Nadal, Muguruza post straight-set wins at French Open

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PARIS (AP) Another German qualifier named Yannick, another easy win for Rafael Nadal.

Chasing a record-extending 12th title at the French Open, Nadal posted a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Yannick Maden on Wednesday to reach the third round of the clay-court Grand Slam.

Nadal lost only six games in the first round against Yannick Hanfmann. He was on the verge of doing even better on Wednesday but lost focus briefly in the third set and dropped his serve twice.

“That’s just about concentration,” Nadal said. “Because the feeling on the match has been positive. Positive thing is, every time that I (made) the mistake, then I had the break again, and that’s the good news.”

In the next round, Nadal will be up against 27th-seeded David Goffin.

Sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced, making it to the third round at Roland Garros for the first time. The Greek player overcame a slow start to beat Hugo Dellien of Bolivia 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.

Also, seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori rallied to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

In the women’s draw, former champion Garbine Muguruza and last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens both posted straight-set wins to progress to the third round.

On a sunny morning in the French capital, Muguruza beat Johanna Larsson 6-4, 6-1 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Seeded 19th this year, Muguruza won the title at Roland Garros in 2016 when she upset Serena Williams in the final. The Spanish player is expected to face tougher opposition in her next match against ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who progressed to the third round without hitting a shot.

Svitolina was set to play 67th-ranked Kateryna Kozlova but organizers said the Ukrainian player withdrew with a virus.

Stephens, who lost to Simona Halep in last year’s final, needed a bit more time to defeat gritty but error-prone Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 7-6 (3).

In a match that featured 11 breaks of serve, Stephens could not hold on to a 3-0 lead in the second set and Sorribes Tormo twice had the opportunity to level at 1-set apiece on her serve. A turning point came in the 11th game when the 22-year-old Spaniard hit two consecutive double-faults to drop serve.

The seventh-seeded Stephens hit a series of winners in the tiebreaker and sealed the match with a backhand down the line.

“Just decided to keep it exciting, to play a bit longer on that court,” Stephens joked. “I missed it from last year.”

Later, Roger Federer was facing 144th-ranked Oscar Otte. Federer is playing at Roland Garros after a four-year absence.

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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.