Tennis: From an ace on the first point to a stinging return on the last, Serena Williams was close to perfect in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
The score said it all Tuesday night: 6-0, 6-0.
Yes, Williams is looking better and better with each match at the year’s last Grand Slam tournament. With two more wins – no matter the exact scores – she’ll earn a fifth title at Flushing Meadows and 17th major championship overall.
The No. 1-ranked and No. 1-seeded Williams shut out 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, the first “double bagel” in a quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows since 1989, when 18-time major title winner Martina Navratilova did it to Manuela Maleeva.
Williams was asked whether she’d describe her performance as close to flawless.
“Of course not,” the defending champion said with a laugh. “I played good, though. I played really good.”
After their quick-as-can-be match, defending men’s champion Andy Murray went into Ashe and encountered some problems along the way to a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory over 65th-ranked Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in the fourth round.
Next for Murray is a quarterfinal against No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka. A day after his Swiss Davis Cup teammate and friend, Roger Federer, lost, Wawrinka reached the round of eight at the U.S. Open for the second time by beating No. 5 Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6), 6-2 in Louis Armstrong Stadium at night.
In the afternoon, top-seeded Novak Djokovic won 45 of 53 service points while eliminating 43rd-ranked Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 in a grand total of only 79 minutes.
Djokovic, who won the 2011 U.S. Open and lost in last year’s final to Murray, reached his 18th consecutive major quarterfinal.
Now comes a match against 21st-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, who was two points from defeat but came back to edge two-time major champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5.
Sullinger apologizes, pleads not guilty
NBA: Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger has pleaded not guilty to domestic violence-related charges after allegedly repeatedly pinning his girlfriend to a bed and the floor.
Bail for the 21-year-old Sullinger was set at $5,000 after his plea on charges including assault and battery and intimidation of a witness.
In a statement, Sullinger apologized and called the experience “humbling and embarrassing.” He said he knows it brought sorrow to many, including his girlfriend.
• Richardson waived: The Toronto Raptors waived swingman Quentin Richardson, less than two months after he was acquired in a trade with the New York Knicks.
Waiving Richardson wasn’t unexpected, as the 13-year NBA veteran was only part of the July deal because of salary considerations.
• Suns, Beasley agree to termination: The Phoenix Suns and Michael Beasley have reached an agreement to terminate the contract of the troubled power forward.
The move will cost the franchise $7 million, a $2 million savings from what Beasley would have been due had he simply been waived. It also represents a significant reduction in what the hit on the team’s salary cap would have been.
Leroux, Wambach lead U.S. past Mexico
Soccer: Abby Wambach extended her world record with her 161st international goal, Sydney Leroux scored four times in the first half, and the next generation for U.S. women’s soccer blended nicely with the old guard as the Americans thumped Mexico 7-0 in a friendly at RFK Stadium in Washington.
Rachel Buehler and Morgan Brian also scored as the U.S. squad reconvened after a 2 1/2-month break while the National Women’s Soccer League wrapped up its inaugural season. With the next World Cup two years away, the match also gave coach Tom Sermanni a chance to mix in some young faces to the storied team, with two players making their national team debuts.
The Americans, ranked No. 1 in the world, ran their overall unbeaten streak to 35 games and their home unbeaten streak to 73.
Hernandez requests delay in lawsuit
NFL: Former NFL star tight end Aaron Hernandez is seeking to delay proceedings in a Florida lawsuit until a murder charge against him in Massachusetts is resolved.
Hernandez’s lawyers filed the postponement request in federal court. They say it would be legally unfair to Hernandez to permit the lawsuit to continue while he is defending himself in the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to Lloyd’s slaying and weapons charges.
In the Florida lawsuit, 30-year-old Alexander Bradley claims Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued at a strip club in February. Bradley seeks at least $100,000 in damages.
U.S. announces worlds road teams
Cycling: National time trial champion Taylor Phinney, his Olympic teammates Tejay van Garderen and Chris Horner, and a bevy of youngsters will lead the U.S. into the road world championships in the Italian countryside near Florence later this month.
The trio of Olympians will be joined in the men’s race by Andrew Talansky, Peter Stetina, Alex Howes and national road race champion Freddie Rodriguez in the races Sept. 22-29.
The women’s team is led by Carmen Small, Evelyn Stevens and Shelley Olds – each in the top 25 of the UCI world rankings.
They’ll be joined on the team by national road race champion Jade Wilcoxson, Mara Abbott, Megan Guarnier and Kristin McGrath.