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Van Uytvanck hoping Wimbledon run has positive impact

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LONDON (AP) Alison Van Uytvanck is hoping her run to the second week of Wimbledon can give young gay people more confidence.

The Belgian, who in March said that she was in a relationship with another woman, advanced to the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Anett Kontaveit on Saturday.

The 47th-ranked Van Uytvanck had only won one match in her four previous main-draw appearances at Wimbledon, but announced her presence with a second-round victory over defending champion Garbine Muguruza on Thursday.

“I didn’t come out because I wanted to be a role model,” Van Uytvanck said. “I’m just happy that I could hopefully get younger people to have confidence to just come out.”

Van Uytvanck has reached the second week of a Grand Slam before – she was a quarterfinalist at the French Open in 2015.

However, outside of that tournament and this one, she has only amassed three Grand Slam wins.

Her partner Greet Minnen – who is also a Belgian tennis player, ranked 546th – has been courtside throughout the tournament.

“We’re a good team,” Van Uytvanck said. “She’s also a tennis player. … So it’s really good she understands the game.”

There was also a timely element to Van Uytvanck achieving her career-best performance at Wimbledon.

While she was on court, tens of thousands of people had begun participating in a parade celebrating Britain’s LGBT community in the city center.

With a fourth-round match against 14th-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia to come on Monday, Van Uytvanck wasn’t ready for any celebrations.

“Somebody told me it’s the Pride (parade) today,” Van Uytvanck said with a laugh. “But I will just get some rest.”

More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Federer, Zverev lead Team Europe to Laver Cup win

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CHICAGO — Alexander Zverev beat Kevin Anderson on Sunday night to give Team Europe a victory in the second Laver Cup.

Zverev won the final five points to defeat Anderson 6-7, 7-5, (10-7). His victory helped Team Europe beat Team World 13-8.

Roger Federer earlier put Team Europe ahead by saving three match points for a 6-7, 7-6, (10-7) victory over John Isner.

Isner staggered Federer with a body serve that caused the 20-time Grand Slam winner to stumble early in the match. But Federer regrouped and fought off two match points in the second-set tiebreaker before capturing the deciding 10-point tiebreaker used in the Laver Cup.

In the opening doubles match, Jack Sock and Isner saved two match points in the deciding tiebreaker to beat Federer and Zverev 4-6, 7-6, (11-9).

Team Europe won the first Laver Cup last year in Prague.

Muguruza wins in first round of Wuhan Open; Ostapenko loses

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WUHAN, China — Gabrine Muguruza got off to winning start at the Wuhan Open. Jelena Ostapenko didn’t.

Muguruza defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-0 on Monday in the first round of the tournament, avenging a second-round loss to the Belgian at Wimbledon.

“I’m happy that I won this time. I remember the match from Wimbledon, like a very tough match for me,” said Muguruza, who had been the defending champion at the All England Club. “It’s always good to play again the same person that beat you, feeling good you did something much better than the previous match.”

Muguruza will next face Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic, who defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Ostapenko, who followed Muguruza as French Open champion in 2017, was beaten by Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-4.

Gavrilova, who won for only the second time in four appearances at the Wuhan Open, broke Ostapneko’s serve five times. She will next play Barbora Strycova, who defeated Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-2.

Ashleigh Barty, a finalist last year in Wuhan, defeated Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-4 to advance.

Other winners included Aryna Sabalenka, Donna Vekic, Aleksandra Krunic, Dominika Cibulkova, Madison Keys and Wang Xiyu.