Simona Halep faces Caroline Wozniacki in Australian Open women’s final

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer Updated 8:49 am, Thursday, January 25, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-9', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 9', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Dita Alangkara, AP Image 1of/9 CaptionClose Image 1 of 9 Romania's Simona Halep celebrates after defeating Germany's Angelique Kerber in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Romania's Simona Halep celebrates after defeating Germany's Angelique Kerber in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Photo: Dita Alangkara, AP Image 2 of 9 Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki reacts after winning a point against Belgium's Elise Mertens during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki reacts after winning a point against Belgium's Elise Mertens during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Photo: Dita Alangkara, AP Image 3 of 9 Croatia's Marin Cilic celebrates after defeating Britain's Kyle Edmund in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Croatia's Marin Cilic celebrates after defeating Britain's Kyle Edmund in their semifinal at the Continue Reading

Big guns cruise through in wide-open women’s 1500

By Mitch PhillipsLONDON (Reuters) - All the big names advanced from the first round of the women’s 1,500 meters on Friday, an event that is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing of the World Championships.Ethiopia's defending champion Genzebe Dibaba showed the way by winning the first heat in a sharp four minutes 2.67 seconds but jogging in just behind her was Caster Semenya, the South African Olympic 800m champion who is attempting the middle- distance double in London.Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, owner of the three fastest times this season, won a slower second heat ahead of 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson of the United States but remains favorite, though Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon showed she will be in the mix with a strong run to take the third heat.There was plenty for the home fans to cheer too with four Britons progressing – Jessica Judd, Laura Muir, Laura Weightman and, with a personal best to snatch a fastest loser slot, Sarah McDonald. The semi-finals take place on Saturday with the final on Monday. (Editing by Ed Osmond)(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Click For Restrictions Continue Reading

U.S. Open women’s semifinals postponed until Friday

The 2015 U.S. Open came close to beating Mother Nature in straight sets, but the rain had its say on Thursday in Flushing Meadows. The USTA was forced to postpone the women's semifinals originally scheduled for Thursday evening due to inclement weather and ominous night forecasts. Serena Williams, therefore, will have to wait until Friday to continue her quest for a Grand Slam. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. The women's semis have been rescheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Friday, with gates opening for fans at 10 a.m. Then the men's semifinals, originally scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Friday, will begin instead at 5 p.m. The women's final on Saturday night will not be impacted. Continue Reading

Simona Halep, Flavia Pennetta advance to U.S. Open women’s semifinals

Just a few speed bumps stand before Serena Williams in the final straightaway of her drive toward tennis history. In a marathon of women’s quarterfinal play Wednesday at Flushing Meadows, Romanian 2nd-seed Simona Halep and 26-seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy advanced to the women’s semifinals. The winner of their Thursday night matchup will face Williams in Saturday’s historic final. BONDY: SERENA WILLIAMS' PLAY IS NOT HUMAN That’s assuming Williams steamrolls her own semifinal opponent, 43rd-seed Roberta Vinci of Italy, and continues on her path toward becoming the first player to sweep a calendar year of Grand Slam events in 27 years. “If I will play the final here against Serena, again, would be like a record to play two times against her in one month,” said Halep, 23, who fell to Williams in their last meeting in the Cincinnati final on Aug. 24. “I have nothing to lose.” In a daytime session that saw withering heat at Arthur Ashe Stadium, followed by wind and rain, both women’s quarterfinals went to three sets. Halep also had to survive the gamesmanship of two-time Wimbledon champion Victoria Azarenka to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 -- coming back strong from a 90-minute rain delay in the third set. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. Before the third-set rain delay, Azarenka appeared to frustrate the younger Halep batty with two lengthy bathroom breaks after the first two sets that seemed to shift the momentum. Looking on was nine-time Olympic medalist Nadia Comenici. “It’s easier to be on a balance beam than to watch someone else play,” said Comenici of her fellow Romanian. “I think she’s handling the nerves very well.” Pennetta rallied from a set down to beat the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Kvitova, her energy sapped Continue Reading

Serena Williams calmly rolling along toward another U.S. Open women’s championship

There was a point in the second game of her semifinal on Friday when Serena Williams thought she had struck a winner and yelled, “C’mon!” while the ball was still in play. Sara Errani extended her racket on the backhand side, kept the rally going one more shot until Williams knocked an inside-out forehand winner. The chair umpire, Marija Cicak, did not call hindrance on Williams, which is exactly what happened with a different, more aggressive umpire last year in a final against Sam Stosur. There was no need for a confrontation this time, no tantrum. What followed was only brutal, one-sided tennis. Williams went on to cruise in 64 minutes, 6-1, 6-2, a steamship straight on course for harbor. PHOTOS: SERENA ROLLS INTO THE WOMEN'S FINAL If something weird or self-destructive is going to happen to Williams at this 2012 U.S. Open, which always seems to occur here, it better arrive in a hurry. She is running out of melodrama time. “Hey, it’s not done yet,” Williams warned. “I did grunt once today and thought, ‘God, I hope I don’t lose the point.’ My goal this year was not to get in any fights, but something happens, then . . . I try to count to 10. Hopefully I can make it. “I mean, I’m a really good sportsman. I think I’m really nice. I talk to everybody in the locker room.” There is only the final Saturday night against Victoria Azarenka, one last test of her temper. Azarenka has a 1-9 career record against Williams and has dropped seven straight in those matchups over the last three years. She would appear to own only a slightly better chance of beating Williams than Errani did, which was approximately 0%. “I definitely need to find something to surprise her tomorrow,” Azarenka said. She might try calling a foot fault. Give the tennis gods credit for their sense of humor, pairing Williams and Errani at Ashe Stadium in a semi. There could not Continue Reading

Daily News’ Sports Photos of the Day: Defending U.S. Open women’s champion Samantha Stosur ousted by Victoria Azarenka

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News 2006 winner Maria Sharapova also struggles early on in her quarterfinal clash with Marion Bartoli, who's up 4-0 in the first set before rains postpones the match until Wednesday. Charles Krupa/AP Justin K. Aller/Getty Image Andy Roddick sure doesn't play like he's days away from retirement when returning a serve from Juan Martin Del Potro. Justin K. Aller/Getty Image The rain doesn't just stop the action at the U.S. Open. Tuesday night's Pittsburgh Pirates - Houston Astros game at PNC Park is also delayed because of the storms that affect the east coast. Chris Lee/AP St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter warms up on the mound before facing the NY Mets. JONATHAN BRADY/EPA China's Qing Xu dives into the pool as the men's 50m Freestyle S6 swimming heats get underway in the Paralympic Games. Luke MacGregor/REUTERS An assortment of prosthetic legs are left behind by Paralympic swimmers before the men's 400m freestyle - S9 race. Christopher Lee/Getty Images Brazilan Paralympic runner Terezinha Guilhermina and her guide lie motionless on the track after falling down during the women's 400m - T12 final. Scott Heavey/Getty Images Venezuelan Jesus Aguilar swerves and crashes off the track just after crossing the finish line in the Men's 800m - T53 race. Stefan Wermuth/REUTERS Blind Paralympic athlete Ruslan Katyshev competes during the men's long jump F11 final. FRANCK ROBICHON/EPA With a shot from 12 yards out, Kealia Ohai seals the United States' 2-0 over Nigeria in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup semifinal. The Americans will face Germany in the title match. TOUSSAINT KLUITERS/AFP/GettyImages Hardly the picture of unity during their Euro 2012 collapse this summer, Holland is back in training and looking to Continue Reading

Kim Clijsters repeats as U.S. Open women’s singles champion by defeating Vera Zvonareva

Kim Clijsters is very comfortable around the courts of the U.S. Open, where she's won three titles and 21 straight matches, few easier than Saturday night's. The seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium are a different story. After dominating Vera Zvonareva in an utterly one-sided final, Clijsters climbed into the crowd and looked lost while seeking out her family and friends. She nearly hopped on a railing until being convinced otherwise. She ran down the wrong aisle. Finally, the second-seeded Belgian found her section. She hugged her husband, made the rounds, and went back on the court as a three-time champion. Clijsters, 27, then tried to share the trophy with her 2-year-old daughter, Jada, who wanted no part of touching the shiny object. "Whenever I step on this court, I don't know, it just feels like coming home," Clijsters said following her 59-minute cruise over seventh-seeded Zvonareva, 6-2, 6-1 - the most lopsided final since 1976 and the quickest ever. Clijsters' 21st consecutive victory at the U.S. Open broke a five-way tie for the tournament record on hard courts, besting Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Venus Williams and Steffi Graf. She's also the first woman to repeat as champion since Williams in 2001. Last year she became the first mother to win a Grand Slam since Evonne Goolagong in 1980. The records were icing on Saturday's cakewalk for Clijsters, who pummeled a shaky and overmatched Zvonareva with 17 winners. But they couldn't save the final from feeling anti-climactic, devoid of competitiveness and big names. The attractions bowed out early for varying reasons, some unbecoming. Serena Williams cut her foot on broken glass at a restaurant and withdrew before the tournament started. Venus Williams couldn't handle the wind in her semifinal loss to Clijsters. Every other American was gone by the third round. Maria Sharapova suddenly forgot how to serve in the fourth round. The new blond beauty, top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, finally found an Continue Reading

No tirade this time; Serena Williams, sister Venus cruise to U.S. Open women’s doubles title

