Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sports

Azarenka stops Stosur on rain-plagued day

NEW YORK — In one of the few matches completed at the rain-delayed U.S. Open on Tuesday, Victoria Azarenka ousted defending champion Samantha Stosur 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) to reach the semifinals for the first time.

She will play the winner of the match between Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli, which was pushed to today with Bartoli leading 4-0 in the first set.

All action was ended shortly after 9:30, tabling — among other things — Andy Roddick's retirement. Roddick had just won the first point of the first-set tiebreak against Juan Martin del Potro when showers, which had allowed the completion of only one women's and one men's match all day, closed in again.

David Ferrer completed a 7-5, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 fourth-round victory over Richard Gasquet, but the Novak Djokovic-Stanislas Wawrinka and Janko Tipsarevic-Philipp Kohlschreiber matches, both moved from their originally scheduled courts in an attempt to accommodate Roddick-del Potro in the night session, had barely begun.

The Roddick match was halted after Roddick went ahead 1-0 in a first-set tiebreaker. The 2003 champion at Flushing Meadows announced last week the U.S. Open will be last tournament of his career.

Ferrer joined Rafael Nadal as the second Spanish player to make the quarterfinals at all four Grand Slams in one year. Nadal, not here in 2012 because of a knee injury, did it in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Ferrer was leading 4-3 when the rain came. When the match resumed, the players traded games before Ferrer broke serve, winning the fifth match point.

Azarenka, the top seed, was asked what went through her mind as the high-tension, high-quality match stretched into a third-set tiebreaker.

"You don't want to know what I kept telling myself," Azarenka deadpanned. "I would have to beep that, I think."

She went on to offer a cleaned-up version of what her thoughts had been — "Don't be a chicken" — while ensuring that she will retain the No. 1 ranking no matter what happens the rest of this week.

"Definitely I don't want to stop. I really want it bad," Azarenka said of possibly adding a second Grand Slam trophy to the one she earned in January at the Australian Open. "I'm going to do absolutely everything I have, you know, to give it all here."

Stosur never had taken a set off Azarenka in six previous tour meetings, including one match in qualifying. That changed in the second set. But in the end, Azarenka improved to 11-0 in three-setters this season, while Stosur, of Tampa, fell to 9-7.

"I think I'm capable of beating her one day," the seventh-seeded Stosur said. "Just would have liked it to have been today."

Said Azarenka: "She made me play my best tennis. She kept hitting the lines, making those first serves. I kept saying, 'Miss, miss,' but she didn't."

Serving at 5-all in the third, Azarenka faced a break point and responded with a 92 mph ace, her only one of the match.

Asked about that, Azarenka responded: "When did I hit an ace? Did I hit one today, actually?"

Comments
How to watch Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Game 7: Game time, TV, live stream

How to watch Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals Game 7: Game time, TV, live stream

There will be a Game 7 in Tampa Wednesday because the Capitals "were the more desperate team," because Alex Ovechkin was running over Lightning players all night Monday in Washington and because Caps goalie Braden Holtby played to perfection.Washingt...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Baseball: A look at this week’s region final games

Baseball: A look at this week’s region final games

All games are tonight at 7 unless noted.Class 8AStrawberry Crest (18-8) at Fleming Island (12-13-1): The Golden Eagles started their season by losing six of seven and they also had an eight-inning tie. They ended the regular season with four straight...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A 6-day baseball tourney in this weather? Good luck, AAC

A 6-day baseball tourney in this weather? Good luck, AAC

Weather permitting, the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament begins this morning at Clearwater's Spectrum Field.When it ends — or if it ends — depends on the extent of Mother Nature's mercy.With the bay area forecast...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Washington forces Game 7 with 3-0 victory

Lightning-Capitals: Washington forces Game 7 with 3-0 victory

WASHINGTON — The Lightning let one get away Monday night. And it might cost Tampa Bay a chance at the Stanley Cup.So now there will be a Game 7 to decide the Eastern Conference. Maybe this is how it should be. Maybe this is how it's supposed to...
Updated: 9 hours ago
The weather didn’t get Lightning fans down. Losing Game 6 did.

The weather didn’t get Lightning fans down. Losing Game 6 did.

TAMPA — If the Tampa Bay Lightning can overcome a 2-game deficit to the Washington Capitals and take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference final, then Deborah Schmeltzer can definitely drive across the Howard Frankland Bridge through a driving rainsto...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning journal: Capitals had a shot at Jon Cooper

Lightning journal: Capitals had a shot at Jon Cooper

WASHINGTON — Interesting how things work out in the world of hockey.Back in 2012, the first NHL team to ever interview Jon Cooper for a head coaching job was actually the Washington Capitals. The Caps general manager at the time was George McPh...
Updated: 9 hours ago
History has been kind to Lightning in Game 7s

History has been kind to Lightning in Game 7s

WASHINGTON — There's nothing more delicious in sports than Game 7.Unless your team is playing in it. Then there's nothing more nerve-racking.Most sports fans watch a big game with a nice cold drink. But if your team is playing in a Game 7, the ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

WASHINGTON — It's incredible. Unbelievable, really. Maybe the best sports story in this country and the sport of hockey since 1980's Miracle on Ice.And, as a side note, if the Lightning reaches the Stanley Cup final, everyone in the country out...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s Game 6 shutout loss

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s Game 6 shutout loss

Let's do it one more time, shall we?Game 7 it will be.If it matches Game 6, it will be extraordinary.RELATED: More Lightning coverageThe Lightning could not close the door on the Washington Capitals. The Caps, who apparently really don't want to lose...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning loses 3-0 to Capitals, forcing Game 7 Wednesday in Tampa

Lightning loses 3-0 to Capitals, forcing Game 7 Wednesday in Tampa

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper is seen behind the bench during the first period against the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Monday, May 21, 2018 in Washington D.C.Tampa Bay Lightning cen...
Updated: 10 hours ago