Howard Fendrich, Associated Press | Updated May 22 - 3:11 p.m.
Two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem's losing streak reached 10 matches with a first-round exit at Roland Garros as he works his way back from a torn tendon in his right wrist. Thiem bowed out 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 against Hugo Dellien. The Bolivian ranked 87th had a 2-7 career record in Grand Slam matches. Thiem won the 2020 U.S Open and was the runner-up at three other majors. Early exits also came for two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza and No. 6 seed Ons Jabeur. Muguruza won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.
Howard Fendrich, Associated Press | Posted May 22 - 2:39 p.m.
The crowds at the French Open are back to their no-mask, no-distancing, full-capacity, pre-pandemic levels after two years of COVID-19 restrictions. This year's edition began Sunday and the spectators were back to being as much a part of the fabric of the event as the red clay that defines the Grand Slam tournament. In the stands, they cried "Allez!" and waved national flags of various colors and punctuated big points with rhythmic clapping. They took etiquette-breaching strolls through the stadium aisles during play. But they were there. And they were excited. And so were the players.
Casper Ruud retained his Geneva Open title by beating Joao Sousa 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-6 (1) in the final on Saturday. The three-hour match was the longest three-set final on the ATP Tour this season. The eighth-ranked Ruud's seventh career title on clay courts lifted his record in finals to 8-3 one day before the French Open starts in Paris. Ruud has never been beyond the third round at Roland Garros. The Norwegian has been drawn in the first round against French fans' favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who will retire after the tournament.
Former No. 1 Angelique Kerber outlasted first-time WTA finalist Kaja Juvan 7-6 (5), 6-7 (0), 7-6 (5) over more than three hours in the Strasbourg International final. Kerber's 14th career singles title was her first on clay in more than six years. Juvan upset Kerber at the 2020 French Open, and in her first career final put up a remarkable fight. But Kerber prevailed in the longest final of the year. The three-time grand slam winner came to Strasbourg with only two match wins this year, and surprised herself with her daily improvement.
Martina Trevisan of Italy has won her first WTA title after beating Claire Liu of the United States 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat. The No. 85-ranked Trevisan and No. 92-ranked Liu were playing their first career final. Trevisan was under some pressure to save eight of nine break points. But Liu made 44 unforced errors.
Cameron Norrie of Britain has won his second ATP title of the year after beating Alex Molcan of Slovakia 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-1 in the Lyon Open final. Norrie missed two match points on Molcan's serve in the second set, but took his third chance to end the final after 2 1/2 hours. It is the first title on clay for No. 11-ranked Norrie. His fourth career ATP singles title followed Delray Beach in February. Molcan is ranked No. 47, and was going for his first title.
Howard Fendrich, Associated Press | Posted May 21 - 8:53 a.m.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek carries a 28-match winning streak into the French Open. She has won 42 of her past 43 sets and five consecutive titles. The 20-year-old from Poland knows that means just about everyone will consider her the favorite to win the women's title at a Grand Slam tournament she also won in 2020. Swiatek also realizes her streak must come to an end at some point and figures that knowledge helps her. Only three women have compiled longer winning streaks since 2000: Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Justine Henin. Play begins Sunday on the red clay of Roland Garros.
Howard Fendrich, Associated Press | Updated May 20 - 2:29 p.m.
The women's and men's professional tennis tours say they will not award ranking points for Wimbledon this year because of the All England Club's ban on players from Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine. The WTA and ATP announced their decisions two days before the start of the French Open and a little more than a month before play begins at Wimbledon on June 27. The All England Club said in April it would not allow Russians or Belarusians to compete at the Grand Slam grass-court tournament. Russian athletes have been prevented from competing in many sports since the country began attacking Ukraine in February. Belarus has aided Russia in the invasion.
Casper Ruud will defend his Geneva Open title against unseeded Joao Sousa after both had straight sets wins in the semifinals. The No. 8-ranked Ruud beat Reilly Opelka 7-6, 7-5 to lift his career record to 4-0 against the big-serving American. Ruud took the only break-point chance of the match at 5-5 in the second set then sealed the win with back-to-back aces. Sousa advanced to his first clay-court final since 2018 by beating Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-2.
Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has continued to speak with Olympic officials since the Beijing Winter Games. IOC president Thomas Bach says Peng wants to visit Europe soon though COVID-19 outbreaks in China could complicate travel plans. The fallout from Peng's allegations last November of being sexually assaulted by a Chinese Communist Party official was a serious distraction for Olympic organizers in February. Peng's interview with a French journalist in Beijing to retract her own claims and later visits to watch medal events including with Bach did not erase all doubts about her personal safety.
Howard Fendrich, Associated Press | Posted May 20 - 8:35 a.m.
