire after her coach was caught trying to relay a signal — that’s not allowed in Grand Slam play — and wound up being docked a game. Osaka’s victory, which earned her first major title, closed with thousands of fans filling Arthur Ashe Stadium with boos and both of the athletes were in tears during the trophy ceremony.

There were no spectators Tuesday in Rod Laver Arena, because they’ve been banned from the tournament during a five-day government lockdown in response to a local rise in COVID-19 cases (the applause and other crowd noise TV viewers are hearing is being added to the broadcast feed and isn’t actually happening in the stadium).

That loss to Osaka in Flushing Meadows is part of an 0-4 record for Williams in Grand Slam finals since her last championship. Another one of those defeats came against Halep at Wimbledon in 2019.

In the men’s quarterfinals in Melbourne, 114th-ranked qualifier Aslan Karatsev of Russia became the first man in the professional era to get to the semifinals in his first Grand Slam appearance, defeating No. 18 seed Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

Karatsev next faces the winner of Tuesday’s quarterfinal between eight-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic and No. 5 Alexander Zverev.

In the first women’s quarterfinal, Osaka overpowered 71st-ranked Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan 6-2, 6-2, helped by serves that reached 122 mph (196 kph). She delivered seven aces, claimed 23 of 25 first-serve points and wound up with 24 total winners to just 14 unforced errors.

___

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.
The Latest: Court orders Dutch govt to end virus curfew
A Dutch court has ordered the government to end the curfew it imposed last month to rein in the spread of the coronavirus, saying the ruling coalition was not entitled to use emergency powers to enforce the restrictive measure
5:19AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Myanmar police file new charge against Aung San Suu Kyi
Police in Myanmar have filed a new charge against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, her lawyer said Tuesday, which may allow her to be held indefinitely without trial
5:14AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Alleged Central African Republic rebels plead not guilty
Two alleged leaders of a predominantly Christian rebel group in the Central African Republic have pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity as their trial opened at the International Criminal Court
5:06AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Draymond Green slams NBA over star players on trading block
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green sharply criticized the NBA on Monday night, saying players put on the trading block by teams are being treated unfairly
3:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
What a debut: Karatsev in Australian Open SF in 1st Slam
Aslan Karatsev has become the first man in the professional era to reach the semifinals in his Grand Slam debut by beating an injured Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
3:02AM ( 2 hours ago )
Alleged rebels from Central African Republic face ICC trial
The former head of the Central African Republic’s soccer federation and an alleged rebel commander known as Rambo are going on trial at the International Criminal Court charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity
2:53AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Daughter of Bills, Sabres owners into all-US QF in Australia
Jessica Pegula has reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open by earning her first victory over an opponent ranked in the Top 10
11:18AM ( 18 hours ago )
Daughter of Bills, Sabres owners into 1st Slam quarterfinal
Jessica Pegula has reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open by earning her first victory over an opponent ranked in the Top 10
10:52PM ( 1 day ago )
Injured Djokovic advances to quarters at Australian Open
Novak Djokovic says wouldn't be playing this week if there wasn't a Grand Slam title on the line
10:27AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Tennis
The Latest: Serena Williams in Australian Open quarterfinals
Serena Williams has returned to the Australian Open quarterfinals by getting past No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka in three sets
11:48PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Serena Williams into 3rd set at Australian Open
Serena Williams has been pushed to a third set by No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka at the Australian Open with a quarterfinal berth on the line
11:06PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Osaka tops Muguruza to reach Australian Open QFs
Naomi Osaka has fought off two match points and come back to eliminate Garbiñe Muguruza in a big-hitting fourth-round matchup of Grand Slam champions at the Australian Open
9:14PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's Tennis
Point from defeat, Osaka edges Muguruza at Australian Open
Naomi Osaka has saved two match points and come back to eliminate Garbiñe Muguruza to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals
9:53PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Medvedev wins a 5-setter, advances in Australia
Daniil Medvedev achieved a career first as he advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open: He finally won a match that went to five sets
12:58AM ( 3 days ago )
Daughter of NFL, NHL owners advances at Australia Open
Unseeded American Jessica Pegula has reached the fourth round at the Australian Open by drubbing Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-1
12:10AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Women's Tennis
The Latest: Court orders Dutch govt to end virus curfew
A Dutch court has ordered the government to end the curfew it imposed last month to rein in the spread of the coronavirus, saying the ruling coalition was not entitled to use emergency powers to enforce the restrictive measure
5:19AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Myanmar police file new charge against Aung San Suu Kyi
Police in Myanmar have filed a new charge against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, her lawyer said Tuesday, which may allow her to be held indefinitely without trial
5:14AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Alleged Central African Republic rebels plead not guilty
Two alleged leaders of a predominantly Christian rebel group in the Central African Republic have pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity as their trial opened at the International Criminal Court
5:06AM ( 28 minutes ago )
As the virus crisis drags on, hard-hit French youth struggle
The long lines of young people waiting for food aid that stretch through Paris neighborhoods several times a week are a dramatic symbol of the toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on France’s youth
4:44AM ( 50 minutes ago )
South Africa's health care workers eager for first vaccines
Health care workers at the Ndlovu Care Group in rural South Africa are among those eagerly awaiting the first jabs of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is being rolled out to them starting this week
3:57AM ( 1 hour ago )