Andy Murray wins in his return to the Davis Cup

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MADRID — Andy Murray made a successful return to the Davis Cup on Wednesday, rallying to beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Murray trailed 4-1 in the third set and 4-1 in the decisive tiebreaker, but came back both times to give Britain a 1-0 lead over the Netherlands in Group E of the Davis Cup Finals.

Murray had not played in the Davis Cup since 2016, when Britain lost to Argentina in the semifinals. In October, the three-time Grand Slam champion won his first title since undergoing hip surgery in January.

Daniel Evans will face Robin Haase in the second singles match.

In the revamped Davis Cup format, teams play two singles and a doubles match, with the group winners advancing to the knockout stage along with the two best second-place finishers in the six groups.

The Netherlands lost to Kazakhstan 2-1 in on Tuesday.

While Murray struggled to beat the 179th-ranked Griekspoor, Novak Djokovic cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win over 73rd-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka, giving Serbia a 2-0 victory over Japan in Group A.

It was the 13th straight Davis Cup singles victory for Djokovic, who broke Nishioka’s serve three times in the first set and twice in the second at the Caja Magica.

Filip Krajinovic had defeated Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 6-4 in the first match.

Japan, which lost to top-ranked France 2-1 on Tuesday, has no chance of advancing to the knockout stage.

Argentina routed Chile 3-0 on Tuesday but trailed Germany 1-0 on Wednesday after Philipp Kohlschreiber rebounded from a slow start to beat Guido Pella 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Diego Schwartzman will try to keep Argentina alive against Jan-Lennard Struff in the second singles match.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.