Bublik upsets Fritz at Chengdu Open; Kyrgios loses in Zhuhai

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CHENGDU, China — Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan upset sixth-seeded Taylor Fritz 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 at the Chengdu Open on Wednesday.

Bublik had 25 aces against his American opponent and saved four of five break points to advance to the Round of 16.

Denis Shapovalov also advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Ricardas Berankas of Lithuania. The eighth-seeded Canadian saved all nine break points to set up a match against American qualifier Bradley Klahn.

Portugal’s Joao Sousa beat wild-card entry Chung Hyeon 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and next faces second-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Australia’s Jordan Thompson also went through with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over Vasek Pospisil of Canada.

At the Zhuhai Championships, sixth-seeded Nick Kyrgios exited in the first round after losing 7-6 (5), 6-1 to Italy’s Andreas Seppi, despite leading 4-1 in the first set and holding three set points at 5-3. Kyrgios was coming straight from playing in the Laver Cup in Switzerland this past weekend.

Fifth-seeded Lucas Pouille of France also lost to unseeded Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea 7-6 (4), 6-2. However, No. 3 Gael Monfils reached the quarterfinals by rallying to beat Britain’s Cameron Norrie 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

The Frenchman will next play No. 8 Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, who ousted Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (2), 6-3 after saving four set points in the first set.

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.