How to watch tonight's presidential debate - CNN
Less than two weeks from Election Day, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are scheduled to appear onstage for the final general election presidential debate of 2020.
Washington (CNN)Less than two weeks from Election Day, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are scheduled to appear onstage for the final general election presidential debate of 2020. Thursday's televised event may be the last opportunity for both candidates to reach a massive national audience before November 3. Biden is currently ahead of Trump in both national and key swing state polls -- the former vice president averages 53% support to Trump's 42% in polling conducted between September 20 and October 5, according to the CNN Poll of Polls. The presidential debate scheduled for last week was canceled after Trump objected to the virtual format announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The virtual format was put forward after Trump tested positive for coronavirus and spent three days hospitalized. Here's everything you need to know about the final debate, which is taking place in-person in Nashville, Tennessee. The debate is scheduled to run from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET without commercial breaks. The debate will air live on CNN, CNN en Español and CNN International. It will stream live in its entirety, without requiring log-in to a cable provider, on CNN.com's homepage, across mobile devices via CNN's apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. You can also follow CNN's live debate coverage on CNN.com, which will include analysis and fact checking. What are the topics and who is the moderator? The topics are: "Fighting COVID-19," "American Families," "Race in America," "Climate Change," "National Security" and "Leadership." They were chosen by the debate moderator, NBC's Kristen Welker, and announced last week by the debate commission. What is different about this debate? The commission recently announced that Biden and Trump would have their microphones muted during portions of the debate. At the start of each of the six segments, each candidate will be given two minutes to answer an initial question, and during that portion, the opposing candidate's microphone will be muted. The rule change was made after the first debate devolved into chaos, with Trump frequently interrupting and heckling Biden and the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News. The commission put out a statement the day after the first debate saying they intended "to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates." The structure of Thursday's debate will be the same as the first debate: Each segment will last about 15 minutes, and the candidates will have two minutes to respond after the moderator opens each segment with a question. Welker will then use the rest of the time in the segment to facilitate further discussion on the topic. Where is the debate taking place? It is taking place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Who is hosting the debate? The Commission on Presidential Debates is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization and has sponsored all general election presidential and vice presidential debates since 1987. The CPD does not receive funding from the government or any political party or campaign, according to the organization. How many days until Election Day? On Thursday, it will be 12 days until Election Day (Tuesday, November 3.)
UK, France and Germany plan Russia sanctions over Navalny poisoning - CNN
The UK, France and Germany are planning to impose targeted sanctions on Russia, after an international chemical weapons watchdog confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.
London (CNN)The UK, France and Germany are planning to impose targeted sanctions on Russia, after an international chemical weapons watchdog confirmed that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. Navalny, a fierce critic of the Kremlin, became gravely ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. He was treated at the Charité Hospital in Berlin and was discharged in late September. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed Tuesday that blood and urine samples taken from Navalny showed the presence of Novichok, a Soviet-era group of nerve agents. A Novichok agent was also used in a March 2018 attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury. The foreign ministers of France and Germany released a joint statement Wednesday saying they were putting forward a proposal to European partners that target "individuals deemed responsible for this crime and breach of international norms," including Russian officials and entities involved in the country's Novichok chemical weapon program. "A murder attempt has been made on Russian soil, against a Russian opposition figure, using a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia," the statement said. "We believe that there is no credible explanation for the poisoning of Mr Navalny other than Russian involvement and responsibility," the pair said in a statement. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Britain would work with its international partners to take such sanctions forward. "The UK stands side by side with our German and French partners in our response to the abhorrent poisoning of Alexey Navalny," he said in a statement Wednesday evening. "Despite having a clear case to answer, the Russian authorities continue to make no credible attempt to investigate this attack. There is no plausible explanation for Mr Navalny's poisoning other than Russian involvement and responsibility for this appalling attack." The Kremlin has strongly denied any involvement in Navalny's poisoning, and offered to cooperate with Germany in an investigation into the matter, according to state news agency TASS. TASS previously reported that Russia had "eliminated" all warfare agents, including Novichok, citing Sergei Naryshkin, the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service. "[Warfare agents] were eliminated in accordance with OPCW procedures and rules which was properly documented. Any speculation Russia still produces or keeps in stock the old reserves of chemical warfare agents are disinformation, of course," Naryshkin reportedly said. Asked Tuesday about the OPCW findings, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, "we do not have the information yet." Journalists Gaëlle Fournier in Paris and Nadine Schmidt in Berlin contributed to this report.
