Thiem eliminates Sock to reach Paris Masters semifinals

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PARIS — Dominic Thiem beat defending champion Jack Sock 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the Paris Masters semifinals on Friday.

The Austrian served out the match and clinched victory on his first match point when Sock hit a big forehand long.

Thiem broke the American in the fifth game of the third set, and then showed good composure to save two break points of his own at 15-40 in the eighth game.

Four-time champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who is seeking a 100th career title, were playing their quarterfinals later Friday.

Djokovic, who is guaranteed to take the No. 1 ranking on Monday, played Marin Cilic, and Federer faced Kei Nishikori.

The sixth-seeded Thiem, meanwhile, next faces unseeded Karen Khachanov of Russia.

Khachanov, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last month, broke fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev’s serve six times in a 6-1, 6-2 win.

Zverev had treatment on his right shoulder late in the first set and made a string of unforced errors. He took exception to some comments made in Khachanov’s box and spoke to his opponent at the end of the first set.

“I told him my shoulder is hurting and that his uncle, or something, that he’s going a bit crazy. I told him to tell him to keep it down a little bit because he was going a little bit too much over the edge,” Zverev said. “I was never going to win the match, so I told him to calm down a little bit.”

Zverev said he was struggling all week with his troublesome right shoulder.

“I did hours of treatment. And after yesterday’s match, you know, I had a lot of pain in the evening and during the night. Today, during the warmup, especially on my second serve where I was doing the kick motion, I had a lot of pain.”

Khachanov played down the incident with Zverev.

“When you are playing and you are losing sometimes, you just get a little bit frustrated and upset. And maybe some calls or some noise makes more problems and more frustration for you,” Khachanov said. “Everything is fine between us and there is no problem. Just during the match sometimes it’s tough to control the emotions.”

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.