Stacey Allaster becomes U.S. Open’s first female tournament director

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NEW YORK — Stacey Allaster is the U.S. Open’s new tournament director, the first woman to hold that job at the American Grand Slam tennis tournament.

Allaster is a former CEO of the WTA women’s tour and has worked at the U.S. Tennis Association since 2016, pushing for changes such as the serve clock and warmup clock and lobbying for coaching to be allowed during matches.

She will stay on as the USTA’s chief executive of professional tennis, the association said Wednesday.

This is a pivotal time for the group that oversees tennis in the United States.

The USTA announced Monday that it had eliminated 110 positions from its national staff and is expected to decide as soon as next week whether to hold its marquee event amid the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Open’s main draw is scheduled to begin Aug. 31.

Allaster is replacing David Brewer, who joined the USTA in 1997 and became the Open’s tournament director in 2012. The USTA said last year that Brewer would be stepping down after the 2019 Open.

Shapovalov beats Johnson in straight sets at Japan Open

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TOKYO — Denis Shapovalov put up a near-perfect serving performance to beat Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6 (3) at the Japan Open.

The seventh-seeded Canadian conceded only one point on his first serve and had 11 aces. Shapovalov, who lost in the semifinals four years ago, will next take on Japanese qualifier Rio Noguchi for a place in the quarterfinals.

“(This was) definitely one of my best serving matches,” Shapovalov said. “I kind of felt like I needed to against Steve . I’m very happy with my serving performance today and hopefully I can keep it up throughout the week.”

Also, Miomir Kecmanovic came back to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2, and Kwon Soon-woo defeated Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-7 (4), 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.