The latest on Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis: Live updates - CNN
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for Covid-19. Follow here for the latest.
President Trumps name was on a list of names of people who had tested negative for the coronavirus before last Tuesdays presidential debate, the Cleveland Clinic said Monday and indicated that he would have had to have tested positive within 72 hours of the debate. But the clinic, which acted as health security adviser to the Commission on Presidential Debates, did not review the test results, clinic spokesperson Angie Kiska told CNN. Kiska told CNN that the Clinic suggested the campaigns begin testing on Sept. 27 because that covered into the night of the debate. Once a person had submitted a confirmed negative test result, they did not have to submit any further testing. The Cleveland Clinic required everyone entering the debate hall to have a negative COVID-19 test. This was also required by the White House medical team, the Cleveland Clinic said in a separate statement sent to CNN. The campaigns had existing testing protocols, which were reviewed as part of the planning process in which the Cleveland Clinic, the Commission on Presidential Debates and the campaigns participated. After that review, it was agreed that the campaigns respective medical teams would be (1) responsible for testing their respective candidates and entourages, and (2) required to certify to the Clinic on the day of the debate that all of those individuals had been tested by their medical teams with a negative test result within the approved time period before the debate. Each campaign complied with this requirement. Both campaigns had to submit the names of those who tested negative within the 72 hours prior to the end of the debate, Kiska said. The submitted names, including that of the President and former Vice President Joe Biden, were reviewed by the Cleveland Clinic. However, the Clinic did not have to review actual test findings or see proof of negative results, said Kiska. She also said the date of the test was not required. Under the agreed protocols, the campaigns were allowed to use any diagnostic test that had been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. That would include both rapid antigen tests and the gold-standard PCR diagnostic test. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rapid antigen tests are generally less sensitive less accurate at generating true positive readings than PCR tests.
Trump looking for 11th-hour reset but mostly shuns debate prep - CNN
Clubby reinforcements have been summoned. A stack of flashcards -- question on front, response on back -- is at the ready. A binder has been dutifully collated.
(CNN)Clubby reinforcements have been summoned. A stack of flashcards -- question on front, response on back -- is at the ready. A binder has been dutifully collated. Whether any of that helps President Donald Trump deliver a winning debate performance on Tuesday remains to be seen. Heading into this year's inaugural general election showdown, Trump has written off formal preparations as unnecessary given the daily demands of the job and instead hopes his brawling instincts and an unguarded embrace of personal attacks will carry him through. Efforts to focus the preparation-averse Trump on the upcoming debate have occurred in sporadic bursts, including one 30-minute session last weekend. This past Sunday they resumed with a short question-and-answer period utilizing the flashcards campaign advisers prepared to try and hone what have so far been unwieldy attempts to define Democratic rival Joe Biden. Trump did less than two hours of prep total, a person familiar told CNN. New revelations about Trump's taxes also forced aides to begin devising ways for the President to address the matter when it inevitably arises on Tuesday. So far, Trump's response has been a contradictory mixture of claiming the report, published in The New York Times, is false while also insisting the information used to prepare it was obtained illegally. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the President's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani -- who was at the White House on Sunday to help manage the tax story -- were also brought into the debate sessions, though people familiar with them said the question-and-answer rounds often got sidetracked while Trump delved into other matters. On Monday, Christie was seen arriving to the White House again alongside Kellyanne Conway, the longtime Trump adviser who announced her departure from the White House in August citing a need to focus on her family. Trailing in polls as Americans already begin voting early, Trump is hopeful Tuesday's debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland can provide an eleventh-hour lifeline to his struggling reelection effort. Though his campaign aides acknowledge there are few minds left to change in this year's contest, they are hopeful a strong performance can motivate Trump's supporters to vote and a lashing of Biden can depress enthusiasm among Democrats. Trump faces a well-documented recent history of incumbent presidents underperforming during the first debate of their reelection cycle, even as they went on to win the election. Confronting rivals with fresher debating experience from hard-fought primary campaigns, presidents have sometimes strained to balance a presidential demeanor while also landing attacks. Trump, who has cared little about appearing presidential during his first term in office, likely won't suffer similarly. He has expressed a desire to get under Biden's skin by waging brutal personal attacks against members of his family, including his son Hunter and brandishing questions about Biden's past -- from old plagiarism incidents to more recent allegations of sexual misconduct -- that he hopes will rattle the former vice president. He has already baselessly accused Biden of taking performance-enhancing drugs ahead of the debate and some aides expect him to raise it during the event itself. He has resisted conducting formal mock debate sessions in part because he believes people around him took undue credit for his success during the latter debates in 2016, people familiar with the matter said. During that cycle, Trump appeared much more amenable to debate preparation -- including enlisting Christie, narrowing his circle of advisers and seeking to avoid distraction at his New Jersey golf club -- after his first debate with Hillary Clinton went poorly. He was in the middle of a debate session then when the Washington Post published the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape and never returned to prep, a person who was there told CNN. Trump has a history of trying to counter-program the debates. After the "Access Hollywood" tape was published in 2016, he had aides float rumors that he might drop out, only to then invite three women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment to join him in front of cameras only hours before the next debate in St. Louis, Missouri, started. Now that he is president, however, Trump has found preparing for debates a tedious chore compared to a job which puts him in front of cameras for hours every day. As Biden holes up at his Wilmington, Delaware, home in intensive debate preparation, much of Trump's daily activity has been available for all to see -- from events at the White House to a string of campaign rallies to a Sunday golf outing. There was scant evidence Trump was spending the day ahead of the debate in lengthy mock face-offs. On Monday morning, he made a surprise appearance on the South Lawn to survey a new all-electric pickup truck. He convened reporters in the Rose Garden later in the day for an announcement on Covid testing. On Saturday, the President was largely preoccupied with the pending announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee and held no formal debate prep sessions, according to people familiar with the matter. Barrett and her large family spent several hours at the White House during the day, including meeting with Trump and the first lady in the Oval Office as her children entertained themselves in the Roosevelt Room. After the announcement Trump flew to Pennsylvania for a campaign rally. On Sunday, Trump spent much of the morning and early afternoon at his private golf club in Virginia -- and was seen playing a round on the course midday -- before convening an early evening press conference, which had no discernible purpose other than repeating his praise of Barrett and making false claims about mail-in voting. Christie and Giuliani joined him off to the side, and Trump said they were alternating playing Biden in debate practice sessions. Trump had told aides previously Christie shouldn't play Biden like he did Clinton. "We had a little debate prep before we came here," Trump said at his news conference. "I think this whole thing, though, is debate prep. You know, what I do is debate prep every day." In reality, people familiar with the matter said, both men along with several of the President's aides are informally tossing out lines they believe Biden might use to see how Trump responds. That includes accusing Trump of mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic, which the President is likely to rebut by citing his decision to ban travel from China -- and accusing Biden of being soft on Beijing. Aides also expect Biden to bring up reports Trump disparaged members of the military, which he will seek to counter by pointing to his record of securing Pentagon funding while accusing Biden of supporting endless foreign wars. He is also likely to argue he has done more in his four years in politics than Biden has done in his five-decade career, according to a source close to the Trump campaign who is familiar with the preparation for the debate. But Trump views Biden as a professional who's been debating for many years, and the President believes his adversary will be at the top of his game, the source said. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which organizes the general election events, said Monday there would be no opening statements and only a small number of ticketed guests in the audience. A White House official said that would including first lady Melania Trump and the President's daughter Ivanka. The candidates will neither shake hands with each other nor with the debate's moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News. They won't wear masks onstage, but everyone in the debate hall will be tested for Covid. A list of topics Wallace selected includes Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, Covid-19, the economy, "race and violence in our cities" and election integrity. The White House also said Monday they hoped China would also arise. "It is our hope that China comes up because we have a strong record to stand on," press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during an appearance on Fox Business Channel. Incumbent presidents have struggled before when it comes time to debate during their bid for reelection, though unlike Trump they spent more time preparing. President George W. Bush made a last-minute decision in 2004 to retreat to his ranch in Texas ahead of his first debate with Sen. John Kerry after aides deemed the White House too distracting. But a president cannot entirely escape the realities of the job; for Bush that year it was hurricane season and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the debate, he was described as alternately tired-sounding, angry and sour. Polls showed Americans believed Kerry won the debate by a wide margin. President Barack Obama held a debate camp outside of Las Vegas in the lead-up to his first showdown with Mitt Romney in 2012 -- but wasn't necessarily thrilled to be there. Obama notoriously despised debating, believing them a test of performance and style over more substantive matters. "Basically they're keeping me indoors all the time," Obama told a supporter during a phone call when he visited a local campaign office. "It's a drag. They're making me do my homework." When it came time to debate Romney, Obama delivered a lackluster performance that failed to land any attacks on Romney and that his campaign barely tried to spin as anything but a disappointment. "We had one stinker in there," Obama recently told his old campaign manager David Plouffe on his podcast. "It was basically on me." Hunkered down to prepare for his next debate at a riverside golf resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, aides made sure to tell reporters that Obama's golf clubs stayed behind. CNN's Pamela Brown contributed to this report.
