Top-seeded Muguruza wins Linz opener

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LINZ, Austria — French Open champion Garbine Muguruza advanced to the second round of the Generali Ladies by beating Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.

The top-seeded Spaniard dropped serve twice and saved six more break points as she struggled for consistency against the 69th-ranked Buyukakcay.

“On this surface it was very difficult for me,” Muguruza said. “It’s my first indoor event so it’s hard to find your rhythm.”

Muguruza, who was a late entry to the event after U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova pulled out, will next play Monica Niculescu of Romania.

French qualifier Oceane Dodin became the first player to reach the quarterfinals by beating Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 6-4. The 89th-ranked Dodin, who won her maiden title in Quebec last month, had eight aces and avoided break points on her serve.

Earlier, second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova advanced to the second round by beating Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-1, 6-2. The 10th-ranked Slovak, who reached the final in 2011, converted all six break points while Bencic managed to hold her serve only once in the match.

Cibulkova will play Annika Beck of Germany for a place in the quarterfinals.

Also, third-seeded Madison Keys of the United States defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-3, 6-4, and Kirsten Flipkens advanced after Mandy Minella of Luxembourg pulled out with a hip injury after the Belgian won the opening set 6-4.

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.