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Kerber wins US Open

New York — Early in what would become a tight test of a US Open final, Angelique Kerber sprinted forward to somehow reach a drop shot and scoop a down-the-line winner that landed in a corner of the court. The Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd roared, and Kerber celebrated by raising her right hand and wagging her index finger in the air, as if to remind opponent Karolina Pliskova — and everyone else — “I'm No. 1!” Yes, she is. And a two-time Grand Slam champion, too. Kerber won her first US Open title and the second major trophy of an out-of-nowhere breakthrough season, taking five of the last six games to beat a fading Pliskova, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, on Saturday. “It means a lot to me. When I was a kid, I was always …

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Djokovic, Wawrinka dispute title

New York – Novak Djokovic’s strange US Open path took another odd turn Friday as the defending champion defied stultifying humidity and the controversial tactics of Gael Monfils to book a title showdown with Stan Wawrinka. World number one and defending champion Djokovic prevailed 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in a bizarre semi-final that saw 10th-seeded Monfils roundly booed and accused of not trying. Third-seeded Wawrinka withstood an early onslaught from sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, asserting himself in the later stages to claim a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 victory. Although Djokovic holds a 19-4 record over Wawrinka, including two victories since the Swiss player shocked him the French Open final last year, Wawrinka welcomed the chance to take him on again. ‘’To play Novak again it will be very special,’’ he said. Djokovic admitted he …

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Murray loses to Nishikori

New York — Andy Murray lost his way, seven consecutive games and, eventually, his riveting five-set U.S. Open quarterfinal against Kei Nishikori after a loud noise from a malfunctioning sound system interrupted a key point, resulting in a do-over. Whether or not the gong-like sound, and chair umpire Marija Cicak’s let ruling, was the reason that Nishikori wound up coming back to win 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 on Wednesday, it surely will be what’s most remembered about the back-and-forth, 4-hour match. After all, Murray’s extended discussions with Cicak and another official about the unusual episode came during a stretch in which he dropped 12 of 14 points. He went from a lead of two sets to one, plus a break point at 1-all, to ceding the fourth set and trailing 2-0 in …

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Djokovic gets another free pass

New York — Normally, it takes wins in five full matches to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. Novak Djokovic has made it that far at the US Open by playing only two, because three opponents pulled out of the tournament with injuries. Djokovic, the No. 1 seed and defending champion, once again needed to put in very little work, advancing to the final four at Flushing Meadows for the 10th consecutive year when No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stopped because of a hurt left knee Tuesday night. The first two sets of their quarterfinal went Djokovic's way, 6-3, 6-2. At the ensuing changeover, Tsonga was visited by a trainer and had his left leg taped below the knee. They played one point to begin the third set: Tsonga double-faulted, then retired from the …

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Serena gets win No. 308; Radwanska falls

New York — Venus Williams went from down and out to a point from victory, then back again. In the end, she couldn't quite get past a woman a dozen years younger and never before at this stage of a Grand Slam tournament. Williams failed to convert a match point and lost 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Monday, despite vociferous support from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd down the stretch. “I really played the perfect point there,” the sixth-seeded Williams said about her chance to end things while up 5-4 in the third set, and Pliskova serving at 30-40, “and she managed to stay alive.” At 36, Williams would have been the oldest woman to reach the …

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Nadal unable to handle adversity, falls in upset

New York – Rafael Nadal kept making a stand, kept coming back, kept showing he would not depart quietly from this U.S. Open. Facing a much younger, much-less-accomplished opponent, Nadal twice erased a set deficit. Then he staved off a trio of match points. And then, more than 4 hours into the toughest test he's put his left wrist through since returning from injury, Nadal faltered. He missed a short forehand, pushing it into the net. Nadal knew what he'd done and covered his eyes with both hands. One point later, the match was over. Nadal was upset in the U.S. Open's fourth round by 24th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6) on Sunday, prolonging the 14-time Grand Slam title winner's quarterfinal drought at major tournaments. “There were things …

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Serena makes another milestone

New York — Serena Williams sped past another milestone Saturday en route to the US Open fourth round as men's contenders Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka clawed their way into the last 16. World No. 1 Williams dominated Sweden's Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-1 to surpass Martina Navratilova for most Grand Slam wins by a woman with 307. Not only has she surpassed Navratilova, she matched Roger Federer's mark for men. “To be up there with both men and women is something that's super-rare, and it actually feels good,” said Williams, who said she was “really excited” to reach 307. “Obviously I want to keep that number going higher,” added Williams, who will get her chance when she takes on Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova for a quarter-final berth. In the one hour it took to subdue Larsson, …

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Djokovic, Nadal reach last 16

New York — Novak Djokovic reached the US Open last 16 in just 32 minutes Friday when Mikhail Youzhny retired injured before fellow two-time winner Rafael Nadal also made the fourth round for the first time in three years. Defending champion Djokovic was 4-2 ahead in the first set when Russian 34-year-old Youzhny called it quits suffering from a left hamstring injury. The outcome completed a bizarre first week for world number one Djokovic. After labouring over four sets to beat Jerzy Janowicz on Monday, he was handed a walkover into the third round when Czech opponent Jiri Vesely withdrew from their second round clash with an arm injury. “I have never had this happen before in my Grand Slam career, getting a walkover and the next match lasting just half an hour,’’ said …

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Bouchard exits but suit vs Open continues

New York – Eugenie Bouchard wrung her hands at her post-match news conference. She rubbed her lower lip. She squeezed her left arm. While her body language screamed discomfort Tuesday, when the main topic of discussion was Bouchard's ongoing lawsuit against the U.S. Open rather than her first-round loss, her words were measured. The once rising star answered every question. A year ago at Flushing Meadows, Bouchard got a concussion from a fall at the facility and withdrew before playing in the fourth round, and then missed most of the rest of the season. She filed suit against the U.S. Tennis Association in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn in October, and that case is still pending, putting the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up in the odd position of competing this week at an event …

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Karlovic bombs record 61 aces

New York – Ivo Karlovic hit 61 aces, the most in a US Open match, during his five-set victory in the first round. The 6-foot-11 Croatian broke the previous record of 49, established by Richard Krajicek in a 1999 quarterfinal loss. Karlovic, who is seeded 21st, beat Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-5 on Tuesday, holding in 28 of his 29 service games. Karlovic finished with 10 double-faults. He hit 22 aces in the second set alone – twice as many as Andy Murray produced in his entire three-set victory Tuesday night. The record for most aces in a match is 113, set by John Isner during the longest match in tennis history, his victory over Nicolas Mahut that ended 70-68 in the fifth set during Wimbledon's first round …

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