French Open begins as top players grumble over cold weather - CNN International
The French Open got off to a wet and chilly start on Sunday, with the former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka walking off court during a lull in proceedings because of the cold weather.
(CNN)The French Open got off to a wet and chilly start on Sunday, with the former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka walking off court during a lull in proceedings because of the cold weather. The tournament's 10th seed was 2-1 up against Montenegro's Danka Kovinic in the first round when she took matters into her own hands after light rain paused the match. When she was asked to remain on court by a match official while a decision was taken about whether play should continue, the Belarusian tennis player said she would not carry on waiting outside. "I'm not going to sit here because I'm going to get frozen," she told the supervisor. After complaining that it was only 8 degrees Celsius (46.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the two-time grand slam winner said she lived in Florida and was "used to hot weather." "It's ridiculous, it's too cold. What's the point? Sitting here like ducks," Azarenka added. When the match resumed 50 minutes later, the Belarusian quickly took control of the game, beating her opponent 6-1 6-2 in just over an hour. Her victory was watched by just nine spectators, according to Reuters. Speaking about the interruption, Azarenka said: "I think it's very tricky at the moment to have these conditions. So definitely not going to sit here and complain, but sometimes I think there are smarter ways to handle situations." Over in the men's draw, Spain's Rafael Nadal, who is hoping to win his 13th French Open title, has also stressed that conditions are different this year, after the clay tournament was delayed from May to late September because of the coronavirus pandemic. "The ball is super slow, heavy. It's very cold. Slow conditions," Nadal said. The Spaniard also said that he has "always" been "beatable" on clay, commenting that Novak Djokovic has defeated him "a lot of times" on the surface. Nadal's opening match against the Belarusian Egor Gerasimov is scheduled for Monday.
Notable dissents from Judge Amy Coney Barrett - CNN
President Donald Trump is set Saturday to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, according to multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process.
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump is set Saturday to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, according to multiple senior Republican sources with knowledge of the process. If confirmed, Barrett, a conservative jurist appointed by Trump in 2017 to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, will certainly tilt the high court further rightward for years to come. Here are some of Barrett's most notable writings: In 2019, Barrett dissented alone when a 7th Circuit panel majority rejected a Second Amendment challenge from a man found guilty of felony mail fraud and prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal and Wisconsin law. "History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns," she wrote in Kanter v. Barr, applying an originalist approach that looked to the 18th-century intentions. "But that power extends only to people who are dangerous. Founding legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons." Barrett concluded, "Holding that the ban is constitutional ... does not put the government through its paces, but instead treats the Second Amendment as a second-class right." In June, Barrett dissented as a 7th Circuit panel left intact a US district court decision temporarily blocking a Trump policy that disadvantaged green card applicants who apply for any public assistance. In dispute were federal immigration regulations regarding when an applicant would be deemed a "public charge" and ineligible for permanent status in the US. In her dissent, Barrett wrote that the Trump administration's interpretation of the relevant "public charge" law was not "unreasonable." "At bottom, the plaintiffs' objections reflect disagreement with this policy choice and even the statutory exclusion itself. Litigation is not the vehicle for resolving policy disputes. Because I think that DHS's definition is a reasonable interpretation of the statutory term 'public charge,' I respectfully dissent," she wrote. The 7th Circuit majority in Cook County v. Wolf countered that Barrett's construction failed to take account of the immigrants who would "bear the brunt of the" new rule. In 2018, when the full 7th Circuit declined to reconsider a dispute over an Indiana abortion regulation requiring that the post-abortion fetal remains be cremated or buried, Barrett dissented with fellow conservatives. They began by focusing on a more contentious provision that had been earlier invalidated and not subject to the appeal. That provision made it unlawful for physicians to perform an abortion because of the race, sex or disability of the fetus. Barrett joined a dissent written by Judge Frank Easterbrook referring to the law as a "eugenics statute." "None of the Court's abortion decisions holds that states are powerless to prevent abortions designed to choose the sex, race, and other attributes of children," the dissent added. In an early 2017 law review essay, reviewing a book related to the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Barrett criticized Chief Justice John Roberts' rationale that saved the law in 2012. "Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute," Barrett wrote. "He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power." At another point, Barrett refers to "Roberts' devotion to constitutional avoidance." The court is scheduled to take up the latest challenge to Obamacare on November 10. CNN's Ariane de Vogue and Dan Berman contributed to this report.