Not much for Serena Williams to get worked up about this time. Two days after her profanity-laced exit from the U.S. Open singles semifinals, she returned with her sister, Venus, and rolled to an easy victory for their 10th Grand Slam doubles championship Monday. It was a 6-2, 6-2 win over defending champions Cara Black and Liezel Huber and it couldn't have been more unlike the scene Saturday night, when Williams got called for a foot fault that triggered her outburst at a line judge. That resulted in a point penalty on match point against Kim Clijsters, and an ugly departure from the singles semifinal. About a half-hour before the doubles match began, Williams issued an apology for the evening's events, saying she is "a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I'm wrong." She received a $10,000 fine on Sunday. She and Venus will split a $420,000 winner's check for their first U.S. Open title since 1999. Patrick McEnroe conducted the post-match interview on court and Williams sounded contrite but didn't apologize. "I'd like to thank the fans for supporting me through everything," she said to applause from a few thousand fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium. "I really, really love you guys and never want to have a bad image for you guys." McEnroe asked two follow-up questions, but was interrupted by booing on the second one, as he tried to ask her "what clicked" in her mind over the past 48 hours to trigger the apology, which came a day after she'd issued a first statement that didn't include one. Big sister Venus stepped in. "I think what the crowd is saying is, 'Patrick, let's move on,'" Venus said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Serena Williams loses cool in mad ending to U.S. Open women’s semifinal against Kim Clijsters

For nearly two weeks, Serena Williams had made a flawless run through the U.S. Open, pulverizing opponents and dominating matches, a seeming lock to defend her title and capture her 12th career Grand Slam. It all unraveled in unimaginable fashion a few minutes before 11 p.m. Saturday night, with a foot fault, a profane tirade and a code violation that happened to come on match point, after an irate Williams told a lineswoman, "I swear to God, I'll f --- take this ball and shove it down your f -- - throat. " Faster than you can spell colossal anticlimax, the rackets were down, the match was over, the crowd was incensed and a teary-eyed Williams was leaving the court to a cascade of boos. On a cool, dank night, before a crowd of maybe 8,000 fans inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Kim Clijsters decisively outplayed the second-seeded Williams in their Open semifinal. She moved into tonight's final against No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, with a 6-4, 7-5 victory, even though she looked as if she didn't want to leave the court Saturday night, and have the match finish the way it did. "The normal feelings of winning a match weren't there," Clijsters said. "It was just a point penalty, just at a bad time, basically," said Williams, who was consoled in the locker room by sister Venus afterward. The match was delayed a day by rain, and will be discussed and debated far longer than that, considering the way it concluded: with Serena in the face of the lineswoman who called the foot fault - a horrid call at a horrible time - before getting called for a second code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. The first violation - a warning - had come after she lost the first set, when Serena slammed her racket against the blue court and whacked it into the net. "She could've kept her cool," said Oracene Price, Serena's mother. The whole flow of the match was no less stunning than the ending. Clijsters, the 26-year-old, comebacking mother freshly returned from two Continue Reading

Serena Williams, Jelena Jankovic to meet in U.S. Open women’s final

It is a return to where it began for Serena Williams. Eleven years ago she watched her older sister reach the final of the U.S. Open and she began to believe that she also could contend for major titles. Two years later, in 1999, she won the championship. Three years after that, she won it again, defeating her sister, Venus - and neither sister has reached the Open final since that day in 2002. Friday, however, a rejuvenated Serena dominated Dinara Safina, 6-3, 6-2, in the semifinal to put a Williams back in the U.S. Open final for the first time in six years. She will face No.2 Jelena Jankovic - who beat Elena Dementieva, 6-4, 6-4, Friday - with both the Open title and the world's No.1 ranking on the line. PHOTO GALLERY: THE BEST OF THE U.S. OPEN (VOL. 2) That final is scheduled for Saturday night, although the USTA announced contingency plans for incoming Tropical Storm Hanna, which threatens to rain out both the men's semifinals and the women's final Saturday. If the women's final is rained out Saturday night, it will be pushed to Sunday. "I'll be ready (Saturday) or Sunday or Monday," Williams said. "I am just happy to be playing." And she is playing her best tennis in nearly five years. Williams dropped off the tennis map in 2006 with an end-of-the-year ranking of No.99. She has battled back this year to enter the Open as the No.4 seed and has a chance to take over the No.1 spot for the first time since Aug.11, 2003. That would be the longest stretch between No.1 rankings in the history of the WTA Tour. "I think it says I am here to stay," Williams said of her return. "I am just enjoying my time on the court now. No.1 is not my goal. I want to win Grand Slams. I know I will get there (to No. 1) if I win Grand Slams." While they have taken different routes to the final, Williams cruising and Jankovic struggling, they offer a promising matchup for the last Grand Slam final of the year. Williams and Jankovic - who is in her first Grand Slam Continue Reading