Sasnovich upsets 3rd seed Pliskova at Pan Pacific Open

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TOKYO (AP) Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus produced the biggest upset of the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday, ousting third-seeded Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to advance to the quarterfinals.

Sasnovich beat the U.S. Open finalist 6-4, 6-2 for her first win over a top-10 player. She will face local favorite Naomi Osaka in the last eight.

“I was expecting now to be going to Wuhan for the next tournament because I know Karolina is a really good player and I didn’t expect to win today,” Sasnovich said. “But, you know, it’s life and it’s tennis. The ball is round.”

Top-seeded Garbine Muguruza also advanced with a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win over Anastasija Sevastova.

Also, Magda Linette saved two match points to defeat Yulia Putintseva 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Shapovalov beats Johnson in straight sets at Japan Open

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TOKYO — Denis Shapovalov put up a near-perfect serving performance to beat Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6 (3) at the Japan Open.

The seventh-seeded Canadian conceded only one point on his first serve and had 11 aces. Shapovalov, who lost in the semifinals four years ago, will next take on Japanese qualifier Rio Noguchi for a place in the quarterfinals.

“(This was) definitely one of my best serving matches,” Shapovalov said. “I kind of felt like I needed to against Steve . I’m very happy with my serving performance today and hopefully I can keep it up throughout the week.”

Also, Miomir Kecmanovic came back to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2, and Kwon Soon-woo defeated Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2.

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.