September 21 coronavirus news - CNN International
The coronavirus pandemic has brought countries to a standstill. In many places, as countries reopen, Covid-19 cases are on the rise. Follow here for the latest.
Canadian health officials across the country have pleaded with the public to stay home, stick to your bubble and mask up, as daily positive cases continue to climb to levels not seen since May. Officials in the province of Quebec and in the countrys capital, Ottawa, have declared that a second wave has already taken hold in their cities and communities. Canadas seven-day average is now just under 1,000 cases per day according to Johns Hopkins University and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Im telling you that right now the curve is not the way it was in the spring but its still pretty bad and I think that this is the beginning of a second wave. If we dont do something its going to go up even more and Im telling you that will not be fun, said Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec director of public health, during a news conference in Quebec City Monday. What's behind the spike? Public health experts say Canadians are having too many close, social contacts between family and friends and young people are gathering in groups that are too large to contain the spread. The spike in cases comes two weeks after the Labor Day holiday and as a majority of Canadian children return to in-person learning in schools. Young are getting sick: Canadian government statistics show that about two thirds of new, positive cases of Covid-19 are detected in people under the age of 40. Restrictions to be enforced: In cities like Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, city officials, bylaw officers and police say they are stepping up enforcement of strict protocols that limit indoor, private gatherings to six or 10. In Ontario the minimum fine for breaking the rules is $7,500. In British Columbia, the spike in cases is being described as a resurgence and public health officials say they would not yet depict the spike in cases as a second wave. Officials say hospitalizations have crept up but are stable and add they will wait for more data before deciding if or when to bring in more closures or restrictions.
US has reimposed UN sanctions on Iran, Pompeo says - CNN
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday evening that the US has reimposed UN sanctions against Iran, a move expected to be effectively ignored by global allies and adversaries alike.
(CNN)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday evening that the US has reimposed UN sanctions against Iran, a move expected to be effectively ignored by global allies and adversaries alike. The latest move is the latest in the "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran -- one that has left the US largely isolated. It comes after the administration failed to extend the conventional weapons embargo set to expire next month under the Iran nuclear deal. "The United States expects all UN Member States to fully comply with their obligations to implement these measures. In addition to the arms embargo, this includes restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in enrichment and reprocessing-related activities, the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development by Iran, and sanctions on the transfer of nuclear- and missile-related technologies to Iran, among others. If UN Member States fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity," Pompeo said in a statement. Other countries have rejected the US' argument that it could reimpose the UN sanctions that had been lifted under the Iran nuclear deal as the Trump administration withdrew from the deal in 2018. They are not expected to recognize the snapback sanctions. "In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable," Pompeo said without providing additional details on those measures. In a letter to the UN Security Council and to the UN Secretary-General, Iran urged the Council to block any attempt by the US to reimpose international sanctions. "Given that the stated objective of the United States is to completely ruin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and to that end, its strategy is to create legal complication through presenting unilateral arbitrary interpretations and pseudo-legal arguments, the Islamic Republic of Iran trusts that the members of the Security Council will, once again, reject the United States' continued attempt to abuse the Security Council's process, thus undermining the authority and credibility of the Council and the United Nations," UN Iranian Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said in the letter. He also responded to the news on Twitter, saying that "UNSC member states continue to maintain US is NOT a JCPOA participant, so its claim of "snapback" is null & void." "US is STILL in violation of JCPOA and Res 2231swimming against int'l currents will only bring it more isolation," he tweeted. Experts have told CNN that this unilateral effort -- which comes less than two months before the presidential election -- is unlikely to have an impact on arms sales on its own. Some say the move further alienates the US from its E3 allies -- Germany, France and the United Kingdom -- and serves to further undercut the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. CNN's Richard Roth has contributed to this report.
Venus is a Russian planet -- say the Russians - msnNOW
No longer confined to territories here on Earth, Russia has now staked its claim on Venus, saying it is a "Russian planet."
(CNN)No longer confined to territories here on Earth, Russia has now staked its claim on Venus, saying it is a "Russian planet." This week,Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, revealed that the country plans to send its own mission to Venus in addition to "Venera-D," the planned joint mission with the US, the Russian state news agency TASS reported. Rogozin was addressing reporters at the HeliRussia 2020 exhibition, an international expo of the helicopter industry in Moscow. "Resuming Venus exploration is on our agenda," he told reporters Tuesday. "We think that Venus is a Russian planet, so we shouldn't lag behind," he said. CNN's Ashley Strickland contributed to this report.
