Roger Federer stunned by qualifier; Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams advance
For Roger Federer, it was one big blur. The seven-time champion was ousted from one of his favorite tournaments in barely over an hour, falling in straight sets to a 21-year-old qualifier he’d never faced.
Andre Rublev — with only one career win over a top-five player to his credit — took advantage of Federer’s numerous mistakes for a 6-3, 6-4 victory Thursday that further depleted the top of the men’s bracket in the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati.
“The biggest and the most emotional win,” Rublev called it.
And shockingly fast, too: Federer’s quickest defeat on the tour since 2003. Struggling with his serve, Federer was broken twice in the first set.
“And there you have it. It set the tone for the match a little bit,” Federer said. “He was super clean — offense, defense, serving well. He didn’t give me anything.”
Novak Djokovic reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Pablo Carreño Busta.
The day began with the ATP fining Nick Kyrgios $113,000 for expletive-filled outbursts that included smashing rackets, insulting a chair umpire and refusing to get ready to return serve during a second-round match the previous night.
In the women’s bracket, top-seeded Ash Barty, the French Open champion and currently ranked No. 2, reached the quarterfinals, joined by Venus Williams.
Barty beat Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, raising her fist in triumph after fighting off one match point to take the 2-hour, 10-minute match.
With the crowd cheering for her, Williams recovered from a rough first set and beat Donna Vekic 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, Williams’ best stretch of tennis since she won three straight matches in March at Miami.
Second-seeded Naomi Osaka and No. 3 Karolina Pliskova also advanced. Madison Keys got a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win over No. 4 Simona Halep, the Wimbledon champion still hobbled by a sore left Achilles.
Heat shortens Tokyo test
Tokyo’s summer heat forced an Olympic women’s triathlon qualifying event to be shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to impact next year’s games.
The International Triathlon Union reduced the running portion of the triathlon from 10 kilometers to five kilometers because temperatures fell within what it termed “extreme levels.”
Tokyo’s hot and humid summers are a major worry for organizers of next year’s Olympics, which open July 24. Temperatures routinely hover around 90 degrees, which was the level Thursday at 7:30 a.m local time.
This was not a problem during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which were held in October. The demands of television force the midsummer schedule this time.
Motor sports: Brett Moffitt pulled away on a restart with three laps to go and won the NASCAR Truck Series’ playoff opener at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway to earn a spot in the Round of 6.