Medvedev, Zverev eliminated in 1st round in Rotterdam

Getty Images
5 Comments

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev’s 12 aces weren’t enough as the Australian Open runner-up lost 7-6 (4), 6-4 to Dusan Lajovic in the first round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

It wasn’t the day’s only upset in Rotterdam, with third-seeded Alexander Zverev also losing.

Medvedev had 25 unforced errors against Lajovic’s 12, along with eight double-faults, and he broke his racket in frustration. It was the the third-ranked Russian first match since his straight-set loss to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final.

“I think I was very focused the whole match,” Lajovic said. “This was the key today, not to make the little mistakes.”

The 30-year-old Serbian player faces Borna Coric of Croatia in the second round.

Alexander Bublik beat Zverev 7-5, 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with Tommy Paul. Zverev, coming off a quarterfinal loss to Djokovic in Australia, went a break up in each set against Bublik but each time was then broken twice himself.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray’s tournament run ended in a second-round loss to fourth-seeded Andrey Rublev, who won 7-5, 6-2. Murray hasn’t got past the second round of an ATP event since reaching the third-round in Cincinnati in August.

No seeded players remain in the top half of the Rotterdam draw after Alejandro Davidovich Fokina knocked out fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-6 (3) in an all-Spanish match. Medvedev, Zverev and Felix Auger-Aliassime were all in that half of the draw but none reached the second round.

Sixth-seeded David Goffin needed just over an hour to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-0. He’ll meet qualifier Jeremy Chardy in the second round.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

Getty Images
1 Comment

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

Getty Images
0 Comments

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.