Naomi Osaka is back at Roland Garros, and she spent time smiling and laughing at her own jokes during her pre-tournament news conference. She pulled out of last year's French Open before the second round. She had been fined after deciding not to attend the mandatory news conference when she won her first-round match. Osaka's last trip to the Grand Slam tournament in Paris was about her mindset and well-being more than her tennis. She says she was worried about how she would be received this time at the French Open.
Second-seeded Casper Ruud has advanced to the Geneva Open semifinals in defense of his title by beating Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4, 7-6 (3). No. 8-ranked Ruud forced the only service break in the first set of a quarterfinals match that saw only four break-point chances created. Ruud will next face fourth-seeded American Reilly Opelka who fired 14 aces in beating Tallon Griekspoor 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The other semifinals pairing Friday is Richard Gasquet and Joao Sousa who both had straight-set wins Thursday. The clay-court event in Geneva is a final warmup for the French Open that starts Sunday.
Howard Fendrich, Associated Press | Updated May 19 - 1:17 p.m.
Naomi Osaka's return to the French Open will be a tough test against the player who beat her at the Australian Open, No. 27 Amanda Anisimova. Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion who used to be No. 1 in the rankings but has slipped to No. 38 in part because of a lack of activity. That included time off for a mental health break after she withdrew from Roland Garros ahead of her second-round match a year ago, revealing that she has dealt with anxiety and depression. In the men's bracket, Novak Djokovic could meet Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, and the winner of that might face teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals. The tournament starts Sunday.
Defending champion Casper Ruud eased into the quarterfinals of the Geneva Open, while three seeded players went out in the second round. The second-seeded Ruud won 6-3, 6-1 against Benoit Paire to confirm his status as the favorite to retain his title. Second-ranked Daniil Medvedev was beaten Tuesday by Richard Gasquet. Second-seeded Denis Shapovalov also went out, losing in three sets against Ilya Ivashka. Fourth-seeded American Reilly Opelka did advance, beating Australian qualifier Christopher O'Connell 6-3, 7-5.
Second-ranked Daniil Medvedev has lost his comeback match at the Geneva Open after a six-week injury layoff. Medvedev was beaten 6-2, 7-6 (5) by Richard Gasquet in the second round. Medvedev underwent hernia surgery last month and this will be his only tournament match on clay courts before the French Open starts Sunday. Victory was sealed when top-seeded Medvedev served his seventh double fault on Gasquet's first match-point chance in the tiebreaker.
The Queen's and Eastbourne tournaments have been spared punishment from the ATP for banning Russian and Belarussian players. Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompted the British Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club which hosts Wimbledon to bar Russian and Belarusian players from the British grass-court season. The ATP and WTA objected at the time. But on Monday, the ATP says after extensive talks that "Queen's and Eastbourne will proceed as normal, offering full ATP ranking points." The LTA has welcomed the decision. The WTA has yet to respond.
Two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem is still without a win in an injury-affected season after another first-round exit. Thiem was beaten by No. 134 Marco Cecchinato 6-3, 6-4 at the Geneva Open. The loss dropped Thiem's record to 0-5 in 2022 with all on clay courts. The former world number three is ranked 194. Thiem returned in April from a 10-month absence because of a right wrist injury that prevented him from defending his 2020 U.S. Open title. Earlier, Richard Gasquet beat John Millman 6-3, 6-1 to earn a second-round match against top-seeded Daniil Medvedev.
Gael Monfils says he has withdrawn from the French Open because of an injury to his right heel that will require surgery. Monfils is France's highest-ranked player at No. 22. He says he has been hampered by the lesion since the Monte Carlo Masters in April and can't move properly on court. He says he has also withdrawn from this week's Lyon Open. Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions. The French Open starts on Sunday.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 16 - 9:37 a.m.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek enters the French Open on a 28-match winning streak that has lasted three months. The 20-year-old Polish player just won the Italian Open for her fifth straight title. All of the elements of Swiatek's game were on display during one memorable 19-shot rally that she won against Ons Jabeur in the Rome final. Roland Garros starts on Sunday. Swiatek has been playing with a ribbon pinned to her hat featuring the colors of Ukraine's flag. She discussed the refugee crisis in Poland that has resulted because of the war in Ukraine.
Graham Dunbar, Associated Press | Updated May 15 - 1:24 p.m.
No. 2-ranked tennis player Daniil Medvedev says watching the recent news from Ukraine has been "very upsetting." The Russian player has been banned from Wimbledon next month because of his country's war in Ukraine. The U.S. Open champion spoke at the Geneva Open where he's returning to action after a five-week absence for surgery on a hernia injury. Medvedev says he had some time to follow more closely events in Ukraine and acknowledges "yeah, it's very upsetting." Medvedev previously said in February after Russia invaded Ukraine that he was "all for peace."
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 15 - 1:17 p.m.
Novak Djokovic raised his first trophy of the year at the Italian Open and showed that he's back in top form exactly a week before the French Open starts. The top-ranked Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6 (5) for his sixth Rome title after missing a large portion of the season because he wasn't vaccinated against the coronavirus. Djokovic hadn't won a tournament since raising the Paris Masters trophy in November. Iga Swiatek defended the women's title by overwhelming Ons Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to extend her winning streak to 28 matches.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 14 - 3:00 p.m.
This is just what Novak Djokovic needed a week before the French Open. The top-ranked Serb beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3 at the Italian Open to reach his biggest final of the year. Djokovic will attempt to extend his five-match winning streak over Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's final. Tsitsipas reached his first Rome final by rallying past Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Top-ranked Iga Swiatek routed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 for her 27th straight win and will face another player on a hot streak in the women's final. Ons Jabeur beat Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 for her 11th consecutive victory.
Eighth-ranked Matteo Berrettini has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open as he continues his recovery from surgery on his right hand. The Italian announced in late March that he was having minor surgery. He wrote on Saturday on Instagram that he's making good progress but not quite ready to return yet and targeting the grass-court season. He says "going straight back into 5 set matches on clay at Roland Garros would not be sensible." The French Open starts on May 22. Berrettini reached the quarterfinals last year at Roland Garros, losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. He then lost to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Posted May 14 - 6:06 a.m.
Not since Serena Williams seven years ago has another woman had such a hot streak. Top-ranked Iga Swiatek routed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 to extend her winning streak to 27 matches and reach the Italian Open final. Williams won the same number of consecutive matches over 2014 and 2015. The hard-hitting Sabalenka took a medical timeout late in the second set and had her back treated. Swiatek will face either Ons Jabeur or Daria Kasatkina of Russia in Sunday's final. The men's semifinals later featured Novak Djokovic against Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 13 - 3:55 p.m.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic showed what's been missing in a 7-5, 7-6 (1) win over Felix-Auger-Aliassime to reach the Italian Open semifinals. Djokovic is still seeking his first title of the year after missing a large chunk of the season because he wasn't vaccinated against the coronavirus. His semifinal opponent will be Casper Ruud. Stefanos Tsitsipas meets Alexander Zverev in the other semifinal. The women's semifinals feature top-ranked Iga Swiatek against Aryna Sabalenka and Daria Kasatkina against Ons Jabeur. Swiatek extended her winning streak to 26 matches by beating former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu 7-6 (2), 6-0.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 12 - 3:38 p.m.
Rafael Nadal struggled with a foot injury toward the end of a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 third-round loss to Denis Shapovalov at the Italian Open. The 35-year-old Nadal walked over and leaned on his towel box at one point and grimaced in apparent pain. He also limped between points. It was a worrisome scene for Nadal with the French Open due to start in 10 days. Nadal says he hurt his foot again and is in "a lot of pain." He adds that he's "a player living with an injury" and that "it's nothing new."
Three-times major champion Stan Wawrinka said that playing Novak Djokovic is always special but added that he may not quite be ready to face a player of the world number one's quality following his return from long-term injury.
Elina Svitolina is calling for better mental health protection for juniors starting out in their tennis careers. The former No.3-ranked Svitolina remembers how tough the weight of expectation was, the loneliness, the anxiety and long travel when she was starting out. Not to mention replaying crushing defeats in her mind when stuck in a hotel room a long way from home. The 27-year-old Ukrainian player says in an interview with The Associated Press that this was "mentally really tough to handle." The two-time Grand Slam semifinalist welcomes the idea of psychologists being readily available for tennis juniors and says "I think it's the right way."
Champion Iga Swiatek breezed past Romania's Elena-Gabriela Ruse with a 6-3 6-0 victory to move into the Italian Open last-16 while Switzerland's Jil Teichmann ended Karolina Pliskova's run of reaching three successive Rome finals with 6-2 4-6 6-4 win on Wednesday.
Rafa Nadal said Carlos Alcaraz's rise in tennis is good for the sport but people must stop comparing the two Spaniards and let his teenaged compatriot enjoy his career without the pressure of having to live up to their expectations.
Once is enough when it comes to beating Rafael Nadal on a clay court. Nadal has never lost consecutive matches on his favorite surface and the Spaniard extended that perfect record by beating John Isner 6-3, 6-1 to reach the third round of the Italian Open. Nadal was coming off a loss to 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid Open quarterfinals last week. He improved to 44-0 in matches on clay following a loss on the surface. Alexander Zverev beat Sebastian Baez and American players Amanda Anisimova and Jessica Pegula advanced in the women's tournament.
Defending champion Rafa Nadal began his Italian Open campaign with an emphatic 6-3 6-1 victory over big-serving American John Isner to move into the last-16 on Wednesday while Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to advance.
Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina wants Russian and Belarusian players to say whether they oppose the war in her nation. She says in an interview with The Associated Press that "it's very important that they speak out." Because otherwise we don't know "if they support the action of the army." She also addresses her mental health concerns and talks of feeling overwhelmed by the constant sad news back home. Svitolina is taking a break from tennis and will miss the French Open.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 10 - 2:19 p.m.
John Isner believes in his chances against Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Italian Open. The 37-year-old American isn't ready to retire and wants to add some fun to the back end of his career traveling the tour in Europe with his wife and three kids. But there's serious business against Nadal on Wednesday and Isner tells The Associated Press in an interview that he thinks Nadal may be a bit lower on confidence after a recent injury layoff. Novak Djokovic won his opening match by beating Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-2. Bianca Andreescu advanced when Emma Raducani retired due to a lower back injury.
Veteran French players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon have been handed wild cards to play in the main draw at the French Open. A former Australian Open runner-up, Tsonga announced earlier this year that he will retire after the clay-court Grand Slam event. Simon said he is retiring at the end of the season after 20 years of playing professional tennis. Tsonga and Simon are both 37 and helped France win the Davis Cup in 2017. Play begins at Roland Garros on May 22.
Portuguese chair umpire Daniel Zeferino has been banned from tennis for life after being found guilty of match fixing and helping betters, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) said on Tuesday.
Rafa Nadal's return to action after more than a month out due to injury saw him lose to teenager Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid quarter-finals but the 21-times Grand Slam champion always knew it would take some time for his "old machine" to fire up.
Iga Swiatek said she feels like a different player from a year ago and will go into her Italian Open title defence having cemented herself at the top of the women's game following a blistering start to the season.
Denis Shapovalov called for tennis officials to take a stronger stand against disruptive fans after he was heckled during his three-set win over local hope Lorenzo Sonego at the Italian Open on Monday.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 9 - 2:17 p.m.
Denis Shapovalov overcame a point penalty and a hostile crowd to beat local hope Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Italian Open. Shapovalov was given a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after hopping over the net to check a mark on his opponent's side of the red clay court late in the second set. Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka enjoyed his first win in nearly 1 ½ years by rallying past Reilly Opelka in three sets. Simone Halep and Victoria Azarenka won in women's action. Carlos Alcaraz and Naomi Osaka both withdrew due to injuries.
Three-times Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka won his first match in 15 months as he moved into the second round of the Italian Open while Dominic Thiem fell in the first round yet again to remain winless on the Tour this year.
Former world number ones Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka advanced to the second round of the Italian Open in Rome while four-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an ankle injury.
Carlos Alcaraz has withdrawn from this week's Italian Open because of a right ankle injury following his victory at the Madrid Open. Naomi Osaka later withdrew from the women's tournament with a left Achilles heel injury. The 19-year-old Alcaraz beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic back-to-back in Madrid then defeated Alexander Zverev in Sunday's final for his tour-leading fourth title of the year. Alcaraz hurt his ankle during the quarterfinal win over Nadal. Rome organizers say Alcaraz's place in the Rome draw will be taken by Finnish player Emil Ruusuvuori. Osaka will be replaced in the draw by Nuria Parrizas Diaz.
U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu has little experience on clay at the elite level but the 19-year-old says she is heading in the right direction on the surface ahead of the French Open starting later this month.
Alexander Zverev has criticized the ATP Tour for its scheduling of late-night matches and says he was at a disadvantage in Sunday's final against Carlos Alcaraz at the Madrid Open. The third-ranked Zverev was overpowered by the 19-year-old Spaniard in straight sets. Zverev concedes he probably would have lost to Alcaraz even if he was "fresh," but says at least it would have been a "better final" if he hadn't had to go to bed after 4 a.m. local time in the previous nights.
Carlos Alcaraz has capped another impressive week with a straight-set victory over Alexander Zverev to win the Madrid Open and become the second-youngest player to claim two Masters 1000 titles. The Spanish teenage sensation was coming off victories over his idol Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. He comfortably defeated No. 3 Zverev 6-3, 6-1. It was the seventh straight win over a top-10 player for the 19-year-old Alcaraz, and his tour-leading fourth title of the year.
World number three Alexander Zverev blamed the ATP Tour's scheduling for his underwhelming performance in Sunday's Madrid Open final where Carlos Alcaraz stormed to a 6-3 6-1 victory in just 62 minutes.
Andrew Dampf, Associated Press | Updated May 8 - 12:03 p.m.
Local favorite Jannik Sinner is struggling entering the Italian Open. The 20-year-old Sinner surprisingly split with his longtime coach Riccardo Piatti in February. He's now working with the more inexperienced Simone Vagnozzi but has been dealing with physical problems after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this year. The last Italian man to raise the trophy at the Foro Italico was Adriano Panatta back in 1976. First-round winners included Filip Krajinovic, Cristian Garin, Marin Cilic and Aslan Karatsev.