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The 'Original Nine' of women's tennis made history — and a dollar each — 50 years ago

Sports / Tennis /

Fifty years ago on Wednesday, holding a dollar bill and wearing smiles illuminated by more hope than certainty, nine women changed the course of professional sports.

Stymied by a system that relegated them to back courts and meager paydays while favoring their male counterparts, eight female tennis players joined influential World Tennis ...Read more

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Dominic Thiem rallies to defeat Sascha Zverev for U.S. Open title

Sports / Tennis /

Dominic Thiem of Austria, three times a loser in Grand Slam singles finals, ended his drought by overcoming a terrible start and defeating Sascha Zverev of Germany 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) on Sunday in the U.S. Open men's final. It was the first time the U.S. Open men's title had been decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker.

Before Thiem's ...Read more

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Naomi Osaka wins second U.S. Open title and likes view at the top

Sports / Tennis /

Naomi Osaka chose a spot and carefully lowered herself to the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium, settling onto her back to stare upward at nothing and everything.

Precautions dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic meant there were no fans to serenade her after she staged a stirring comeback to defeat Victoria Azarenka in the U.S. Open women's final, but ...Read more

Al Bello/Getty Images North America/TNS

Serena Williams' Grand Slam record quest goes back on hold after U.S. Open loss

Sports / Tennis /

Victoria Azarenka had been flattened by Serena Williams in the first set of their U.S. Open semifinal. There's no other word to describe it. Azarenka couldn't hold serve, couldn't dent Williams' formidable serve, and had little chance against Williams' walloped ground strokes.

Yet, when the circumstances were darkest, Azarenka found the light ...Read more

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Novak Djokovic urges fans not to harass, threaten US Open line judge he accidentally hit with ball

Sports / Tennis /

NEW YORK - Not only does Novak Djokovic have to deal with the shame of being disqualified from the US Open after accidentally hitting lineswoman Laura Clark with a ball, he has to quell angry fans from adding insult to injury, literally.

Clark, who was not at the Flushing Meadows site on Monday, received hundreds of hostile message after a ...Read more

Al Bello/Getty Images North America/TNS

With fans attending and coronavirus spiking, Serena Williams is uncertain about playing French Open

Sports / Tennis /

Serena Williams obviously felt comfortable enough to play at the U.S. Open with no fans. But with the French Open announcing its intention of hosting crowds for its tournament beginning this month, Williams, whose medical history has left her afraid of falling severely ill if infected with COVID-19, isn't sure if she'll compete in Paris.

"I'm ...Read more

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America/TNS

Filip Bondy: The only thing Novak Djokovic can't win is the love of the tennis world

Sports / Tennis /

NEW YORK - Novak Djokovic won again Friday night, which is a bit like reporting that Donald Trump has posted an insult on Twitter or that teenagers are partying without masks.

This is not news anymore. It's just background noise, a muffled rumble of thunder, at the U.S. Open. Djokovic's 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory in the third round over Jan-Lennard ...Read more

Al Bello/Getty Images North America/TNS

Filip Bondy: After a record-breaking win on her daughter's birthday, how far Serena Williams goes at US Open is anybody's guess

Sports / Tennis /

NEW YORK - Serena Williams is the greatest women's tennis player in the history of the sport. She's also a rusty, 38.9-year-old mother with a history of health problems, playing in the era of COVID-19 before empty stadiums. She's holed up in a private home not far from Flushing Meadows in a bubble of her own making. Her daughter, Olympia, turned...Read more

Al Bello/Getty Images North America/TNS

Stefan Bondy: COVID-era US Open is still the real thing, even without fans, line judges or anyone to bring players their towels

Sports / Tennis /

NEW YORK - I wasn't prepared for the sanitizer gun.

That's probably not the correct label for this contraption near the outdoor dining area, but it's an apt description. There's a foot pedal at the bottom, and a hand sanitizer bottle covered by metal. It felt logical, at first glance, that pressing the pedal would lift the metal top to uncover ...Read more

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Helene Elliott: Fit and confident Jennifer Brady continues ascent in tennis at US Open

Sports / Tennis /

Jennifer Brady knew that by reaching the final at the Top Seed Open in Kentucky last month her ranking would improve enough to secure her a spot among the 32 seeded women at this year's US Open. She also knew that her seeding in New York would get a nice bump after she won the Kentucky title, her first Women's Tennis Association singles ...Read more

Dylan Buell/Getty Images North America/TNS

Helene Elliott: No fans. Diminished fields. Can the oddest U.S. Open produce something special?

