The Latest: Thiem leads Nadal 2-0 in sets at Australian Open

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

10:05 p.m.

Rafael Nadal needs a big comeback at Melbourne Park after dropping the first two sets of his quarterfinal against Dominic Thiem.

The two sets were quite similar: Nadal went ahead in each with a service break before getting broken back and seeing Thiem take a tiebreaker.

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The score so far is 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4). They already have played more than two hours.

This is the Australian Open’s last singles quarterfinal. The winner will play Alexander Zverev in the semifinals on Friday.

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8:45 p.m.

Roger Federer has been fined $3,000 for cursing during his quarterfinal victory at Melbourne Park.

He had argued with the chair umpire after being warned for an audible obscenity during the third set of what became a five-set win over Tennys Sandgren.

Federer saved seven match points during the fourth set.

He is scheduled to face defending champion Novak Dokovic in the semifinals on Friday.

The largest fine of the 2020 Australian Open so far was the $7,500 Benoit Paire was docked for unsportsmanlike conduct during a first-round doubles match.

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4:05 p.m.

Alexander Zverev has reached the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career by eliminating three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka in four sets at Melbourne Park.

Zverev shook off a slow start to beat Wawrinka 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on the hottest afternoon of the tournament so far.

The 15th-seeded Wawrinka won the Australian Open in 2014, the French Open in 2015 and the U.S. Open in 2016. His signature backhand gave him a lot of trouble over the last three sets Wednesday.

Zverev is a 22-year-old German who is seeded seventh.

He came into the day 0-2 in major quarterfinals.

Zverev faces Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem next.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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