The Latest: Kyrgios calls ATP “corrupt” for $100K fine
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):
Nick Kyrgios says the ATP is “corrupt” for fining him more than $100,000 this month for his behavior during a match.
Asked if that recent punishment from the men’s tour — only the latest in a long series that also included a suspension — affected him mentally coming into the U.S. Open, he replied: “Not at all. ATP’s pretty corrupt, anyway, so I’m not fussed about it at all.”
Kyrgios insulted a chair umpire and left the court to smash two rackets during a second-round loss at the Western & Southern Open this month.
The next day, the ATP listed a breakdown of eight fines ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 each, for violations such as unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and audible obscenity.
When a reporter asked a follow-up question about his use of the word “corrupt” following his straight-set victory over Steve Johnson that ended past 1 a.m. on Wednesday at Flushing Meadows, Kyrgios first referenced his fines totaling $113,000.
Then he added: “Why are we talking about something that happened three weeks ago, when I just chopped up someone (in the) first round of U.S. Open?”
Nick Kyrgios strutted into the second round, sweeping past Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-4.
It was nearly midnight when the last match of the day started but Kyrgios kept the crowd awake with his usual mixture of great tennis and bad language, including a warning in the second set for cursing after he was angered when a fan moved behind the baseline.
But minutes later he summoned some of his best tennis to prevent Johnson from getting into the match, seizing a 6-0 lead in the tiebreaker. He capped that run by sprinting to chase down a drop shot, then strutting near the net after winning the point.
Kyrgios has been at his best and worst lately. The No. 28 seed from Australia won the title in Washington to start the month but was then fined $113,000 for his antics in a loss of the second round of the Western & Southern Open.
Sloane Stephens says it’s “a little inappropriate” that Monica Puig complained to reporters about the coaching switch affecting both players.
Rio Olympics gold medalist Puig said she was bothered by the way she found out that Murray was leaving her to return to working with Stephens ahead of the U.S. Open.
Puig said she heard the news second-hand from someone other than Murray himself and via social media.
Asked about the situation after her first-round loss, Stephens said: “I don’t think that you should tell anything but the truth. I’ve seen some of the things that were said. I think that grownups do grownup things. We should leave it in the past and we should move on.”
Added Stephens: “If she has a problem, then she should approach me. It’s not like I don’t see her all the time. Yeah, to go to you guys and say everything that has been said, I think, is a little inappropriate.”
Sloane Stephens is out of the U.S. Open in the first round, just two years after she won the championship.
Stephens, an American seeded No. 11, was stunned 6-3, 6-4 by Anna Kalinskaya, a 20-year-old Russian who is ranked 127th and never before had won a main-draw match at any Grand Slam tournament.
Stephens recently reunited with Kamau Murray, who coached her to the 2017 title at Flushing Meadows.
Her biggest problem was that her shots wouldn’t go where she wanted: Stephens finished with 33 unforced errors, more than twice as many as Kalinskaya’s 15.
Kalinskaya had been 0-5 at majors, 0-4 against top-20 opponents and never had appeared in a night match at a Slam.
Second-seeded Rafael Nadal looked dominant in his first-round U.S. Open match, easily defeating Australian John Millman 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Nadal, who is undefeated in U.S. Open first rounds, may have had reason to worry about Millman, who upset Roger Federer last year in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. But the 60th-ranked Australian could not compete with Nadal from the baseline. The Spaniard capped his workmanlike victory with a clean forehand winner.
Next up for Nadal is another Australian, Thanasi Kokkinakis, a wild-card entry ranked 203rd.
Coco Gauff has come back from a set and a break down to win her U.S. Open debut at age 15 by beating Anastasia Potapova 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Gauff got a wild-card entry from the U.S. Tennis Association after making a surprising run to the fourth round at Wimbledon last month in the first Grand Slam tournament of her career.
The American fell behind 3-0 at the start against Potapova, an 18-year-old from Russia, then was broken to begin the second set and third before turning things around at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The players’ combined age of 33 made it the youngest matchup of the first round at Flushing Meadows.
Coco Gauff is into a third set in her U.S. Open debut.
Gauff, a 15-year-old from Florida who became a star after her surprising run to Wimbledon’s fourth round, has evened her match against 72nd-ranked Russian Anastasia Potapova at a set apiece. Potapova stormed out to a 5-1 lead before taking the first set 6-3 and then Gauff dominated the second set 6-2.
Gauff, a French Open junior champion and U.S. Open junior runner-up, received a wild card to gain entry into the main draw at Flushing Meadows.
Fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem is out at the U.S. Open.
The French Open finalist fell to 87th-ranked Italian Thomas Fabbiano 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, becoming the second young hopeful on the men’s side to go down in a matter of hours. Eighth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier fell to Russian Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 7-5.
Fabbiano is no stranger to such upsets, having stunned Tsitsipas at Wimbledon this year and Stan Wawrinka at Wimbledon last year. But Fabbiano has never advanced beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament.
