Former No. 1 Wozniacki upset by Andreescu at ASB Classic

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Overcoming a back injury and a cold, Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu upset top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4 Thursday and advanced to the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic.

The 18-year-old Andreescu, a qualifier ranked No. 152, has won Australian Open and French Open junior doubles titles and was ranked No. 3 as a junior.

“I can’t believe it right now,” Andreescu said. “I’ve always dreamed of playing on this stage against top players and now I’m here I played against one of the best and so I really don’t what to say right now.”

Andreescu will next face another former No. 1, Venus Williams.

Against Wozniacki, Andreescu needed a medical time out at the start of the second set for her back injury but she still managed to chase down shots and win vital points.

Andreescu was coughing throughout the match and also had to endure a brief rain delay while trailing 4-3 on serve in the second set. She came out and held, broke Wozniacki for a 5-4 lead and then served out the match on her first match point.

“I’ve actually had this cough for three weeks now so I’m used to it,” Andreescu said. “I’ve also had a couple of back issues the last couple of months but I managed to pull through, I have no idea how. I just fought for every point.”

Williams, who beat former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the first round, defeated 2017 ASB Classic champion Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-3.

“I think it was even cleaner than the first round,” Williams said. “But I’m still searching for perfection and she really, really, really can hit the ball.

“I’m 6-1 and a foot taller than her but she hits it just as hard so I had to be on my toes.”

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.