Novak Djokovic knows it isn't model behavior when he loses his cool on the tennis court. Exactly two weeks after he was defaulted from the U.S. Open, and a day after he was warned by the chair umpire for breaking his racket in a fit of rage, Djokovic received an obscenity warning midway through a 7-5, 6-3 win over Casper Ruud in the Italian Open semifinals Sunday. The obscenity came in the third game of the second set, by which time Djokovic had a running dialogue with the chair umpire over a series of contested calls.
Novak Djokovic was made to work hard by Casper Ruud in blustery conditions before the world number one got past the unseeded Norwegian 7-5 6-3 on Sunday to reach the Italian Open final. The Serbian had to save two set points in the first set before finding his groove to reach his 10th title clash in Rome and remain on course to win his 36th ATP Masters 1000 crown and overtake Rafa Nadal on the all-time list. Defending Rome champion Nadal crashed out of the tournament in the quarter-finals on Saturday after a straight-sets defeat by Diego Schwartzman.
Top seed Simona Halep overcame Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 6-3 4-6 6-4 on Sunday to reach the Italian Open final and stay on course for her third straight WTA title. Romanian Halep, who skipped the U.S. Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, won the Dubai title before the Tour was suspended and lifted the Prague crown on its resumption. The 2018 Roland Garros champion cruised through the opening set against Muguruza and was on course for an easy win but Muguruza, who took a medical timeout for a back issue, battled back from 2-4 down to win the second set and force a decider.
Chasing her first title in Rome, top-seeded Simona Halep reached her third Italian Open final after beating Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 Sunday to improve her record in tennis' restart to 9-0.
"Well, let me tell you it's not the first nor the last racket that I'll break in my career," Djokovic, 33, told reporters. The Serb was disqualified from the U.S. Open after inadvertently hitting a ball into a line judge's throat during his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta. Djokovic, who apologised at the time and vowed to take away valuable lessons from the incident, reiterated that he was working on his "mental and emotional health" to try and help keep a lid on his emotions.
Rafael Nadal warned he knew how to fix his errors before his French Open title defence after crashing in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters on Saturday, the final warm-up before Roland Garros.
The nine-times Rome champion, who had won all nine previous meetings against Schwartzman, struggled with his serve throughout the match and made a series of uncharacteristic unforced errors that proved to be his undoing. The Italian Open was the Spaniard's first tournament in over seven months and while he cruised through the previous two rounds, his rustiness showed from the outset against the 15th-ranked Schwartzman. Nadal committed 30 unforced errors to Schwartzman's 17 and had his serve broken five times.
World number one Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal welcomed the decision to allow a limited number of fans to watch the Italian Open as the top men's seeds advanced to the quarter-finals on Friday.
After Friday's straight-sets loss to Garbine Muguruza in Rome, Johanna Konta confirmed that she is no longer working with Thomas Hogstedt, the coach who accompanied her during her recent appearances in New York. In her post-match video conference, Konta told reporters that her collaboration with Hogstedt had only been for a trial period of three weeks. As such, she did not consider him to be an official coach appointment to place alongside the five main coaches she has worked with since 2016. “It wasn’t something that worked for me really or for either of us,” said Konta of Hogstedt, who has previously coached four major champions in Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep. “Things have to match up. You have to be able to bring the best out of each other, and we didn’t feel that it was gonna be a good fit.” Konta bridled at the suggestion that she is a serial sacker of coaches, explaining that the recent departure of Dimitri Zavialoff – the softly spoken Swiss who helped introduce some new variety to her game last season – had not been her choice. “I don’t think I change coaches often,” she said. “I worked with Dimitri for a year and a half, and actually I didn’t want that to end. That ended because of personal circumstances. Since then I have continued to work with [assistant coach] Dan Smethurst, so there is a lot of continuation there. I met with Thomas for three weeks. I didn’t hire him as a coach. I was getting to know him.” The news will not surprise Laura Robson, the former British No 1, who last month used her role as an Amazon Prime pundit to cast scepticism on the Konta-Hogstedt partnership. “Hogstedt seems like a very weird choice for me to pair with Johanna because they are so individual and so dead set on whatever they think is best,” said Robson. "He is known to be quite difficult to work with, to the point where I remember Sharapova would not go for dinner with him. I think they [Konta and Hogstedt] might have a couple of long weeks inside the bubble.” In Rome this time, Konta was accompanied only by long-time fitness trainer Gill Myburgh. She beat Irina-Camelia Begu convincingly in her opening match before going down to Muguruza on Friday by a 6-4, 6-1 scoreline. Now she will return home for a few days before travelling to Paris for the upcoming French Open, the tournament where she reached the semi-finals last year. “I think I have every chance of doing well [in Paris],” said Konta on Friday. “I showed I was playing some good tennis here, which I would like to build on. But there are 128 girls in the draw who have every opportunity to do well.” The new US Open champion Naomi Osaka will not be among that field. Osaka withdrew from the French Open on Friday, citing lingering soreness in the left hamstring that she kept heavily strapped up for most of her matches in New York.
With the match evenly poised at 6-6 in the opening set, Kasatkina rolled her right ankle while chasing a ball in the tiebreak, with Azarenka immediately rushing to her side to offer assistance. Never think it's over.
The successful staging of the US Open Grand Slam proves that next year's Olympics and Paralympics can be held safely despite the coronavirus pandemic, wheelchair tennis champion Shingo Kunieda said on Friday.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka of Japan has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury. Osaka made the announcement on Twitter Thursday, thanking fans for their support. The 22-year-old had her left hamstring taped when she defeated Victoria Azarenka last Saturday in the U.S. Open final in New York -- fighting her way to her third Grand Slam title. On Twitter Osaka said quote: "My hamstring is still sore so I won't have time to prepare for the clay - these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time." The hamstring issue had prompted her to withdraw from the final of the Western & Southern Open in the run-up to the U.S. Open -- but did not appear to hamper her in New York. Osaka made headlines at the U.S. Open not only for her performances on court, but also for her demonstrated commitment to social justice causes. For each of her matches she wore a different mask bearing the name of a Black American, aiming to highlight racial injustice in the United States to a wider audience. The French Open will be held from September 27 to October 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot due to the global health crisis. The French Tennis Federation announced Thursday they would be further limiting the number of spectators allowed at the tournament. Osaka's withdrawal comes after another blow to the tournament after world number one Ash Barty of Australia said she would not be defending her title due to concerns over the global health crisis. Osaka's absence would also improve American Serena Williams's chances of winning a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title if she chooses to play. The 38-year-old has also been battling back an injury.
U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the French Open because of an injured left hamstring. Osaka joins defending champion Ash Barty in skipping the French Open, which opens on Sept. 27 in Paris. In another blow to the clay Grand Slam, tournament organizers announced a further reduction in crowd sizes, because of France's worsening coronavirus epidemic.
Reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the French Open after suffering a hamstring injury. The Japanese player won her second New York major on the weekend and had been scheduled to appear at the tournament beginning on September 27 in Paris. In a statement posted to Twitter, the 22-year-old said: ""I won't be able to play at the French Open. My hamstring is still sore so I won't have enough time to prepare for the clay. These two tournaments came too close to each other for me." The world number three's left hamstring was wrapped in tape when she beat Victoria Azarenka in the final in New York. The announcement came just hours after the French Tennis Federation reduced the number of fans that will be allowed to attend the French Open due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country. The FFT announced earlier this month that 11,500 spectators a day would be admitted under strict conditions, but that has now been reduced to 5,000 as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise. Conditions for the players are even more stringent than at Flushing Meadows, where there were no spectators. They must stay in one of two tournament hotels - players in New York had the choice of staying in private accommodation - while they will only be allowed on site at Roland Garros on the days when they are playing matches.
The 18-year-old Italian also defeated three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, a former world number three, in two sets on Tuesday in only his second Tour level match. Musetti proved it was no flash in the pan when he comfortably defeated former world number four and 2014 U.S. Open finalist Nishikori 6-3 6-4 to move into the last 16 of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome. "I always used to be a warrior, a fighter, but I had a lot of ups and downs during the past year," said Musetti, who won the Australian Open in 2019 as a junior before turning professional the same year.
Freshly crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of the French Open with a sore hamstring on Thursday, in a fresh blow to the coronavirus-hit Grand Slam which is already missing world number one Ashleigh Barty.
Golfweek's David Dusek discusses the first round of play at the U.S. Open from Winged Foot Golf Club.
Naomi Osaka, who won the U.S. Open on Sept. 12, won't be competing at Roland Garros later this month because of hamstring injury, quick turnaround.