Simona Halep has ended her two-match losing streak in the U.S. Open by beating Nicole Gibbs, an American who was sidelined by cancer earlier this year.
Halep won 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 on Louis Armstrong Stadium, where the previous year she had fallen to Kaia Kanepi. In 2017, she was beaten by Maria Sharapova in a night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
But the Wimbledon champion and No. 4 seed found her form in time to keep Gibbs winless on tour this season.
That’s mainly because she wasn’t able to play much after a form of cancer was found in her mouth during a trip to the dentist in the spring. She recently returned in an effort to qualify for the U.S. Open, losing in the final round of qualifying but getting into the main draw when another player withdrew.
Stefanos Tsitsipas has lost in the first round for the second straight major tournament, not long after a tirade against the chair umpire.
The Greek was beaten by Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 7-5.
Tsitsipas, the No. 8 seed, opened the Grand Slam season by beating Roger Federer en route to the Australian Open semifinals. But after a fourth-round run at the French Open, he lost in his first match at Wimbledon and then drew a tough opening opponent at Flushing Meadows in Rublev, a quarterfinalist here in 2017.
Tsitsipas battled cramps during the fourth set of the 3-hour, 54-minute match and was given a time violation for not returning to the court quickly enough during one changeover, when he argued with the chair umpire and said “you have something against me.” Added Tsitsipas: “You’re French probably. ... You’re all weirdos.”
Rublev was coming off a rout of Federer earlier this month in a U.S. Open tuneup tournament.
Naomi Osaka’s U.S. Open title defense is off to a shaky start.
Back in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where she beat Serena Williams in last year’s chaotic final, the No. 1-seeded Osaka trailed 3-0 at the outset against 84th-ranked Anna Blinkova, couldn’t close things out in the second set, then eventually came through for a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory in the first round.
Osaka wore a black sleeve over her left knee, which has been an issue lately for her. But it wasn’t so much her movement as her erratic strokes that presented problems for Osaka, who finished with 50 unforced errors, more than double that of Blinkova.
Osaka wasted a match point with a bad forehand while trying to serve it out at 6-5 in the second set, before gathering herself in the third.
Only two U.S. Open women’s champions have lost in the first round the following year during the professional era: It happened in 2017, when Angelique Kerber was beaten by none other than Osaka.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka has been pushed to a third set in her first-round match at the U.S. Open.
Osaka, making her return to Arthur Ashe Stadium a year after her tumultuous final victory over Serena Williams, battled from behind to take the first set from 84th-ranked Russian Anna Blinkova 6-4, but lost the second in a tiebreaker.
The 21-year-old from Japan, who pulled out of a tuneup tournament earlier this month because of pain in her left knee, wore an elastic sleeve over it during her match. And parts of her game were definitely off. She struggled early to get her first serve in and sprayed 43 unforced errors, more than double that of her opponent.
Sloane Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, and Madison Keys, the runner-up that year, are among five new members elected to the WTA Players’ Council.
They’re the two new top-20 representatives and join Donna Vekic, Aleksandra Krunic and Gabriela Dabrowski as additions to the council.
Their terms begin Sunday.
The eight-person board also includes Johanna Konta, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Kristie Ahn.
Venus Williams was not picked to continue on the council after being there “pretty much almost every year of my career,” she said.
Williams added: “I’m a player. I still have input on this tour.”
The chair umpire who officiated the historic Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer last month has been fired by the ATP for violating the tour’s policy on media interviews.
The ATP says chair umpire Damian Steiner did “multiple” interviews without seeking authorization first.
The tour added that what Steiner said violated rules that prevent tennis officials “from discussing specific incidents or matches, individual players, other officials, or rules, in the interest of maintaining impartiality at all times.”
The New York Times first reported that Steiner was fired.
Top-seeded Naomi Osaka has started the defense of her U.S. Open title, her first appearance in Arthur Ashe Stadium since a final victory last year overshadowed by Serena Williams’ ongoing argument with the chair umpire.
Osaka, who was forced to pull out during a tuneup event earlier this month with left knee pain, is wearing a black sleeve on that knee against 84th-ranked Russian Anna Blinkova.
Blinkova quickly won the first three games but Osaka pulled even at 4-all in the opening set.
Osaka, a 21-year-old from Japan, won this year’s Australian Open but lost in the third round at the French Open and was knocked out in the first round at Wimbledon. She must defend her title at Flushing Meadows to hold on to the No. 1 ranking.
The enduring image from Osaka’s last U.S. Open appearance was when she broke down in tears during the trophy ceremony in a mix of emotions.
Tennis’ future takes center stage on the second day of the U.S. Open.
The focus will be on youngsters seeking to wrest major titles from the game’s Big Three, the return of defending champion Naomi Osaka and the first main-draw appearance at Flushing Meadows for 15-year-old American Coco Gauff.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have combined to take 11 Grand Slam titles in a row, so the speculation is who can succeed them. Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios all will make their case Tuesday.
Nadal will be there too, with a night match against Australian John Millman, who stunned Federer last year in New York.
Gauff takes on Anastasia Potapova of Russia.
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