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Zverev loses on day of upsets on French Open showcourt

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PARIS — On a day of upsets on Court Philippe Chatrier, up-and-coming youngster Alexander Zverev lost to Fernando Verdasco when their first-round match resumed at the French Open on Tuesday.

The match was suspended on Monday because of darkness after the players split the first two sets and the ninth-seeded Zverev was eventually beaten 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

No. 7 seed Johanna Konta of Britain had earlier lost 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 to 109th-ranked Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan on the showcourt. Considering the setting, the result is not all that surprising: Konta has now lost all three matches she’s played at the French Open in her career.

The 33-year-old Verdasco pinpointed the third set as the turning point of his match.

“It was a really tough first set, the first one of today. And I think with many games for both of us with chances to win one or the other,” the Spaniard said.

“And, you know, I think that that moment of winning the third set gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of air to play the fourth. And I think it was hard for him on the other side. Like, you know, to start again and have to win two more sets.”

Zverev was one of the outside favorites after impressing on his way to victory at the Italian Open earlier this month. But the 20-year-old German grew more frustrated as the match went on and broke his racket during the fourth set.

“You sometimes play bad. It’s just this is our sport,” Zverev said. “There is no regrets. I mean, what can you do? In Rome I played fantastic, I won the tournament. Here I played bad, I lost first round. That’s the way it goes.

“But the world doesn’t stop now. I mean, I’m still No. 4 in the race to London and I’m still doing OK this year. I won three tournaments so far. It’s not the end of the world, OK? I lost a match, but, I mean, pretty much everybody loses a match every single week they play.”

Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro returned to Roland Garros for the first time in five years and the 2009 U.S. Open champion had little trouble picking up a victory.

After a series of wrist operations kept him off the tour for months at a time, Del Potro once again used his big forehand to great effect. He beat qualifier Guido Pella 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in an all-Argentine matchup, showing no sign of the shoulder and back problems that hampered him at the Lyon Open last week and did not face a single break point.

Stan Wawrinka is also safely through to the second round after a 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia.

Wawrinka started his clay season poorly before emerging with a title at the Geneva Open last week. The No. 3 seed kept up his momentum in Paris.

“I enjoyed it very much,” said Wawrinka, who won at Roland Garros in 2015. “It was not necessarily easy after I played in Geneva until Saturday to get into gear. I’m feeling good, I’m playing good tennis and I’m happy to be back in Paris.”

Other winners included No. 18 Nick Kyrgios and No. 5 Elina Svitolina.

Wozniacki beats Pavlyuchenkova for Pan Pacific title

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TOKYO — Caroline Wozniacki overwhelmed Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0, 7-5 to retain her Pan Pacific Open title on Sunday.

The victory gives Wozniacki, also champion in Tokyo in 2010, her first title of the year. The Dane had lost all six of her previous finals in 2017.

“This was my seventh final of the year – it gets harder to get that last win,” said world No. 6 Wozniacki, who has now won at least one title every year since 2008. “I’ve been putting myself in a position to win all year. It was really important for me to stay focused and positive.”

Wozniacki had crushed world No.1 Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals and a similar score looked on the cards here Sunday.

“The court suits my game. She plays powerfully so it was important for me to make her move around early on. In the first set everything was going my way. In the second set she served better, so it was tricky for me to break.”

The first set lasted only 20 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to get a foothold.

“I was really disappointed in the first three games,” said the Russian. “I felt I was a bit unlucky and really believe if I had turned those points round and won the games, it may have been a different match. I was a little down on myself and missed more than I should.”

The Russian fought harder in a second set that went with serve until the 12th and final game.

Yet she failed to earn a break point in the match and appeared outclassed in her first Premier-level final since Moscow in 2015. Semifinal opponent Angelique Kerber was the only seed she faced this week before third-seeded Wozniacki.

“It’s disappointing to lose no matter which round it is, even more disappointing in the final,” said Pavlyuchenkova, who needed three sets to win all four of her matches en route to the final.

“I felt a little flat due to the previous matches. I didn’t have so much energy left.”

Federer beats Kyrgios as Europe wins first Laver Cup

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PRAGUE — Roger Federer rallied to beat Nick Kyrgios 4-6, 7-6 (6), 11-9 Sunday and clinch the new Laver Cup tournament for Europe on Sunday.

The three-day competition at Prague’s O2 Arena pitted a team of the best six European players against the top six from the rest of the world.

Seen by some as a tennis version of the Ryder Cup in golf, the inaugural Laver Cup was played on an unusual black hard court.

Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych also formed the European team, while Sam Querrey, John Isner, Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe played for the world.

The tournament is to honor Rod Laver, an 11-time major champion who won two calendar-year Grand Slams.

Chicago will host it in 2018.