Nikoloz Basilashvili beats Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters

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SHANGHAI — Nikoloz Basilashvili won his sixth straight match Tuesday, beating Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the Shanghai Masters.

Basilashvili, who won the China Open last week and has moved up to a career-high ranking of No. 23, never faced a break point on his serve. The Georgian earned his first victory at the tournament after qualifying in 2015 and 2017.

On Sunday, Basilashvili upset fourth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in the final in Beijing. Earlier this year, he became the first Georgian man to win an ATP title when he won in Hamburg – playing as a qualifier.

“It was a very good week for me in Beijing,” Basilashvili said. “Since Hamburg I got a lot of confidence and that helped me in Beijing.”

Basilashvili will next play fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev in the second round.

“It’s very important I won today after Beijing because it gives me a lot of confidence for a big match that I have,” Basilashvili said. “Sascha is a very good player and I think it’s going to be a very difficult match for me, but very interesting.

“I am feeling very fresh and have a lot of energy so I’ll have no excuses.”

Daniil Medvedev, who upset Kei Nishikori to win the Japan Open on Sunday, struggled but beat Chinese wild-card entry Zhang Ze in the first round.

Medvedev has won all three finals he has appeared in this year and did so by beating the home favorite. Besides beating Nishikori in Tokyo, he defeated Alex de Minaur in Sydney and Steve Johnson in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Earlier, French qualifier Benoit Paire upset 15th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta.

Nishioka beats Shapovalov to win Korean Open

2022 US Open - Day 1
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SEOUL, South Korea – Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka claimed his second career title after beating fourth seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-4, 7-6 (5) to win the Korean Open.

The 27-year-old Japanese, who beat top seed and world No.2 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, was impressive in defense and his counter-punching style eventually wore down his higher ranked opponent in just under two hours at the Seoul Olympic Park Tennis Center.

The unseeded Nishioka, appearing in his second championship match this year after reaching the Washington final in August, started the brighter and found his rhythm early to claim the first set.

The second set saw momentum change as Shapavolov found his range from the backcourt to take a 3-1 lead. But Nishioka rallied to take the set into a tiebreak where he held firm to win his first tournament since his maiden title at the Shenzen Open in 2018 – where he also beat Shapovalov in their only previous meeting.

The ATP Tour returned to Seoul for the first time since 1996 after the city was awarded a single-year license to stage the Korean Open.

Mayar Sherif becomes first Egyptian to win WTA Tour event

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PARMA, Italy — Mayar Sherif became the first Egyptian to win a WTA Tour event by beating top-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3 at the Parma Ladies Open.

Besides earning her first career title, Sherif also notched her first win over a top-10 opponent.

Along with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who reached the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals this year, Sherif is raising the profile of tennis in North Africa.

The 74th-ranked Sherif actually had to win two matches on Saturday, first overcoming sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals, which were postponed a day due to rain.

The seventh-ranked Sakkari beat Danka Kovinic 7-5, 6-2 in her semifinal earlier Saturday.