Giorgi upsets Stephens at Pan Pacific Open

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OSAKA, Japan — Camila Giorgi dropped just three games to upset third-seeded Sloane Stephens 6-0, 6-3 in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open on Thursday.

The unseeded Italian, who reached the semifinals last year, beat the 2017 U.S. Open champion to set up a quarterfinal match against Belgian Elise Mertens.

“It was a good match for sure and I was able to play my game, show off my attacking style and be consistent,” Giorgi said.

“When I play I always focus on myself. I only made a few mistakes. That’s always been my way, ever since I was little, to attack, to go forward, to put the pressure on. This surface suits my game, too.”

Giorgi dropped her serve at 5-2 in the second set but she sealed the victory in the next game on her fourth match point.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat second-seeded Kiki Bertens 6-1, 7-5 to progress to the last eight, described her win as “super-tough.”

Wild card Misaki Doi will be Pavlyuchenkova’s opponent in the last eight after the Japanese upset seventh-seeded Donna Vekic 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan faces top-seeded Naomi Osaka of Japan in the quarterfinals after she defeated qualifier Varvara Flink 6-1, 6-1.

At the Korea Open in Seoul, third-seeded Karolina Muchova reached her third quarterfinal in her last four tournaments when she defeated qualifier Timea Babos 6-2, 6-3.

“I was trying to be more focused on myself, to play my game, and it worked out,” the Czech said. “I think I played pretty solid today, and it was enough to win the match.”

Muchova will next take on Australian qualifier Priscilla Hon, who edged fifth-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.

Alycia Parks reaches 1st WTA quarterfinal in Ostrava

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.

The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.

The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.

“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.

Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.

Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.

Djokovic beats Van de Zandschulp to reach Astana quarters

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.

Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.

“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.