NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):
Rafael Nadal’s first U.S. Open match since 2019 ended with a four-set victory over a player making his Grand Slam debut.
Nadal improved to 20-0 in matches at major tournaments this season by beating Australian wild-card entry Rinky Hijikata 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 across more than three hours in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday night.
Nadal did not show any serious lingering effects from the torn abdominal muscle that forced the 22-time Grand Slam champion to pull out of Wimbledon before he was supposed to play in the semifinals. That does not go down on his record as a loss, because he did not take the court for the match.
Nadal has won the U.S. Open four times, including three years ago. He then did not return in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic or last year because of an injured left foot.
The 21-year-old Hijikata was a wild-card entry who played college tennis at North Carolina.
Emma Raducanu’s defense of her surprising 2021 U.S. Open championship has ended with a first-round loss to Alizé Cornet.
Their match in Louis Armstrong Stadium ended with a 6-3, 6-3 score.
Raducanu is only the third woman to lose her opening match in New York a year after winning the title.
The others were 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.
Raducanu dealt with blisters on her racket-holding right hand and took a medical timeout after the first set for treatment from a trainer.
She also was simply outplayed by Cornet, a 32-year-old from France who ended Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak at Wimbledon.
Andrea Petkovic shared a hug with her opponent, soaked up a warm ovation from the fans and then headed into retirement.
A little more than a week before her 35th birthday, Petkovic ended her career with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 loss to No. 13 seed Belinda Bencic.
The German won seven singles titles and reached as high as No. 9 in the rankings. She made her decision recently and teared up as she explained it afterward.
Petkovic said she still loves the game but “it’s more the body that is not allowing me to play tennis anymore in a way that I want to play it, train the way I want to train, just play a full season really.”
Serena Williams won’t be doing double duty at the U.S. Open — at least, not yet.
She and sister Venus are not on Wednesday’s schedule for their opening match in the women’s doubles tournament. First-round doubles matches will continue Thursday, when the Williams sisters will play unless weather or other factors cause delays.
Serena Williams plays her second-round singles match Wednesday night against No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit. In what could be the final tournament of her career, she is also playing doubles with her older sister for the first time since the 2018 French Open. They have won 14 Grand Slam championships as a team, most recently at Wimbledon in 2016.
They will face the Czech pair of Lucie Hradecka and Linda Noskova in the first round.
Venus Williams has been eliminated in the first round of her return to the U.S. Open.
Williams lost 6-1, 7-6 (5) to Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where younger sister Serena won a night earlier.
Venus Williams, 42, was given a wild card into the tournament she first played in 1997, where she was runner-up. She missed the event that she won in 2000 and 2001 last year with an injury.
Williams fell to 0-4 in singles matches this year. She has won at least one match every year since 1994.
The Wimbledon women’s champion is out in the first round of the U.S. Open.
Elena Rybakina lost 6-4, 6-4 to Clara Burel of France, who came through qualifying to earn a spot in the main draw.
Rybakina was seeded only 25th, with her victory in the most recent Grand Slam not boosting her in the rankings because no points were awarded at the tournament this year. The men’s and women’s tours took that step after the All England Club barred Russian and Belarussian players from competing because of the war against Ukraine.
Rybakina, who was born in Russia but represents Kazakhstan, said before this tournament she thought that was unfair, adding she didn’t even feel like a Wimbledon champion.
Carlos Alcaraz moved into the second round of the U.S. Open when his opponent was forced to stop because of injury in the third set.
The No. 3 seed led Sebastian Baez 7-5, 7-5, 2-0 when the Argentine player motioned he couldn’t continue because of leg pain or cramps.
Alcaraz’s U.S. Open ended last year in a similar manner. He reached the quarterfinals at 18, the youngest man to get that far in New York in the professional era, before stopping in the second set of his loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime because of an upper right leg injury.
Alcaraz has followed that by winning four ATP titles this year.
Serena Williams will be back under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.
Williams will play the leadoff match of the night session in the main stadium, the U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday.
She will face No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. They will be followed by defending men’s champion Daniil Medvedev against Arthur Rinderknech of France.
Williams beat Danka Kovinic on Monday night to begin what could be the final tournament of her career. That helped draw the largest crowd ever for a U.S. Open night session, which had more than 29,000 fans.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek powered into the second round of the U.S. Open, beating Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-0.
No. 8-seeded American Jessica Pegula also raced through her opening match, like Swiatek needing just more than an hour before beating Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 6-2.
Swiatek is just 5-4 since her 37-winning streak earlier this year, but the two-time French Open champion got sharper as the match went on Tuesday while supported by a number of Polish fans wearing red inside Louis Armstrong Stadium.
She is trying to become the first player since Serena Williams in 2014 to win seven titles in a year.
A day after Serena Williams won her opening match at the U.S. Open, sister Venus will begin her tournament on the same Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek was among the players on court when the second day of the event began Tuesday morning. Garbiñe Muguruza and Jelena Ostapenko were other Grand Slam champions with early starts.
Play in Ashe was set to begin at noon with No. 3 seed Carlos Alcaraz facing Sebastian Baez of Argentina. Then it was the 42-year-old Venus Williams, returning to the tournament she first won 25 years ago. She facing Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium after a one-year absence at Flushing Meadows.
Rafael Nadal was in night action, along with defending women’s champion Emma Raducanu and two-time winner Naomi Osaka.
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