Sports / Tennis /

Celebrating his triumph in the final of the Western & Southern Open, held at the site of the U.S. Open as a pandemic-defying rehearsal for the larger Grand Slam event, Novak Djokovic turned toward each side of the court at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Saturday and saluted a crowd that wasn't there.

That eerie silence will prevail again when the ...Read more

Filip Bondy: No booing. No Buzz. A US Open like no other set to get underway.

Sports / Tennis /

NEW YORK - My streak is about to end. It is longer than DiMaggio's, shorter than Ripken's, just a few shy of Feliciano Lopez's (you can look that one up).

I have been to 63 or 64 straight US Open/National Championship tennis tournaments, as a spectator or reporter. This year, though, there will be no paying fans admitted at the Billie Jean King...Read more

Kelly Defina/Getty Images North America/TNS

Helene Elliott: Naomi Osaka stood tall, and alone, in protest following Jacob Blake shooting

Sports / Tennis /

The Milwaukee Bucks stood together after they refused to take the court for a playoff game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, finding strength in numbers as they repeated fervent pleas for racial justice.

After the Dodgers decided they couldn't be silent about the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis., outfielder Mookie Betts,...Read more

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Helene Elliott: Taylor Fritz hoping to make a big leap in abbreviated 2020 tennis season

Sports / Tennis /

LOS ANGELES - Taylor Fritz has been on the verge of tennis stardom for so long it's difficult to remember he's only 22 and still refining his game.

Fritz has been on the rise since 2015, when he reached the French Open junior final and won the U.S. Open junior title at 17. He affirmed his promise a year later by reaching the final of the 2016 ...Read more

Brady wins first title in Kentucky: 'Everything I've imagined is definitely a reality'

Sports / Tennis /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As a freshman at UCLA in 2014, Jennifer Brady led the Bruins to the NCAA team tennis championship. Six years later, the 25-year-old from Pennsylvania has a championship all to herself.

Utilizing the same power game that helped her dominate rising star Coco Gauff in the semifinals, Brady knocked off Switzerland's Jil Teichmann ...Read more

Jennifer Brady bounces teen phenom Coco Gauff at Top Seed Open to reach her first WTA finals

Sports / Tennis /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A rising star has kicked down a new door in the Top Seed Open at Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville.

Jennifer Brady knocked off teen phenom Cori "Coco" Gauff 6-2, 6-4, in the semifinals of the $225,000 Women's Tennis Association tournament on Saturday to earn her first career trip to a WTA finals.

"Obviously, reaching a ...Read more

Serena Williams suffers stunning upset in Top Seed Open quarterfinals

Sports / Tennis /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A day after pulling out a hard-fought victory over her older sister, Serena Williams again found herself embroiled in a bruising battle. This time, she didn't survive the fight.

Shelby Rogers, a 27-year-old American who is No. 116 in the world in the Women's Tennis Association rankings, pulled off a stunning upset, winning a ...Read more

'High-quality match.' Younger sister prevails in Williams rivalry at Top Seed Open.

Sports / Tennis /

In sports, it's not unusual for hyped-up individual matchups to disappoint -- just ask anyone who's blown hard-earned money on a subpar pay-per-view event.

But that certainly was not the case in central Kentucky on Thursday.

In a highly anticipated contest under highly unusual circumstances, two of the most iconic figures in the history of ...Read more

'Here we go:' Venus and Serena Williams set for showdown in Top Seed Open

Sports / Tennis /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Two superstars who've spent years taking the concept of sibling rivalry to a whole new level are set for a showdown in central Kentucky.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams will face off in the marquee matchup of the second round in the Top Seed Open at Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville on Thursday. It will mark the 31st ...Read more

Teenage tennis phenom Coco Gauff proving to be a rising star on and off the court

Sports / Tennis /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The official WTA bio for Coco Gauff includes some of your normal teenage traits.

Gauff, it reads, enjoys hanging out with her family, watching superhero movies and making TikTok videos. "Doesn't have any pets," the bio continues, "but has been trying to convince her mom to get a dog."

Typical 16-year-old stuff, right?

Well, ...Read more