Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams were on Tuesday announced as top seeds for the 2015 US Open tennis championship, which will commence next week Monday at Flushing Meadows in New York.
This marks the first time the same man and woman have been the top seeds for three years in a row since Steffi Graf and Ivan Lendl between 1987 – 1989.
World number 1, Williams is looking to win her seventh US Open title, which would surpass Chris Evert for the most US Open singles titles in Open era and a victory in Flushing Meadows would also tie Steffi Grafs’s Open era record of 22 major titles, as well as complete the calendar year grand slam, last won by Graff in 1988.
She is followed on the seeding list by number two, Simona Halep of Romania, a 2014 French Open finalist and Russia’s Maria Sharapova, the 2006 U.S. Open winner,who is seeded third with 2014 U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark seeded fourth.
Petra Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014 is seeded fifth, while 2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova is seeded sixth.
Five-time U.S. Open champion, Roger Federer is the second seed for the men’s event where the top-10 seeds feature five U.S. Open champions and six grand slam winners.
In addition to 2011 champion, Djokovic of Serbia and Switzerland’s Federer (2004-08), former U.S. champions include Andy Murray (2012), Rafael Nadal (2010, 13) and last year’s winner, Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Scotland’s Murray is seeded third, Spaniard Nadal is eighth and Cilic seeded ninth.
Kei Nishikori of Japan, runner-up last year to Cilic, is seeded fourth, one spot ahead of reigning French Open champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland.
Serena Williams has defeated Garbine Muguruza, 6-4,6-4, in Wimbledon ladies singles final.
The world number one defeated her Spanish opponent to win her 6th title at SW19 and 21st Grand Slam title.
Williams is on course for a calender Grand Slam after wining the Australian and French Open title.
“It Feels So Good”
Williams withstood a late fightback from 20th seed Muguruza, to come through in one hour and 23 minutes.
After receiving the trophy she said: “It feels so good holding the trophy. I have to give thanks to Jehovah God for the day. I just really relied on His strength.
“Garbine! She played so well I didn’t even know it was over because she was fighting so hard in the end…
“Congratulations! Don’t be sad. You will be holding this trophy very, very soon believe me. You are a great champ.
“I am just happy it was such a great match”.
She will head to the US Open next month, aiming to complete the first calendar year Grand Slam of her career.
Williams thrashed Maria Sharapova to reach the final, extending her winning run against Sharapova to 17 matches over 11 years with a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
Muguruza, who is 21-years-old, was playing in her first Grand Slam final and took a 4-2 lead, before giving the top seed a mighty scare by battling back from a set and 5-1 down with two breaks of serve.
She became the first Spanish woman to reach the Wimbledon final since 1996 when she beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Serena Williams defeated Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets to win her sixth US Open and 18th Grand Slam title.
Williams eased past Wozniacki 6-3 6-3 to move up in the record book with her 18th grand slam title.
It was the third consecutive and sixth overall U.S. Open crown for the 32-year-old American as well as her 18 career grand slams putting her alongside Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth place on the all-time list.
After a poor start from both players, Williams steadied herself to take the first set and found something approaching her best form to dominate the second.
Failing to get beyond the last 16 of the year’s first three slams, the top seed sailed through the U.S. Open without dropping a set, finishing off Woznaicki in 75 minutes.
“It was a really wonderful feeling,” said Williams, who was joined by Navratilova and Evert for the trophy presentation, when she also collected US$4m in prize money.
“I couldn’t have finished things in a better way. It is a pleasure for me to win here, I am really emotional. I couldn’t ask to do it at a better place.”
The emotion for Williams was clear during the on-court ceremony as she struggled to hold back tears before being presented with an 18-carat gold Tiffany bracelet by Navratilova and Evert to mark her achievement.
“It means a lot to me,” she said. “I just could never have imagined that I would be mentioned with Chris Evert or with Martina Navratilova, because I was just a kid with a dream and a racket.
“Living in Compton, this never happened before. And then it was eluding me for three tournaments. That’s a lot for me. I was really excited to get it. It was definitely (weighing) on my shoulders.”
“I definitely did not think I was going to win a Slam this year,” she added. “And I even said, ‘I’m ready to start next year already. Let’s put this behind me.’
“I’m grateful to win a Grand Slam this year. It feels really good.”
There was no joy, however, for Wozniacki.
Back in a grand slam final for the first time in five years, it was another frustrating end to a promising fortnight for the 10th seed as she once again left Flushing Meadows empty-handed, a major championship just beyond her grasp.
