Novak Djokovic advances to second round in Toronto

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TORONTO — Novak Djokovic advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 7-6 (7) win over lucky loser Mirza Basic at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.

And former world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka came back to beat 16th-seed Nick Kyrgios 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.

The four-time champion Djokovic, the ninth seed in Toronto, took care of his serve in the win over his Bosnian opponent. Djokovic had nine aces and was good on 76 percent of his first serves, converting 76 percent of his first service points and 79 percent of his second service points.

He had some trouble late in the second set, losing his serve to set up the tiebreak, before rallying.

The Serbian star, who last won the Rogers Cup in 2016 and is coming off a win at Wimbledon this year, will next face wild-card Peter Polansky of Canada.

Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, came into the tournament ranked 195th in the world as he looks to get back into form following knee surgery.

The Swiss player was originally given a qualifying spot in Toronto, but advanced to the main draw when former No. 1 Andy Murray withdrew.

Kyrgios, from Australia, broke Wawrinka twice in the first-round match and had seven aces in a dominant first set.

Wawrinka battled back, converting on 86 percent of his first service points to take the second set. He broke Kyrgios in the final game of the third set, converting his second match point opportunity when the Australian couldn’t handle his return.

“Stan, for him to get through matches like this, healthy, no pain, that’s a good sign for him,” Kyrgios said. “He’s playing a good level. He’s got a world-class backhand and matches like this are going to give him confidence.

“But I can’t take any positives away from this at all.”

In other matches, Robin Haase of the Netherlands downed Japan’s Kei Nishikori 7-5, 6-1.

Americans Sam Querrey, Frances Tiafoe and Ryan Harrison joined Russia’s Karen Khachanov and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas as other first-round winners. Tiafoe will face Canada’s Milos Raonic in the second round.

Denis Shapovalov of Canada played his first-round match against France’s Jeremy Chardy later Tuesday.

Canadian wild card Felix Auger-Aliassime upset Lucas Pouille of France 6-4, 6-3, cruising into the second round in his main draw debut at the Masters 1000 tournament.

The Montreal native, ranked a career-high No. 133 in the world heading into the week, needed 1 hour, 18 minutes to down the No. 18 Pouille on centre court at the Aviva Centre.

Auger-Aliassime, on the eve of his 18th birthday, saved 5 of 6 break points and converted on 3 of 6. He also had five aces – including four in the second set – and won 73 percent of his first service points.

The teen started strong, breaking Pouille in the second game of the first set, then fighting off triple break point for a 3-0 lead.

Pouille broke the Canadian while he was serving for the set at 5-3, but Auger-Aliassime bounced back with another break for set point, letting out an approving roar as fans waved Canada flags in the seats.

Auger-Aliassime converted on another break point in the second set and held serve the rest of the way to secure just his second career win at a Masters 1000 event.

He will face Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev in the second round. Medvedev upset 13th-seeded American Jack Sock on Monday.

Auger-Aliassime earned his first Masters win at Indian Wells in April, defeating fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the opening round to become the first player born in the 21st Century to win a Masters-level match.

Auger-Aliassime lost in the qualifying round at the Rogers Cup in Toronto in 2016 and had to withdraw his wild card entry to the 2017 tournament in Montreal with a left wrist injury.

Auger-Aliassime began the year ranked 161st.

Tiafoe beats Tsitsipas to give Team World 1st Laver Cup win

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LONDON — Frances Tiafoe staved off four match points to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-6, 7-6 (11), 10-8 and clinch victory in the Laver Cup for Team World over Roger Federer’s Team Europe for the first time.

Tiafoe, a 24-year-old American, performed with the same crunch-time success and wide-smiling showmanship he displayed en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal at the U.S. Open this month.

The victory over 2021 French Open runner-up Tsitsipas allowed the group of 20-somethings on Team World to go up 13-8 in the three-day competition against Team Europe, which in addition to Federer – the 20-time major champion who just retired – featured Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Djokovic had wins in singles and doubles to put Team Europe up 8-4. The last day’s matches were worth three points each, with the first squad to 13 earning the trophy named for Rod Laver, the only man to win the calendar-year Grand Slam twice.

Team World took the lead on the final day at the O2 Arena, thanks to a pair of victories by Felix Auger-Aliassime, a 22-year-old from Canada. He defeated 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic 6-3, 7-6 (3), after partnering with Jack Sock to edge Murray and Matteo Berrettini 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in doubles.

Team Europe came into the week having won all four previous editions of the Laver Cup, which was founded by Federer’s management company.

This one served as a celebration of the 41-year-old Swiss star’s career. His final match before retirement came when he and Nadal lost in doubles to Tiafoe and Sock.

Tiafoe was a single point from losing to Tsitsipas four times in their second-set tiebreaker. On the first, at 6-5, Tsitsipas netted a forehand to close a 22-stroke exchange. Tiafoe erased the second, at 9-8, with a volley winner. And Tsitsipas sailed backhands long on each of his last two chances to close it out, at 10-9 and 11-10.

Tiafoe went a record 8-0 in tiebreakers at Flushing Meadows this month and was just as resilient in the big moments this time. When Tsitsipas put a forehand into the net to end the match – and the competition – Tiafoe dropped his racket, then fell to his back on the court, where his teammates piled on top of him.

Sonego beats Bublik at Moselle Open to win 1st title of 2022

Winston-Salem Open - Day 5
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METZ, France – Lorenzo Sonego clinched his first title of the season by beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the Moselle Open final.

The 27-year-old Italian did not drop a set all tournament as he won the third title of his career and first on hard courts.

The unseeded Sonego recovered from 0-40 down in the fifth game of the match and secured victory when the seventh-seeded Bublik sent a backhand return long.

He then danced on court as he celebrated a perfect tournament where he also beat defending champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals.

Sonego’s win will move him up 21 places in the ATP rankings and into 44th place.