08/31 21:41 CDT Latest on US Open: 'I mean, he's Roger,' Williams says
Latest on US Open: 'I mean, he's Roger,' Williams says
NEW YORK (AP) --- The latest on the U.S. Open (all times local):
Successful as she is in her own right, even Serena Williams relishes a chance
to get an up-close look at Roger Federer on a tennis court.
When they practice near each other, Williams --- owner of 21 Grand Slam singles
titles --- takes a peek at what Federer --- owner of 17 --- is doing.
"I'm always looking over: 'What is he doing?' Giving him the side eye. 'OK,
maybe I should do that. I should do that. Oh, he's taking a break now,'"
Williams said after moving into the second round of the U.S. Open on Monday
"It's super distracting," Williams added. "I totally look at him. I mean, he's
Federer plays his first-round match at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.
A back injury forced 16th-seeded Gael Monfils to stop playing his first-round
match against Illya Marchenko while trailing 2-6, 6-4, 5-0, 30-0.
Monfils fell onto his back early in the second set.
"I couldn't play, couldn't move, couldn't do anything," said Monfils, twice a
quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open and a crowd favorite at Flushing Meadows.
He has bothered by his back throughout the summer. He lost in the second round
at Montreal and the first round at Cincinnati earlier this month.
Serena Williams began her bid to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam by moving
into the second round of the U.S. Open when her opponent, 86th-ranked Vitalia
Diatchenko of Russia, stopped playing because of an injury with the American
ahead 6-0, 2-0.
The match lasted only 27 minutes. Williams won 32 of the 37 points they played.
Diatchenko was visited by a trainer during the first set and got her left foot
and ankle taped.
Next for Williams is a match against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.
Williams is trying to become the first player to win all four Grand Slam
tournaments in a season since Steffi Graf in 1988.
CoCo Vandeweghe beat fellow American Sloane Stephens in straight sets in the
first round of the U.S. Open --- and stopped to talk about it in the middle.
The 45th-ranked Vandeweghe won 6-4, 6-3 to follow up her breakthrough run to
the Wimbledon quarterfinals, where she pushed Maria Sharapova to three sets.
After winning the first set Monday, Vandeweghe agreed to do an interview with
ESPN, an unusual move that had other players chirping on Twitter.
"Did I just see Coco do an interview on court, mid match, after the first
set??" Caroline Wozniacki tweeted. "Surely you would wanna focus on the game
out there? No?"
Vandeweghe kept her focus and said in an on-court interview after that match:
"In general, I'm a sports fan. For anybody to have an insight into an athlete's
mind is a positive."
For the 29th-seeded Stephens, it was her third first-round exit in her past six
Grand Slam tournaments, after she reached at least the fourth round in six
straight before that.
Vandeweghe next faces another American, 101st-ranked Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The
winner of their match could meet Serena Williams in the third round.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic needed just 71 minutes to win his first-round match
at the U.S. Open.
Djokovic dropped only three games in beating 91st-ranked Joao Souza of Brazil
6-1, 6-1, 6-1 on Monday. He didn't face a single break point.
Marin Cilic started the defense of his U.S. Open title with a straight-set
Cilic beat 94th-ranked qualifier Guido Pella 6-3, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3) on Monday,
looking comfortable with his status as the reigning champ. Cilic was the
surprise winner last year for his first major title.
He hasn't quite been able to find that same form since, hindered by injuries,
and is seeded ninth. He was the first reigning U.S. Open men's champ since 2001
to not begin his title defense at Arthur Ashe Stadium, playing at Louis
In the previous match on the court, the man Cilic beat in last year's final,
fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori, lost, opening up Cilic's quarter of the bracket
for another potential long run.
Venus Williams won a tough three-set match on a hot day, bouncing back after
failing to close out the win in the second.
The 35-year-old Williams, the oldest woman in the field, has never lost in the
first round of the U.S. Open. The seven-time major champ beat 85th-ranked
Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-3 on Monday to improve to 17-0 in
her openers in New York.
