Rafael Nadal wins opening match; Naomi Osaka also advances
Rafael Nadal began fine-tuning his quest for a 21st Grand Slam singles title with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Ricardas Berankis on Thursday in a warm-up tournament ahead of the Australian Open. Nadal, recovering from the coronavirus, showed no signs of sluggishness on Rod Laver Arena, although he was broken early in the second set and again when he served for the match. Honestly, I have been going through some difficult, challenging moments the past year-and-a-half,” Nadal said, “but in general terms I am super happy to be back in competition.news.yahoo.com
Everyman's everyman, who faced Federer at Wimbledon, retires
FILE - Marcus Willis, of Britain, celebrates after winning a point against Roger Federer of Switzerland during their men's singles match on day three of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, in this Wednesday, June 29, 2016, file photo. Willis, the Everymans everyman who was ranked 772nd when he faced Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2016, is ending his playing career and focusing on coaching tennis to try to show youngsters that anyone can live the dream. 1 are tied with Novak Djokovic for the most in ATP history (until Monday, when Djokovic will break the record). And just to get to that segment of qualifying matches, Willis needed to win three earlier matches in a special playoff set up for low-ranked British players. A year later, Willis was beaten in the third round of Wimbledon qualifying and never made it back in singles.
Does Djokovic's next foe have hope? 'I was wondering that'
Serbia's Novak Djokovic serves against Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis in the second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)PARIS – At the mere mention of Novak Djokovic’s name, at the mere thought of sharing a court with a 17-time Grand Slam champion and the French Open’s No. He used these phrases: “really, really excited” and “really, really happy” and “really, really special.”Galan is, after all, ranked 153rd and never had won so much as one main-draw match at any major tournament until this week. Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champ, plays 87th-ranked Paula Badosa, who arrived in Paris with a 1-5 Grand Slam record. “Well,” came Galan’s reply, “I was wondering that, to be honest.”And then he launched into a story about how he was “really, really nervous” before playing former top 10-member David Goffin in the Davis Cup Finals last November.
The Latest: Earliest French Open exit for Stephens since '11
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS – The Latest from the French Open (all times local):____6:10 p.m.Former runner-up Sloane Stephens lost in the second round for her earliest exit at Roland Garros since a first-round defeat on her debut in 2011. ___4:15 p.m.Novak Djokovic's biggest concern seemed to be dealing with a rare bit of sunshine during his second-round victory at Roland Garros. ___2:30 p.m.Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin reached the third round at Roland Garros by beating Ana Bogdan 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. ____1:10 p.m.Danish teen Clara Tauson's surprise run is over after losing to American player Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-3 in the second round. Pliskova's twin sister, Kristyna, was also playing a former French Open champion when she faced 2016 winner Garbiñe Muguruza.
Osaka withdraws in protest; W&S put on hold Thursday
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, leaves the court after winning her match with Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, during the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in New York. Soon after, the whole tournament was put on hold for a day. Osaka tweeted that as a Black woman, she feels compelled to pull out of the tournament to put a focus on police shooting Black people. "Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach. I have to be patient, to try to enjoy every single match I play here after six months without competing.
Pain in the neck: Djokovic gets by in 1st post-hiatus match
A trainer works on the neck of Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during his match with Ricardas Berankis, of Lithuania, during the second round at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in New York. 1-ranked Djokovic was playing his first ATP match in six months because of the coronavirus pandemic; he pulled out of the doubles event Sunday because of his neck. That major championship's site in Flushing Meadows is hosting the Ohio-based Western & Southern Open, too, as part of an unusual doubleheader with no spectators. Like Djokovic, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka emerged with difficult wins, while two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova, the No. Djokovic now meets American Tennys Sandgren, a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (5) winner over No.