Kyle Edmund takes Britain into Davis Cup semifinals

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Kyle Edmund stepped into the role of Andy Murray and took titleholder Britain into the semifinals of the Davis Cup by beating Dusan Lajovic of Serbia in straight sets in the first of the reverse singles on Sunday.

Edmund’s 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win on a wet and windy day at the outdoor Tasmajdan clay-court stadium gave Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Edmund also won his opening singles on Friday against Janko Tipsarevic as he assumed the role of Murray as the leader of the team.

Murray decided not to play a few days after his second Wimbledon title but cheered the team on from the sidelines.

Britain hosts Argentina in September in the semifinals.

Edmund had to save two set points in the third set before holding serve and he won despite falling behind 4-2 in the tiebreaker.

Lajovic sent a wild backhand way wide to give Edmund a match point and the Briton converted when Lajovic hit another backhand wide.

Edmund had broken serve for a 4-3 lead in the final sent but dropped his serve for the first time in the match in the 10th game.

Edmund had breezed through the first set, finishing it off with two straight aces in the drizzle.

But the light rain stopped at the start of the second, with Edmund breaking for 4-3 and closing it with a service winner.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.