Garbine Muguruza advances to Shenzhen Open quarterfinals

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SHENZHEN, China — Former world No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza had a 6-1, 7-6 (2) win over American Shelby Rogers to advance to the quarterfinals of Shenzhen Open on Wednesday.

Muguruza will play Zarina Diyas in the quarterfinals after the Kazakhstan player defeated Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-7 (9), 6-4.

“My goal is to play as many matches as I can, so I’m looking forward to my next match and to keep advancing in the tournament,” Muguruza said. “I’ve never played (Diyas) so I’m looking forward to facing a new opponent.”

Wednesday’s victory was the first time Muguruza has had consecutive wins at a WTA tournament since last year’s French Open, where she advanced to the fourth round.

Fifth-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova extended her winning streak to seven matches when she defeated 2014 finalist Peng Shuai 7-6 (7), 6-1 in 83 minutes.

“The first set was tough, because the start was good, then the middle was so bad, and the end was okay,” the Russian said.

“I think she played extremely well at the end in the first set. In the second set, I was lucky that I could break her, and after, it was much easier for me.”

Alexandrova also saved the first set point before forcing the first set into tiebreak.

“It feels great to finally play in the quarterfinals here, because I’m playing for the fourth time here,” Alexandrova said.

She will now meet fourth-seeded Qiang Wang in the quarterfinals after the Chinese player beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (5).

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.