Nadal, Barty advance in straight sets at Australia Open
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his first round match against Serbia's Laslo Djere at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Daniil Medvedev extended his winning streak to 15 matches with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over Vasek Pospisil and seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. 9 Matteo Berrettini defeated Kevin Anderson, a two-time finalist at majors, 7-6 (9), 7-5, 6-3. Barty lost to Sofia Kenin in the Australian Open semifinals last year and then skipped the U.S. Open and her title defense at the French Open because she stayed in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. AdTwo-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren also went through the hard lockdown.
Osaka to play in NY after calling attention to injustice
FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, Naomi Osaka, of Japan, returns a shot to Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, during the quarterfinals at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)NEW YORK Naomi Osaka will play in the Western & Southern Open semifinals, after all. As you know, I pulled out of the tournament yesterday in support of racial injustice and continued police violence. Osaka tweeted Wednesday that, as a Black woman, I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis. The Western & Southern Open is usually held in Ohio but was moved to the New York site of the U.S. Open this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
Djokovic's neck better, as is his play; now 20-0 in 2020
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot from Tennys Sandgren during the third round at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK Novak Djokovics neck felt much better, and his tennis looked much better, in a 6-2, 6-4 victory over unseeded American Tennys Sandgren at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday that improved the No. The Western & Southern Open is usually held in Ohio but was moved to the U.S. Opens site in Flushing Meadows this year to make for a two-event, no-spectator bubble amid the pandemic. He has won five of the past seven Grand Slam tournaments, including at the Australian Open in February. Womens quarterfinal matchups set earlier in the day were two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka against Anett Kontaveit, former No.
Palermo sets example for the return of tour-level tennis
A view of the central court during Palermo Ladies Open tennis tournament in Palermo, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Tour-level tennis resumed after a five-month enforced break and players at the Palermo Ladies Open had to handle their own towels and not shake hands of opponents. (Palermo Ladies Open via AP)ROME The only player who tested positive for the coronavirus was withdrawn from the tournament without ever setting foot at the venue. Local organizers and the WTA Tour have been vigilant about abiding by strict health protocols in order to hold this weeks Palermo Ladies Open, the first tour-level tennis tournament for men or women in five months. A large part of the players are coming from Palermo, Palma said.