SPORTS

Sakkari beats 2019 champ Andreescu at US Open

sakkari-beats-2019-champ-andreescu-at-us-open

Maria Sakkari has eliminated 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu in the latest-finishing women’s match in tournament history to reach the US Open quarterfinals for the first time.

Sakkari came back to win 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-3 as Andreescu had trouble with a left leg that was taped by a trainer during a medical timeout in the third set. Andreescu limped around between points down the stretch and her leg buckled a few times.

The 3 1/2-hour match ended at nearly 2.15 a.m. The previous women’s record was a 1.48 a.m. finish for a first-round match in 2016 in which Madison Keys beat Alison Riske; three men’s matches have wrapped up at 2.26 a.m.

Both players’ grunts reverberated off the thousands of unused blue seats in Arthur Ashe Stadium by the end. Fans who remained engaged in dueling first-name chants: “Ma-ri-a!” and “Bi-an-ca!”

This was Andreescu’s first loss in the main draw at Flushing Meadows. She beat Serena Williams in the final to win the title in her debut two years ago and missed the hard-court Grand Slam tournament in 2020 while sitting out the entire season with an injured knee.

The 17th-seeded Sakkari will face two-time Grand Slam runner-up Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.

Sakkari’s best showing at a major tournament was a semifinal run at the French Open in June. [AP]