The Latest: Navratilova, McEnroe sorry, but not for message

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on the Australian Open (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe have apologized for breaching Australian Open protocols with their on-court campaign to have Margaret Court Arena renamed. But the tennis greats and TV analysts aren't sorry about the message.

Navratilova climbed up the umpire's chair at the stadium on Tuesday and started to address spectators, but organizers cut off the live feed. Navratilova and McEnroe then unfurled a banner reading “Evonne Goolagong Arena.”

Navratilova has frequently objected to Court having the stadium named after her, citing her anti-gay comments, and wants the arena to be named after Evonne Goolagong.

Tennis Australia responded by saying it embraced diversity but had regulations and protocols to ensure the integrity of the tournament and “two high-profile guests have breached these protocols."

Navratilova apologized Wednesday on the Tennis Channel, saying “I got in trouble. I am sorry I broke protocol. I had no idea there was this kind of protocol.”

“Had I known, I would have done it differently," she added. "But I would still have tried to make my statement which is, basically, you name buildings after not what people just did on the court, but also off the court. The whole body of work.”


2:25 p.m.

Garbiñe Muguruza has beaten 30th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3 to move into an Australian Open semifinal against Simona Halep.

Unseeded at a major for the first time since 2014, Muruguza has reached the Australian Open semis for the first time and is back in the last four at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2018 French Open, when she lost to eventual champion Halep.

Muguruza and Halep have both held the No. 1 ranking and each has won two major titles, but none on hard courts.

Wimbledon champion Halep, who reached the final here in 2018, needed only 53 minutes and dropped only two games in her quarterfinal win over No. 28 Anett Kontaveit.


12:15 p.m.

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep needed only 53 minutes to beat Anett Kontaveit 6-1, 6-1 and seal a place in the Australian Open semifinals for the second time in three years.

The No. 28-seeded Kontaveit held the opening game at love, but Halep was relentless in an 11-game winning streak that took the match away from her Estonian rival.

Halep worked for every point and strangled Kontaveit's opportunities.

In the second set, she won the longest rally of the match — a 25-shot exchange — and then served an ace on the way to 5-0 lead.

Halep reached the final in Australia, losing in three sets to Caroline Wozniacki, a result she attributes to her winning the French Open that year and her second major title at Wimbledon last year.

The fourth-seeded Halep will next play either two-time major winner Garbiñe Muguruza or No. 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who were playing their quarterfinal later Wednesday.


More AP Tennis: and

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?