NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):
Stefanos Tsitsipas has lost in the first round for the second straight major tournament, not long after a tirade against the chair umpire he called a ”weirdo.”
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 called him a ”weirdo.”
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.
More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports