Ohio, Aug 18 (AP/UNB) — Ashleigh Barty's chance to move back to No. 1 was only one victory away. At the end of an up-and-down week, she didn't have another comeback left.
Neither did Novak Djokovic, who came away with yet another disappointment in Cincinnati.
Barty lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open on Saturday. Djokovic ended the day with another stunner, getting overwhelmed by Daniil Medvedev's serve as the Russian pulled out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.
It's been that kind of week in Cincinnati, with top players in both brackets either struggling or hurt heading into the U.S. Open.
The women's bracket has a lot questions with New York just around the corner. No. 1 isn't one of them.
Barty's seven-week run atop the field ended when Naomi Osaka edged ahead of her in the latest ranking. A victory Saturday would have moved Barty back ahead for the U.S. Open. Instead, she dropped the opening set for the third straight match and this time, there was no digging out.
"A week that we battled through," Barty said. "I think at times I played some good stuff. At times, I played some pretty awful stuff."
Which will it be for Barty at the Open? And will Osaka be in good enough shape to defend her title?
Osaka dropped out of her semifinal match Friday with discomfort in her left knee that caused her worry. She still plans to play in New York, but it's unclear whether the knee will be a problem.
And then there's Serena Williams, who retired in the finals at Toronto last Sunday because of back spasms. She also withdrew from Cincinnati before her first match, but stuck around to cheer sister Venus until her loss in the quarterfinals.
A resurgent Kuznetsova gave Barty no openings, knocking off a top-five player for the second time this week to reach her first final of the season. The 153rd-ranked player is recovering from seven-month layoff because of a knee injury.
In her ninth tournament of the season, she got her game together, winning her first Premier-level semifinal since 2017 at Madrid.
"Well, sometimes in life it's like this," Kuznetsova said. "It's like really small things change everything. Definitely it's different momentum I have now."
She'll face Madison Keys , who beat Sofia Kenin 7-5, 6-4 with the help of 14 aces. Keys ended her streak of failing to make it past the second round of her last three tournaments, playing through heat and humidity all week without problem.
"I feel really good" she said. "Every day I'm kind of waking up, hoping that everything still feels like it's in one piece and it feels really good."
In the men's bracket, Djokovic overcame concerns about his right elbow but couldn't prevail over Medvedev's 14 aces, some of them on 128 mph second serves. Djokovic had to problem with his right elbow, which tightened on Friday night.
Djokovic won the tournament for the first time last year, getting the only Masters 1000 title that had eluded him. He felt good about his chances heading into the U.S. Open.
"I see mostly positives in my game," Djokovic said. "Today I did lose a match, but I didn't do too much wrong. I lost to a player who was playing amazing."
Medvedev reached the final at Montreal last week and lost to Rafael Nadal. He's back to a title match again after fighting off a break point midway through the second set and closing with a flurry, winning 12 of the last 14 points to even the match and take the momentum.
He'll face David Goffin, who reached his first Masters 1000 final by beating Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4 . Goffin also is on an upswing after falling to No. 33 in the ATP rankings on June 10, his lowest since September 2014.
"Of course, it was a tough period there," Goffin said. "I was coming back from injuries. I had some trouble with my confidence. I couldn't find my rhythm, my game. So it's great now. I'm feeling great. I'm back at my best tennis."
The men's bracket also took several notable hits throughout the week.
Originally billed as a reunion of the Big Four — Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray together for the first time since January — it quickly lost its luster. Nadal dropped out after winning the Rogers Cup, citing fatigue. Murray played singles for the first time since hip surgery in January and lost his opening match.
And Federer, the seven-time champion, failed to reach the weekend, losing in the quarterfinals.
Southampton, Aug 17 (AP/UNB) — Liverpool made light of an exhaustive midweek trip to Turkey to post a club-record 11th straight Premier League win with a 2-1 triumph at Southampton, despite a late blunder by goalkeeper Adrian on Saturday.
Goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino kept up Liverpool's impressive domestic record, with the team having won every game going back to the Merseyside derby on March 3 last season. It is unbeaten in 19 league games overall.
This win must be as pleasing as any for Jürgen Klopp, given his players did not land back in this country until 4 a.m. local time on Thursday following a penalty-shootout win over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul.
Adrian saved what proved to be the decisive penalty in the Super Cup but he made an embarrassing error against Southampton when he kicked a clearance straight at Danny Ings and saw the ball rebound into the net. The Spanish goalkeeper injured his ankle in the post-shootout celebrations against Chelsea — a fan ran onto the field and slid into him — but he was declared fit to play against Southampton.
