Sania Mirza wins in WTA Tour return after more than two years

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HOBART, Australia — Indian tennis player Sania Mirza has won her first doubles match since returning to the WTA Tour following the birth of her son.

Mirza and Nadiia Kichenok beat Oksana Kalashnikova and Miyu Kato 2-6, 7-6 (3), 10-3 on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals at the Hobart International.

The unseeded duo will face American pair Christina McHale and Vania King in the next round.

The 33-year-old Mirza is playing at her first tournament since the China Open in October 2017 and is using a protected ranking. She plans to play at the Australian Open, which starts Monday. Indian media has reported she will play mixed doubles with Rohan Bopanna.

It will be Mirza’s first Grand Slam tournament since she and Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik had a son, Izhaan, in October 2018.

In singles play, top-seeded Elise Mertens beat Christina McHale 6-1, 6-1 and Garbine Muguruza defeated Wang Yafan 6-1, 7-5.

Also, fourth-seeded Zhang Shuai beat Kirsten Flipkens 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Lizette Cabrera defeated eighth-seeded Caroline Garcia 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, Catherine Bellis beat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, and Alize Cornet defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.

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.