Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Serena out of U.S. Open; Cal coach Wright retires

Serena Williams, who will turn 40 next month, hasn't played
on the tour since retiring from her first-round match at Wim-
bledon. 2018 photo by Mal Taam 
   Serena Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open today, citing a torn hamstring.
   Williams, who will turn 40 on Sept. 26, hasn't played on the tour since retiring in the first set of her opening-round match at Wimbledon in late June because of a right hamstring injury.
   Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, reigning champion Dominic Thiem and Venus Williams also have pulled out of the U.S. Open, Monday through Sept. 12, with injuries.
   Williams won the last of her six U.S. Open singles titles and the last of her three Bank of the West Classic singles crowns at Stanford in 2014. She has been stuck on 23 Grand Slam singles titles, one short of Margaret Court's record, since giving birth on Sept. 1, 2017. Williams has reached four major finals since then, two in 2018 and two in 2019, losing in straight sets as the favorite each time. 
   U.S. Open qualifying — In her tournament debut, No. 4 seed Mayar "Who Shot The" Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt defeated Clervie Ngounoue, a 15-year-old wild card from Washington, D.C., 6-4, 6-3 in the first round.
   WTA Tour — In a late doubles quarterfinal in Cleveland, top-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara (a San Francisco Bay Area native) of Japan edged Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan and Lidziya Marozava of Belarus 6-2, 3-6 [10-8].
   College — Peter Wright announced his retirement as director of men's tennis at the University of California, Berkeley after 29 years as the head coach.
   Wright, a 57-year-old Berkeley native, amassed a 383-256 record at Cal. He guided the Bears to the NCAA Championships 25 times, including a semifinal berth in 2016, and four appearances in the top 10. 
   Under Wright, 16 Cal players combined to earn 20 ITA All-America selections. Former Bears Ben McLachlan (2011-14), a New Zealand product who represents his mother's native Japan, and Andre Goransson (2014-17) of Sweden are ranked No. 29 and No. 65, respectively, in doubles in the world. 
   Amanda Augustus, now in her 14th season as the Cal women's head coach, will serve as the interim men's coach while the school conducts a national search. 

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