The Dane had hoped she would be more ready for the occasion five years after her first slam final, when she lost to Kim Clijsters, but she was comprehensively second best to her close friend, Serena.
“I don’t believe that talent can beat everything,” said Wozniacki, who leaned on Williams for support after golfer, Rory McIlroy, broke off their engagement just before the French Open.
“When she’s on her game it’s not fun to play her,” said Wozniacki, whose only other grand slam finals appearance also came at Flushing Meadows in 2009. “She’s so strong. She has a good serve and she puts pressure on you straight away.
“When she needs to she can pull out that big serve. She has the power. She can push us back on the court and take the initiative.
“She definitely has the experience now, as well. I think that makes it even harder, because maybe back in the day she might have made not the right choices.
“Now she knows what she needs to do out there, and it makes it even harder to beat her.”
Wozniacki insisted the pair’s friendship did not affect the match and hailed Williams’s phenomenal achievements.
“When you’re out there, we’re both competitors and we both want to win, so we’re both going to do anything possible to win the match,” said Wozniacki.
“After the match, we’re friends again. It’s tennis. It’s a game. But off the court we still care equally as much about each other.
“I think her results and her career says it all: 18 grand slam titles. You don’t get that unless you’re exceptional in what you do. She is one of the greatest of all time. To have 18 grand slam titles and still be the person she is is really something very rare.”
It has been a tough season for Williams by her sky-high standards, the American failing to make it past the fourth round at any of the first three slams.
The world No1 moved to within one of the pair at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago but faltered surprisingly three times trying to get there.
At the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, she did not make it past the fourth round, and when she was whisked away from the All England Club in June after her bizarre doubles display, a US Open title looked a long way away.
Williams has now won six US Open, five Wimbledon, five Australian Open and two French Open titles over the course of 15 years – a record span of years between winning Grand Slams.
Both Navratilova and Evert won their 18 titles over the course of 12 years, and Williams’s longevity is something that John McEnroe, a four-time US Open winner, believes makes her the best ever.
Serena Williams recovered from a slow start to brush aside Flavia Pennetta and power her way into the semi-finals of the US Open.
Serena found herself 3-0 down in a matter of minutes but was hugely impressive thereafter in a 6-3 6-2 victory over Italian, Pennetta.
The five time US Open champion said she “had a lot of fun” and is one of only two top-10 seeded players left in the tournament alongside 10th seed Caroline Woznaicki
“I’ve had a tough year in the majors,” added Williams. “I’ve gone down to some great players outside of the top 10 so you can never underestimate anyone. We’re all fighting really hard and we all deserve to be here.”
She then praised Pennetta, who had never beaten her in five previous meetings, for her resilience. “I felt she was playing really well, I don’t feel I was doing too much wrong (in the first three games).
“I just said to myself that if she keeps it up then she absolutely deserves the win and I just tried to do a little better. I had a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed it and I’m so happy to have won”.
Williams has not lost more than three games in any set yet, in this tournament, and will be a big favourite to beat surprise semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova.
In other games decided at Flushing Meadows, Kei Nishikori defeated third seed Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller to make a Grand Slam last four for the first time.
Nishikori came through his second successive four-hour match to win 3-6 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (5-7) 6-4.
The 10th seed had beaten Milos Raonic in the fourth round in five sets in a match that finished at 2.26am local time, which is the joint latest finish in US Open history.
His victory over Wawrinka makes him the first Japanese man in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam semi-final after an epic four hours and 15 minute encounter with the Swiss Australian Open champion.
Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova also made it into her first ever Grand Slam semi-final – beating two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-2.
Azarenka was not at her best in losing to 17th seed Makarova and received a warning after smashing her racquet.
Andy Murray said he was disappointed that Novak Djokovic proved physically stronger in their US Open quarter-final.
Murray lost to top seed Djokovic 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4 over three hours and 32 minutes at Flushing Meadows.
Defending Champion, Serena Williams eased into the last eight of the US Open after defeating Kaia Kanepi.
Serena won her 18th straight match in New York and reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of 2014 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Estonian slugger Kaia Kanepi in 64 minutes at Ashe Stadium.
The five time champion is on course to become only the second woman to win three consecutive US Open titles since the Open Era began in 1968 and is now 4-0 lifetime against Kanepi since their first meeting in 2009.
“She hits the ball incredibly hard and moves the ball around,” the world No 1 said afterwards to the crowd watching on in Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I just keep fighting.”
“I finally made a quarter-final this year! Glad to do it in New York.”
Williams’ quarterfinal opponent will be 11th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, who opened Monday with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over 29th-seeded Aussie Casey Dellacqua on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The Italian has lost all five previous matches against Williams but will head into the clash with a positive attitude.