Southampton caused Liverpool many problems as fatigue seemed to be an issue for the visitors, but Mane's brilliant goal gave them the lead in first-half injury time and the second half featured a strong attacking display which should have yielded more than Firmino's effort in the 71st.
The Saints, who were beaten on the opening day at Burnley, will be able to take away plenty of positives even if they are left with a sense of what might have been after Ings missed a golden chance to equalize against his former team late on.
Liverpool next plays Arsenal, another team with a maximum six points.
Berlin, Aug 17 (AP/UNB) — Paco Alcacer scored twice as Borussia Dortmund began its bid to wrench the Bundesliga title from Bayern Munich with a 5-1 rout of Augsburg on Saturday.
Encouraged by Bayern's 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin in the league opener on Friday night, Dortmund was keen to deliver a statement to the seven-time defending champion.
But Dortmund was still settling into the game with Mats Hummels back in defense when Florian Niederlechner scored in the first minute for the visitors. Hummels, back after a successful three years in Munich, was among those badly positioned to deal with Nils Pedersen's cross for Niederlechner.
Alcacer was in the right place to reply two minutes later, prodding the ball home after Augsburg goalkeeper Tomas Koubek's foot deflected Marco Reus' cross into his path.
Reus drew a good save from Koubek as Dortmund pushed for more, but the hosts had to wait till the 51st for Jadon Sancho to break the deadlock. Sancho shot beyond the flailing Koubek after Augsburg's defense failed to deal with Axel Witsel on the left.
Alcacer set up Reus to score in the 57th for 3-1, two minutes before the Spain striker fired inside the right corner for his second.
Witsel crossed for substitute Julian Brandt to complete the scoring in the 82nd and mark his Dortmund debut with a goal.
Bayer Leverkusen defeated promoted Paderborn 3-2, and Cologne also lost on its return, 2-1 at Wolfsburg. Fortuna Düsseldorf won 3-1 at Werder Bremen and Freiburg scored three late goals in a 3-0 win over Mainz.
Borussia Mönchengladbach hosts Schalke in the late game.
London, Aug 17 (AP/UNB) — Australia batsman Steve Smith was dismissed just short of his third straight century of the Ashes series after briefly retiring hurt after being struck on his neck by a hostile delivery from England paceman Jofra Archer on Saturday.
Smith made a battling 92 at Lord's before Australia was bowled out for 250 on Day 4 of the second test, eight runs behind England's first-innings total. Tea was taken at the end of Australia's innings.
In a gripping middle session at the home of cricket, Archer produced an intimidating spell of bowling — his deliveries reached speeds of up to 96 miles per hour (154 kph) — to pepper Australia's batsmen, with Smith the primary target.
The most alarming incident saw Archer knock Smith, who was wearing a helmet, to the ground with a rising delivery. England's players were quick to show their concern and after Smith received medical treatment, he left the field for further assessment to applause by spectators.
He bravely returned 40 minutes later to resume his innings on 80, and progressed to 92 before he was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes. Smith struck 144 and 142 in Australia's 251-run win in the first test at Edgbaston and has now scored a half-century in seven straight Ashes innings.
Archer had earlier struck the left foreman of Smith with a vicious delivery. Smith was in clear discomfort and had his arm strapped with protective padding by Australian medical staff.
Stuart Broad took the last wicket of the innings — Pat Cummins for 20 — to finish with figures of 4-65 off 27.3 overs. Archer had 2-59 on his test debut.
The draw was looking increasingly likely, with rain having wiped out the entire first day and two sessions on Friday.
Dhaka, Aug 17 (UNB) - A 12-member Bangladesh Archery team left Dhaka for Madrid on Saturday evening to take part in the World Archery Youth Championship’2019 scheduled for August 19-25 in Madrid, Spain.
Bangladesh Archery Federation (BAF) picked up 8 archers, five boys and three girls, 2 trainers and 2 officials for the meet, said in a press release on Saturday.
The young Bangladeshi archers will compete in Recurve junior boys’ singles, boys’ team event, Recurve cadet boys singles, Recurve cadet girls singles, mixed team event and Compound junior boys singles.
The qualification rounds of the meet will begin on August 20.
Eight Bangladeshi Archers are: Hakim Ahmed Rubel, Tamimul Islam, Md Shakib Mollah, Mehnaz Akter Monira, Prdipta Chakma, Aishorjjo Rahman, Eti Khatun and Dia Siddique.
Officials: Team Leader- M Rashidul Hasan, Manager-Rashiduzzaman Serniabat, Head Coach- Martin Fredrick and Trainer- Ziaul Hasan.