Unhealthy Shelby Rogers defeated Serena Williams in 3 sets; Coco Gough walks


Lexington, Ky. – Entering Friday, Serena Williams had played 967 tour-level singles matches as a professional, just four defeats against opponents who were out in the top 100 – and none in eight years.

Well, it’s time to add to that list: Williams was beaten 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) by No. 116 Shelby Rogers in the top seed open quarter-finals.

“It’s good to know that I can play quite well, very well,” Williams said.

She would like to do it soon: the US Open will begin on 31 August.

Rogers, who is from South Carolina, took six of the last eight points, followed by 3–1 in the tiebreaker to secure his third win of his career over a top-10 opponent.

She also reached her first WTA semifinal since 2016. Given such a record of exiting the tournament for the former No. 1, Williams needs to look even further back in the record book: the owner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles had never done so much against anyone at the 2012 French Open. In No. 111 Virginia Razzano ranked her.

Shortly thereafter, Williams teamed up with coach Patrick Mauretoglou, who still works with him and was one of the few in Friday’s stands – giving fans the first tennis tournament in the US since the onset of the coronave epidemic Not allowed

This happened only three other times, including qualifying all the way to Quebec City in 1995, when Williams was making his professional debut at the age of 14. He is now 38 years old; Rogers is 27.

“It’s every kid’s dream when they’re growing up, watching him play, to be able to do something like that,” Rogers said. “Strange circumstances, strange setting, but a win is a win and I know we’re all happy to play back.”

Later on Friday, 16-year-old American Coco Gough reached her second WTA semifinal with a comeback. Trailing by one set and two breaks, one point, Gauff won 10 games at No. 11, beating No. 8 seed Owens Jabber 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Gough was down 4–2 in the second set and faced a break point, but Jabari tallied a backhand. This was enough to get Gough back in the match, and he soon took full control.

In the semi-finals, Gough will meet Jennifer Brady, who will go on to beat Mary Bozkova 6–1, 6–2.

Rogers faced Jill Tecman of Switzerland on Saturday. Techman needed seven match points to reach the first hard-court semi-final of his career, including a 6–2, 6–4 win over Sissi Bellis.

Rogers ‘loss was Williams’ third consecutive three-set at the hard-court top seed open. She opened the second set of each, including older sister Venus in the second round, before coming back to win.

On Friday, after a rain delay of more than two hours began, Williams seemed on the way to a very simple victory. He never faced a break point while trailing 5-4 in the second set.

When things shifted.

Rogers earned three break points – one set point each – and converted the third when Williams netted a forehand.

There was no break in the third set and after Williams took an early lead in the tiebreaker, she was her own undoing with miss after miss, including a lengthy backhand return.

“I created a kind of difficulty for myself by making a plethora of unexpected errors,” Williams said.

With social-discrimination rules in place, players did not meet on the net for customary postmake handshakes. Williams smiled as he went to his sideline seats. Rogers just sat down and quickly shook a fist.

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