'It's like dating a guy that you know sucks,' says Serena Williams after loss - CNN International
After relinquishing another lead and exiting the Western & Southern Open in the third round in New York, Serena Williams sounded a bit like 'Sex and the City' author Candace Bushnell, whose alter-ego Carrie Bradshaw chronicled the lives and loves of people sh…
(CNN)After relinquishing another lead and exiting the Western & Southern Open in the third round in New York, Serena Williams sounded a bit like 'Sex and the City' author Candace Bushnell, whose alter-ego Carrie Bradshaw chronicled the lives and loves of people she knew in the Big Apple. "I put myself in a bad situation," Williams told reporters. "It's like dating a guy that you know sucks. That's literally what I keep doing out here. It's like I have to get rid of this guy. It just makes no sense. It's frustrating." Williams has pulled off her share of stunning comebacks in a remarkable 20-plus year career but the American is more used to closing out opponents in fairly routine fashion. It hasn't happened, though, since tennis' resumption last month amid the coronavirus pandemic and didn't happen Tuesday as Williams fell 5-7 7-6 (5) 6-1 to one of tennis' brightest young stars, 13th-seed Maria Sakkari. The result came just a week shy of the US Open, when Williams will once again try for a record 24th grand slam title. All five of Williams' matches since her return to the tour have gone the maximum three sets. She was upset in a third-set tiebreak in the quarterfinals in Lexington, Kentucky by Shelby Rogers last week and needed another third-set tiebreak Monday to see off 72nd-ranked Arantxa Rus. Williams won the opener against Rus, like she did against Rogers, before being taken to a decider and letting slip a 5-2 advantage. Williams, who will turn 39 next month, eventually needed three hours to advance. Her tussle against Greece's Sakkari realistically should have been over in two sets. Williams built a 5-3 lead in the second, prior to another wobble. After Sakkari clinched the second-set tiebreak, Williams -- who received a time violation warning in the first -- gently flung her racket over her shoulder. She admitted to cramping late in the match and faced a staggering 16 break points in the third, although saved seven match points to delay defeat. Her extended tussle against Rus wasn't much of a factor against Sakkari, she insisted. "There was no excuse," she said. "Yeah, it was hard, but I had so many opportunities to win, and I have to figure that one out, like how to start winning those matches again. "I've just got to start learning how to win big points. It was literally one point since January. One point I could have won so many more matches, literally. So if I could just focus on how to win that one point, that would be better." She admitted her mindset heading into the US Open could be better. "It's hard to play the way I have been playing and to stay positive," said Williams. "And to play nine hours in a week is too much. I don't usually play like that. It's all new for me." Williams won't need to travel to Flushing Meadows since the Western & Southern Open, usually held in Cincinnati, is being staged on the grounds of the US Open to make for an extended tennis bubble. Novak Djokovic remains in the draw at the Western & Southern Open, following up a tough win over Ricardas Berankis with a smoother victory over grand slam quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren 6-2 6-4 to improve to an unblemished 20-0 in 2020. Sandgren nearly upended Roger Federer at the Australian Open in January but barring late in the second set, didn't really trouble the Serb. Djokovic's fans will be relieved to hear that a lingering neck injury that necessitated a medical timeout Monday is healing fast. "I'm pleasantly surprised with the way I recovered and felt today, just overall physically but also with the neck specifically, because that was a little bit of a concern," said Djokovic, the heaviest favorite at the US Open in either singles draw. "Going back four, five days, I did struggle quite a lot. I wasn't really sure how that's going to react after a first match. But it did really well. I'm as closest to a painless neck as I can be." Djokovic next battles big-serving German Jan-Lennard Struff. The world No. 1's rival from his junior days, Andy Murray, was eliminated at the hands of another big server, Milos Raonic, 6-2 6-2 in a rematch of the 2016 Wimbledon finale. Three-time grand slam winner Murray temporarily switched to football in his post-match press conference when he discussed Lionel Messi. He would love to see Messi, arguably football's greatest ever player, join the Premier League after the Argentine's days at Barcelona seem numbered. "Be great for the league, for sure," said the man with surgically repaired hips. "Maybe get the opportunity to go and watch him live a few more times. I watched him a bit when he was much younger."