The Latest: Mertens cruises past Ahn into US Open quarters

1010 WINS Newsroom
September 02, 2019 - 6:15 pm

Elise Mertens, of Belgium, reacts after winning a point against Kristie Ahn, of the United States, during the fourth round of the US Open tennis championships Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Sarah Stier)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

Elise Mertens cruised into her first appearance in the U.S. Open quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over American wild card Kristie Ahn.

Mertens, the No. 25 seed from Belgium, needed a mere 67 minutes dismiss the 141st-ranked Ahn, a 27-year-old American who had become the comeback story of the tournament with an 11-year gap between Flushing Meadows appearances.

Mertens hit 17 winners and took advantage of 25 unforced errors from her opponent.

For Mertens, it's her second-best showing in a Grand Slam event, after reaching the semis of the Australian Open last year.

She moves on to play the winner of the match later Monday between American qualifier Taylor Townsend and 15th-seeded Bianca Andreescu.

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5:25 p.m.

Sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev doubled-faulted 17 times on his way out of the U.S. Open. Diego Schwartzman took full advantage in beating him 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for the second time.

Zverev's serving problems have dogged him for months and they came back in force against Schwartzman. The lanky German lost his serve eight times, won just 32 percent of second-serve points and amassed 65 unforced errors. He also was hit with a point penalty for swearing in the final set to put Schwartzman up 5-2.

The 20th-seeded Schwartzman, meanwhile, went about his steady baseline and retrieving game, taking the majority of long rallies in a match when some points went on for as many as 35 strokes.

The Argentine, who previously reached the quarterfinals at the French Open last year and Flushing Meadows in 2017, next takes on the winner of the match later between second-seeded Rafael Nadal and No. 22 Marin Cilic.

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4:40 p.m.

Matteo Berrettini overpowered Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (6) to become the first Italian man in the U.S. Open quarterfinals since 1977.

Berrettini, the No. 24 seed from Italy, relied on a strong service game and some well-timed drop shots to overcome Rublev, who had taken out the volatile Nick Kyrgios and No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Berrettini won 14 of his 15 service games and more than 80 percent of his first-serve points, and he ripped 37 winners, including a deftly angled volley on match point to close it out.

It's his deepest run at a Grand Slam event after reaching the fourth round at this year's Wimbledon. Berrettini became the first Italian man in the U.S. quarterfinals since Corrado Barazzutti 42 years ago.

Next up for Berrettini is the winner of the match later Monday between 13th-seeded Gael Monfils and Pablo Andujar.

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2:15 p.m.

Matches have started on some of the outer courts at the U.S. Open after rain delayed much of the early play.

Only matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium, which both have retractable roofs, were able to be played as scheduled until the early afternoon.

But a few outer courts are now opened and hosting play, including the Grandstand where Coco Gauff and Caty McNally were scheduled to play their third-round doubles match.

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2 p.m.

Donna Vekic survived a match point to beat Julia Goerges 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-3 and advance to the U.S. Open quarterfinals, her deepest run in any Grand Slam.

Vekic, the No. 23 seed from Croatia who lost to Goerges at this stage in last year's Open, had to dig out of a hole to beat the No. 26-seeded German this time. Vekic was down 5-4 in the second set and faced a match point against her, but Goerges failed to close it out in a service game in which she double-faulted three times.

In the deciding set, Vekic made a crucial service break to go up 5-3 and closed out the match when she put up a lob that Goerges slammed long.

Next up for Vekic is No. 13 Belinda Bencic, who upset top-seeded Naomi Osaka 7-5, 6-4 earlier on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Vekic beat Bencic in the third round of this year's French Open.

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1:45 p.m.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the U.S. Open in the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-4 loss to No. 13 Belinda Bencic.

Osaka, who struggled with left knee pain before the tournament, was visited by medical personnel in the second set and took some type of tablet, but it was unclear what was bothering her.

The top-ranked Osaka, who looked so sharp in the second set of her 6-3, 6-0 rout of 15-year-old Coco Gauff on Saturday night, didn't seem to have the same movement or spirit in the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday.

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11:55 a.m.

Play is being delayed on all the outside courts at the U.S. Open because of rain.

Tournament officials announced that play would not begin before 12:30 p.m. on any of the outside courts.

So the only match going on at that point was a fourth-round women's singles meeting between No. 23 Donna Vekic and 26th-seeded Julia Goerges at Louis Armstrong Stadium, which has a retractable roof. Play was scheduled to begin on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the other roofed stadium, at noon with top-ranked Naomi Osaka facing No. 13 Belinda Bencic.

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3 a.m.

After an easy first week at the U.S. Open, Rafael Nadal figures to have a challenge in the fourth round.

The No. 2 seed faces No. 22 Marin Cilic in a matchup of past champions, with the winner getting a spot in the quarterfinals.

Nadal has played just two matches and spent a little more than four hours on the court, getting a walkover in the second round and winning twice in straight sets.

Cilic, the 2014 champion, hopes to improve to 6-0 in fourth-round matches at Flushing Meadows.

Top-ranked Naomi Osaka is also in action, while American teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally try to remain unbeaten in doubles. Taylor Townsend and Kristie Ahn of the U.S. hope to extend their longest runs in Grand Slam tournaments.

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