Open ends for injured Pierce

French Open champion Mary Pierce pulled out of the U.S. Open today, unable to overcome recurring pain from a shoulder injury that sidelined her most of the summer.

French Open champion Mary Pierce pulled out of the U.S. Open today, unable to overcome recurring pain from a shoulder injury that sidelined her most of the summer.

Pierce, seeded No. 4, asked for a medical time-out trailing 5-4 in the first set against No. 10 Anke Huber. After the trainer massaged her right shoulder, she returned to center court to serve. But she double-faulted on set point, giving Huber the set, 6-4.

Pierce immediately walked to the chair and retired from the match.

"The day before yesterday, after my match with Lisa Raymond, I was 100 percent," Pierce said. "In doubles it got sore and it was sore today. Every serve I hit it got worse."

Pierce won the French Open in June, beating Monica Seles, Martina Hingis and Conchita Martinez in the last three matches. Since then, she has played just two matches, losing in the second round at Wimbledon before taking the rest of the summer off because of an irritated rotator cuff.

"I saw it right in the first service game," Huber said. "It's hard to play when you see her not 100 percent."

Play began Monday in hot, muggy conditions similar to Sunday when two rain delays stretched matches well into the night. The most compelling match came when No. 3 Magnus Norman finished on his knees, barely surviving a marathon in which he beat Max Mirnyi 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (9).

From the time the first ball was struck to the final point in the fifth-set tiebreaker, Mirnyi and Norman spent 4 hours, 6 minutes on the court throwing haymakers at one another, and another four hours waiting for the weather to clear.

It was compelling tennis, perhaps the first match that reached that level in this year's final Grand Slam event.

"It was unbelievable. I have no words for it," said an exhausted Norman, who lost the first two sets. "I got through, that's the important thing. I'm just happy I won."

Earlier in the evening, Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati faced off in a resumption of what many thought might have been one of the great rivalries in women's tennis if off-court problems had not interrupted their careers.

So much has happened to them since their magical semifinal at the Open in 1991. But for one night, at least, Seles took Capriati back in time, defeating her 6-3, 6-4.

Nine years ago, they were kids - Capriati 15 and Seles 17 - and viewed as the future of American women's tennis. Seles captured a third-set tiebreaker that day and went on to win the championship, beating Martina Navratilova.

"I really don't think about that much anymore," Capriati said. "I think it's kind of annoying a little bit, to tell you the truth."

Seles recalls it more warmly.

"I think it's the first time in women's tennis you had such hard hitters," she said. "It changed the face of women's tennis."

On an unpleasant night that left them both drenched, there were few reminders of the tennis they once played at center court.

"She came out really strong," Capriati said, "just from the first ball. She was just hitting them full speed. She served really well. It was tough for me to break every time. That put a little more pressure on my serve.

"I think it was pretty close. We had a lot of close games there. It could have gone either way."

A year ago, they played in the round of 16. After Capriati lost, she finished the day in tears, trying to bury her troubled past.

"I think she's found some peace," Seles said. "I think she's changed a lot in a year. It's great to see that. I'm probably the same. I'm pretty even through the hard times and through the good times."

Venus Williams extended her winning streak to 23 matches with a 6-2, 6-2 rubout of Magui Serna. It took the third-seeded Williams just 53 minutes to move into the quarterfinals, where she will meet No. 8 Nathalie Tauziat, who eliminated former champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 6-3, 6-2. It was Tauziat's first victory over Sanchez-Vicario after 11 consecutive losses

Her victory over Serna was in sharp contrast to Williams' last win, when she was forced to a first-set tiebreaker by Meghann Shaughnessy.

"In the first couple of rounds, I didn't feel I was playing very well," Williams said. "I was happy actually to get a nice match. She actually came out and played very well. I feel very warmed up now. I feel more in a groove and more ready to compete."

On the men's side, No. 6 Marat Safin survived the longest day of tennis, beginning at 11 a.m. then sitting through the sudden disappearance of his game as well as two long rain delays before finally prevailing over Sebastien Grosjean 6-4, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Safin was up two sets when he suddenly found himself in trouble.

"I was a little bit tired," he said. "I was thinking, 'One more set.' I didn't expect it to change that quickly because it was 6-1, 6-3 in half an hour or less. I don't know. I just lost my concentration. It was very fast."

Safin started the match dressed all in black and ended it some 6½ hours later all in white, wearing borrowed pants and socks after the two rain delays, the first one 1 hour, 19 minutes, then after 28 minutes of play another delay of 1 hour, 40 minutes, this one in the midst of a fifth-set tiebreaker.

When play resumed, Safin completed his delayed victory, built on 25 aces and achieved despite 64 unforced errors.

"Finally, I made it," he said. "I am happy."

No. 12 Juan Carlos Ferrero also waited out the rain for his 7-5, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-6 (6) victory over Roger Federer.

"I think I had a little bit of luck in the tiebreak," he said. "It's no great days for the tennis when is rain."

Sunday's other winners included No. 14 Nicolas Kiefer, a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 winner over Sjeng Schalken, and Wayne Arthurs, who defeated Richard Fromberg 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones