Kei Nishikori tests positive for COVID-19

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NEW YORK — Kei Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open runner-up, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and said he will pull out of the tuneup tournament at Flushing Meadows that starts next week.

Nishikori posted what he called “some unfortunate news” on his mobile app.

While he is withdrawing from the Western & Southern Open – a hard-court event usually held in Cincinnati but moved this year to the U.S. Open site in New York because of the coronavirus pandemic – he did not say what his plans are for the Grand Slam tournament that begins Aug. 31.

The 30-year-old from Japan said he is in Florida, where he is based, and had planned to fly to New York on Monday. But that plan was scrapped.

He will offer an update on his status Friday.

“I am feeling well and have very little symptoms but will obviously be in complete isolation for the safety of everyone,” Nishikori said.

He has been ranked as high as No. 4 and is currently No. 31, which puts him in line to be seeded for the U.S. Open.

Nishikori lost in the 2014 final there to Marin Cilic and was also a semifinalist in New York in 2016 and 2018.

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.