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Kim Clijsters, Andy Murray get U.S. Open wild cards

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Past U.S. Open champions Kim Clijsters and Andy Murray received wild cards into this year’s event, marking their returns from retirement and injury, respectively, to Grand Slam tennis.

Clijsters, a 37-year-old Belgian, will play the U.S. Open for the first time since her second retirement in 2012. She won the tournament in 2005, 2009 and 2010. The Open starts Aug. 31 without fans.

Clijsters announced her comeback last September and returned to competition earlier this year, losing her two matches to Jo Konta and Garbine Muguruza before the coronavirus pandemic halted sports. She recently was more successful in World Team Tennis events, beating Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.

Murray, the 33-year-old, two-time Olympic champion from Great Britain, will play his first Grand Slam since the 2019 Australian Open. In Melbourne last year, Murray tearfully spoke about the possible end of his career due to a hip injury.

But he returned last summer after a career-saving operation and won a lower-level tour event in October. A pelvic injury then set him back, and he was unable to play the 2020 Australian Open.

Murray, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, is ranked No. 129 and was one spot out of direct entry into the U.S. Open when entries were first published Tuesday.

Murray, Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic are the only men in the current U.S. Open field who own Grand Slam singles titles. Rafael Nadal (travel concerns) and Roger Federer (injury) are both not playing a Slam main draw for the first time since the 1999 U.S. Open.

U.S. Open men’s wild cards: Andy Murray, Ulises Blanch, Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Michael Mmoh, Brandon Nakashima and JJ Wolf.
U.S. Open women’s wild cards: Kim Clijsters, Usue Arconada, CiCi Bellis, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide, Ann Li, Robin Montgomery and Whitney Osuigwe.

U.S OPEN ENTRY LISTS: Men | Women 

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Coco Gauff eliminated from French Open

Coco Gauff
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PARIS (AP) — American teenager Coco Gauff’s French Open debut ended in the second round after she double-faulted 19 times in a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 loss to 159th-ranked qualifier Martina Trevisan.

Gauff double-faulted twice in the last game of the 2-hour, 11-minute match.

The 16-year-old Gauff has reached at least the third round at the other three major tournaments.

For Trevisan, a 26-year-old from Italy, this was her first victory in a Grand Slam match played to its conclusion.

She lost in the first round at the Australian Open this year in her first appearance at a major, then advanced Sunday at Roland Garros when her opponent, Camila Giorgi, stopped playing in the second set because of an injury.

Against Gauff, Trevisan kept yelling, “Yes!” and “Let’s go!” in Italian between points, then let out a high-pitched scream when the match ended.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Earlier, Defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the third round by beating American player Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.

The No. 2-seeded Spaniard is looking to win his record-extending 13th French Open title and equal Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 major titles overall.

Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 95-2 when he sealed victory on his first match point. He next faces 74th-ranked Stefano Travaglia of Italy.

Sebastian Korda has now beaten two tour veterans in his first French Open.

After eliminating Andreas Seppi in his opening main draw match, the 20-year-old American qualifier took out 21st-seeded John Isner in the second round with a 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win.

A former junior world No. 1 and winner of the boys title at the 2018 Australian Open — and the son of 1992 French Open finalist Petr Korda — Korda broke Isner’s normally dominant serve five times.

The No. 213-ranked Korda will next face either Mikhail Kukushkin or qualifier Pedro Martinez on Friday.

Also, No. 27-seeded American Taylor Fritz reached the third round by serving 16 aces in a straight-set victory over Radu Albot.

MORE: Serena Williams ‘struggling to walk’

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Final postponed

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The Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual international figure skating competition, will not take place as scheduled in December in Beijing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Skating Union announced Wednesday that the Final was postponed.

There were “a number of logistical points raised by potentially participating teams that meant that hosting the competitions on the scheduled dates (close to the end of year holidays and national championships) would have impacted on the number of participants, given the potential need to quarantine on returning to their home country,” according to the ISU.

The ISU is “evaluating the continuation” of the upcoming season and possible rescheduling of the competition in China, which doubles as a 2022 Beijing Olympic test event.

The Grand Prix Final, held every December after the six-event Grand Prix Series, is the biggest indicator of Olympic and world championships medal prospects.

The Grand Prix Series is still scheduled to start with Skate America in Las Vegas from Oct. 23-25.

Fields have not been announced, but skaters are restricted to compete at the event in their home nation or in or near their training location.

The ISU also announced that the remaining World Cup short track speed skating stops in 2020 were postponed or canceled — Seoul and Beijing, both in December.

Previously, the first short track World Cups in November were canceled. All four of the long-track speed skating World Cups scheduled this fall were also canceled.

The next scheduled World Cup short- or long-track events are in February.

MORE: Alysa Liu grows on the ice and adds inches, too

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