She said: “You just have to play your tennis and do your best. Of course, she’s better than me, but if I believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn’t have a good day I can do that.
“If I get on the court and just play and try not to lose 6-0 6-0, I’m going to lose 6-0 6-0.”
32 year old, Pennetta played her best Grand Slam in New York, where she reached the quarterfinals now on five occasions, including a surprising run into the semifinals a year ago.
Fifth seed, Maria Sharapova suffered a shock fourth round exit at the US Open as Caroline Wozniacki stunned the Russian on a stiflingly hot day at Flushing Meadows.
Wozniacki showed she is back as a force in women’s tennis by knocking out Sharapova 6-4 2-6 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.
The last time the Wozniacki beat Sharapova, was at Flushing Meadows at the same stage four years ago, when she was in her best.
Roared on by the majority of spectators on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the 2009 finalist looked back to her best as her superb defensive ability proved too much for Sharapova in a pulsating final set.
The Dane said that she feels good and comfortable while playing, adding that the crowd was amazing and it is just so much fun to play again on the big court.
She also said that training to run the New York Marathon in November was aiding her game, adding that she thinks it will help her a lot.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer came from behind to beat Marcel Granollers in four sets and reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
The five time US Open champion lost a rain-disrupted first set but recovered to win 4-6 6-1 6-1 6-1.
In other games decided at Flushing Meadows, Gilles Simon and Spanish fourth seed, David Ferrer, sweated it out under a midday sun, the 26th seeded Frenchman posting the first big surprise in the men’s draw with a 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-3 win.
A stormy day finished off with another upset on Arthur Ashe Stadium court as 17-year-old Swiss sensation Belinda Bencic swept past ninth-seeded Serb and former world number one Jelena Jankovic 7-6 (6) 6-3.
Former champions, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, enjoyed straight sets wins at the US Open on a day that brought some notable exits.
Federer beat Australia’s Sam Groth 6-4 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round and will play Spain’s Marcel Granollers next.
Fifth seed, Sharapova also progressed, reaching the fourth round with a 6-2 6-4 win over Sabine Lisicki and will meet Caroline Wozniacki in a tasty fourth-round clash.
Two-time champion, Venus Williams and second seed Simona Halep were, however, knocked out of the US Open in their third round matches.
Venus lost 6-0 0-6 7-6 (7-5) to Italy’s Sara Errani.
Having twice come back from being down a break in the third set, Williams had a chance to serve out the match, but Errani, who had not won more than three games in a set against Williams in three previous meetings, showed great fighting spirit to force a tie-break.
Williams was, however, undone by too many unforced errors as she had 52 in all.
Thus, the Italian would play Mirjana Lucic-Baroni next, after the Croatian qualifier beat Romania’s Halep 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.
Sixth seed, Angelique Kerber, was also a major casualty as she was beaten 6-1 7-5 by Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic .
Meanwhile, Andy Murray must return to his least favourite court in grand slam tennis for his third-round match against Andrey Kuznetsov at the US Open on Saturday.
Murray, who is seeded eighth, will again take to the second show court during the afternoon heat, having suffered cramp in the same circumstances in his opening game at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
While Arthur Ashe Stadium, where he impressively dispatched Matthias Bachinger in round two, ranks second only to Centre Court in the Scot’s affection, Louis Armstrong has been a place of unremitting struggle.
It was on Armstrong, on Monday, where Murray was hit by a severe bout of cramp during his match against Robin Haase that could easily have led to defeat.
A 2010 defeat by Stan Wawrinka not withstanding, the good news for Murray is that he usually wins in the end, but drama can normally be guaranteed on Flushing Meadows’ second stage.
Andy Murray progressed to the second round of the US Open with victory over Robin Haase in four sets despite struggling with a bout of cramp.
Murray seeded eighth, won 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 1-6 7-5 in three hours and eight minutes inside a sweltering Louis Armstrong Stadium.
He made his way through the first two sets in comfortable fashion but began to feel the strain when Haase won nine straight games in the third and fourth sets.
Haase, the world number 70, had looked capable of handing the Scot his first opening-round defeat at a Grand Slam since 2008 when he won nine straight games.
But despite cramping, and choosing not to sit down at the changeovers, Murray twice recovered from a break down in a wildly unpredictable fourth set that saw both men ailing in the New York heat.
“I started cramping at the beginning of the third set, at the front of my quad and then in my forearm,” said Murray.
“It was not particularly comfortable and I just tried to hang around as long as possible and managed to get through.