Williams had a chance to serve out the second set, then wasted four match
points in the tiebreaker. Undaunted, she promptly broke Puig's serve to open
the third and stayed ahead from there to win in 2 hours, 40 minutes.
The 21-year-old Puig reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2013, but has now
lost in the first round at her past three major tournaments.
The first day of the U.S. Open isn't over, and Serena Williams' potentially
toughest semifinal opponents are already almost all gone.
The quarter of the draw that was supposed to feature third-ranked Maria
Sharapova is running out of seeded players fast. A day after Sharapova withdrew
because of a lingering right leg injury, four of the seven remaining seeds in
the quarter lost early Monday: No. 7 Ana Ivanovic, No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro,
No. 21 Jelena Jankovic and No. 30 Svetlana Kuznetsova. Only No. 13 Ekaterina
Makarova and No. 17 Elina Svitolina had won, with No. 25 Eugenie Bouchard yet
A year after reaching his first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open, Japan's Kei
Nishikori was eliminated a few hours into the tournament.
The fourth-seeded Nishikori lost in five sets to 41st-ranked Benoit Paire on
Monday. The Frenchman saved two match points in the fourth-set tiebreaker and
went on to a 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory.
Nishikori withdrew from the hard-court warmup at Cincinnati because of a hip
injury but said Saturday he was fine physically. On Monday, though, he looked
sluggish late in the match.
Paire had never before defeated an opponent ranked in the top five.
Last year at Flushing Meadows, Nishikori became the first man from Asia to
reach a Grand Slam final, where he lost to Marin Cilic.
Mardy Fish won't be retiring just yet.
The former top-10 player will stick around at the U.S. Open for at least a
couple of more days after winning his first-round match at what he says will be
his final tournament.
Fish got a favorable draw against 102nd-ranked Marco Cecchinato of Italy, who
was making his Grand Slam debut and is now 0-7 in tour-level matches.
Fish, whose has struggled with anxiety disorder, decided to wrap up his career
at the U.S. Open to try to make some new memories at his home Grand Slam
In 2012, Fish had to withdraw before his fourth-round match against Roger
Federer because of a panic attack. He hadn't played at Flushing Meadows since.
"I'm glad I got to come back here one more time," the 33-year-old Fish said in
an on-court interview after his 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win Monday.
The American showed some nerves trying to serve out the first set, but
otherwise Cecchinato looked overmatched. Fish requested to play on the
Grandstand, the tournament's third-largest court, where the fans can sit close
and get loud.
He was cramping at the end of the nearly 3-hour match and said afterward it had
probably been a couple of years since he had been on court that long. But he
closed it out in style with an ace before Cecchinato could make things
Just over two hours into the U.S. Open, two of the top seven women are already
Seventh-seeded Ana Ivanovic lost her first-round match Monday, but it wasn't
much of an upset. She had a tough draw against Dominika Cibulkova, a former
top-10 player and Australian Open runner-up whose ranking had fallen to 50th
because of injury.
Cibulkova won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the tournament's first match at Arthur Ashe
Stadium. She had undergone surgery on her left Achilles in February and missed
more than four months.
Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champ and a former No. 1 player, was one of the
few women in the field who have defeated Serena Williams in a Grand Slam match,
beating her at the 2014 Australian Open. Cibulkova went on to reach the final
at that tournament, losing to Li Na.
Cibulkova was the seeded player being upset in the first round of the past two
U.S. Opens, including a loss to 15-year-old American CiCi Bellis a year ago.
Third-seeded Maria Sharapova withdrew from the U.S. Open on Sunday because of a
lingering right leg injury.
The Buffalo Bills and Sabres would love some big wins like this once their
Jessica Pegula, the daughter of the owners of those pro sports franchises, won
in her Grand Slam debut Monday, upsetting French Open quarterfinalist Alison
Van Uytvanck in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3.
The 21-year-old Pegula is ranked 260th and had to advance through qualifying to
make the field. She clinched her spot in the main draw by beating Melanie
Oudin, the darling of the 2009 U.S. Open as a 17-year-old quarterfinalist.
Van Uytvanck, also 21, is ranked 55th but is now 1-5 in tour-level matches
since her run at Roland Garros.