Djokovic beats Polansky; Del Potro withdraws from Rogers Cup

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TORONTO — Four-time champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday, defeating Canadian wild card Peter Polansky 6-3, 6-4.

Djokovic, coming off his fourth Wimbledon title last month, fired seven aces and never faced a break point in the 1-hour, 25-minute match.

A former world No. 1, Djokovic is seeded ninth at the Toronto tournament. He last won the Rogers Cup in 2016.

It was only the second time the two veteran players had met and the first in nine years. Djokovic beat Polansky at a Rogers Cup in 2009.

Heavy morning rain delayed the match by about an hour. Milos Raonic of Canada was scheduled to follow Djokovic’s win on center court, but that match was delayed by rain. Top seed Rafael Nadal of Spain had the prime court to open the evening session.

Earlier Wednesday, tournament officials announced that Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina had withdrawn from the Rogers Cup with a left wrist injury.

“Sorry to my fans in Toronto, but I have to pull out of the tournament since my left wrist needs some days of rest,” Del Potro said in a tweet.

Del Potro, who had a bye in the first round, was set to play Robin Haase of the Netherlands on Wednesday. Haase instead faced Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny, who pulled out of his second-round qualifying match on Sunday.

Polansky, a 30-year-old from nearby Thornhill, Ontario, reached a career-high No. 110 in June but entered the week at No. 121.

“I thought it went really well out there,” said Polansky, who’s never made it past the second round of a Rogers Cup. “6-3, 6-4, (it was) probably a little closer than the score line said. I’ll take it as a good experience and look forward to the next event.”

Canada’s Daniel Nestor, the oldest player at the tournament at 45, was scheduled to play a first-round doubles match in the late afternoon. Nestor is retiring following the Davis Cup in September. He will have played in 30 Rogers Cups since his first as a 16-year-old wild card in 1989.

Unseeded Parks beats top-seeded Garcia for her 1st title

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LYON, France — Unseeded American Alycia Parks secured a stunning 7-6 (7), 7-5 upset win over WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia in the Open Metropole de Lyon final to clinch her first career title.

“I think France has a special part in my heart right now,” Parks said. “I’ll be back next year.”

The 22-year-old Parks, who is ranked 79th, had 15 aces and saved all four break points against the top-seeded Garcia.

Parks secured the only break of a tight contest to win the match.

The fifth-ranked Garcia, a U.S. Open semifinalist last year, was seeking a 12th career title.

“Congrats on a great tournament,” Garcia told Parks in English. “If you keep playing like this for sure you’re going to keep going up (the rankings).”

Parks has a career-best ranking of 75th.

The 29-year-old Garcia, who grew up in Lyon, took time to thank her home crowd – this time in French.

“It means a lot to play here, thanks for being here,” Garcia said. “You supported me from the first point to the last. Thanks for all your encouragement.”

Zhu beats Tsurenko to win Thailand Open

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HUA HIN, Thailand — Zhu Lin of China won her maiden career title after beating Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Thailand Open.

In a match lasting one hour and 45 minutes, both players exchanged nail-biting baseline rallies before Zhu finally found a way past her determined opponent.

The 29-year-old Chinese player managed a break to go up 5-3 in the first set. Although she was broken to love in the following game, Zhu returned the favor straight back, also to love, to take the opening set in 46 minutes.

The second saw players trade breaks with Zhu eventually securing her first match point at 5-3. She sprayed a shot wide to miss the chance but capitalized on her third in the 10th game with a backhand winner.

“I’m so happy to finally win my first tour title. All the hard work finally paid off,” said the No. 54-ranked Zhu, who will crack the top 50 when the new WTA rankings are updated.

Zhu has started the season strongly, reaching the quarter-finals in Auckland and the last 16 at the Australian Open.

The victory also allowed Zhu to avenge her loss to the Ukrainian at the WTA Dubai Championships back in 2019.

Despite the loss, the No. 136-ranked Tsurenko, 33, will return to the top 100.