“I was in a good position at 2-0 up but I didn’t know whether to go for it at the beginning of the third set or conserve energy and go for it in the fourth.
“It wasn’t easy for Robin either.”
Murray had come back from two sets down to beat Haase at Flushing Meadows in 2011, a year after he had lost to Stan Wawrinka on the same court in what was his last Grand-Slam defeat before the quarter-final stage.
The Scot goes on to face German qualifier, Matthias Bachinger, who beat Radek Stepanek 6-3 6-2 6-2.
In the women singles, second seed, Simona Halep, had to come back from a set down to defeat Danielle Collins 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the US Open.
Collins threatened to cause a major upset at Arthur Ashe Stadium when she dominated the opening-set tie-break against the French Open finalist.
But Halep, who served seven double faults, managed to turn things around and win the next two sets comfortably to set up a second-round meeting with Jana Cepelova, who defeated Maria Teresa Torro Flor 2-6 7-5 6-1.
Sixth seed, Angelique Kerber, was also pushed to three sets before coming through to clinch a 6-2 3-6 7-5 win against Ksenia Pervak, who may have closed out the upset if not for her 56 unforced errors.
Agnieszka Radwanska, who is seeded 4th had a much easier route through to round two as she thrashed Sharon Fichman 6-1 6-0 in just 47 minutes.
Tiger Woods has parted ways with his coach, Sean Foley, after a miserable year beset by injuries and a winless run in major championships.
Woods started officially working with Foley at the 2010 US PGA Championship and, during their four years together, won eight times on the PGA Tour.
The 14-time major champion both gained and lost the world No.1 ranking during that time and did not win another major, amidst struggling with several injuries.
Thirty-eight year old Woods, in a statement on his official website, praised Sean for being an outstanding coach during their years together.
“I’d like to thank Sean for his help as my coach and for his friendship. Sean is one of the outstanding coaches in golf today, and I know he will continue to be successful with the players working with him.
“With my next tournament not until my World Challenge event at Isleworth in Orlando, this is the right time to end our professional relationship.”
Woods added he would not be appointing a replacement any time soon: “Presently, I do not have a coach, and there is no timetable for hiring one.”
Foley also commented in the statement released by Woods, saying: “My time spent with Tiger is one of the highlights of my career so far, and I am appreciative of the many experiences we shared together.
“It was a lifelong ambition of mine to teach the best player of all time in our sport. I am both grateful for the things we had the opportunity to learn from one another, as well as the enduring friendship we have built. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.”
Woods is currently sidelined with a back injury and his decision to part with Foley comes shortly after he announced he would be taking a four-month sabbatical from the sport in order to recover.
The golf star missed the cut at the PGA Championship this month, a week after withdrawing from the World Golf Championships event in Akron, Ohio, with injury.
He missed the Masters and US Open while recovering from March 31 back surgery, and finished joint 69th at the British Open.
Swiss Tennis legend, Roger Federer, is gearing up for a successful outing at the US Open.
The World number 3, having lost the Wimbledon final earlier in the year, again finished as the runner-up in Toronto before going on to win the title in Cincinnati.
A back injury has made 2013 a difficult year for Federer but the 17-time Grand Slam champion insists his injury problems were over and he hopes to challenge for the title in New York.
“I was scared to have another setback, and so it was just not as clear-cut and simple as it is this year,” Federer, who won his five US Open titles in consecutive years between 2004 and 2008, is quoted as saying by The National.
“This year I played a lot of good matches. Not just Toronto and Cincinnati, but really from the first week on I have always played really nice tennis.
“You almost forget how to lose to a point and confidence rises. You’re back to winning ways again and everything seems so simple. I’m looking forward to this tournament, because I really feel like I can play a great tournament. I hope I can show that on the court this year.”
Defending Champion, Rafael Nadal, would not defend his US Open title after pulling out of the tournament with a wrist injury. This paves the way for World Number One, Novak Djokovic, and Federer to stake a claim for the title.
Djokovic, who beat Federer in the Wimbledon final in five sets earlier in the year, is the generally acknowledged favourite to win the 2014 US Open, but he did not sound like it in his last pre-tournament press conference on Saturday.
“When Rafa is not around it changes everything,” Djokovic said. “But, on the other side, we have all the other best players in the world here.”
It is expected that Djokovic would be more concerned by a likely quarter-final meeting with the man who stopped him in the final in 2012, British Andy Murray. Although the British has acknowledged Roger Federer as a major threat.
He believes Federer is in sparkling form and would not be surprised to see the Swiss win the US Open.
Federer faces 29-year-old Australian Marinko Matosevic, the world number 77, in the first round.