Grand Slam winners to play in new Charleston event

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — Australian Open champions Victoria Azarenka and Sofia Kenin and U.S. Open winners Sloane Stephens and Bianca Andreescu will take part in the Credit One Bank Invitational team tennis event in Charleston next month.

Tournament organizers announced the 16-player event on Wednesday. It will be played from June 23-28 at the Daniel Island site where the WTA’s Volvo Car Open is typically held each spring. That clay-court event, set for this past April, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament will be played without fans. Players will be tested before arriving at the tournament, then again at the site. There will be daily temperature tests and health screenings.

To minimize the amount of people in attendance, there will just one official and one ball person. Players will call their own lines.

Azarenka of Belarus won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013 and was ranked No. 1 in the world. Kenin, of the United States, won the U.S. Open in February in the last Grand Slam championship before coronavirus shut down pro tennis.

Stephens won her country’s home title in 2017 while Andreescu of Canada took the crown last September.

Also entered is Madison Keys, an American who won the Volvo Car Open at the site in 2019.

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.