Harris upsets top-seeded Thiem at Dubai Championships

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — South African qualifier Lloyd Harris stunned U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in the Austrian’s opening match at the Dubai Championships.

Harris hit nine aces and didn’t allow fourth-ranked Thiem a single break point as he booked a third-round match against Filip Krajinovic.

The 81st-ranked Harris needed just 72 minutes to dispatch the top-seeded Thiem.

“Obviously, I’m super happy with that win, by far the highest-ranked player I’ve beaten. I look up to Domi a lot, so for me its a special feeling and I’m really happy,” Harris said in an on-court interview.

“I was serving really well. I played some of the important points very well, so I’m very proud of that.”

In contrast to Thiem, second-seeded Andrey Rublev swept past qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-4 to move into the third round without facing a break point. In the next round, Rublev plays Taylor Fritz, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

It was the Russian’s first win on court since he took the Rotterdam title on March 7. Rublev reached the semifinals of last week’s Qatar Open without playing after back-to-back walkovers before losing to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, seeded third, won the opening five games on the way to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Jan-Lennard Struff. He next faces Hubert Hurkacz.

Bautista Agut played just 28 minutes as his Australian opponent Matthew Ebden retired with the Spanish player leading 4-1 in the opening set. Bautista Agut is seeded fourth and will face Jannik Sinner in the round of 16.

Gilbert Klier Junior hit with 12-month doping ban

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LONDON — Brazilian Gilbert Klier Junior, a bronze medalist at the 2018 Youth Olympics, has been banned for 12 months in a doping case, the International Tennis Integrity Agency said.

The ITIA said it had accepted that Klier Junior had not deliberately doped and that the banned substance SARM S-22 had entered his body through a contaminated supplement. However, it said he bore some responsibility, especially “following other high profile cases involving Brazilian tennis players and other sports people.”

The 22-year-old Klier Junior has a career high ranking of 354th and won bronze in the singles event at the 2018 Youth Olympics.

The ban was backdated to start from last June, when Klier Junior was first suspended from competition while the case was resolved.

Croatia advances in Davis Cup as Coric beats Thiem

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Borna Coric beat 2020 U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem 7-6 (3), 6-2 to send Croatia into the group stage of the Davis Cup.

Coric helped the Croatians win their second Davis Cup title in 2018, but he was sidelined when they lost in the 2021 final while missing a year of action with a right shoulder injury.

He returned to the tour last March, winning a Masters 1000 title in August in Cincinnati, Ohio, and rejoined the Croatians when they reached the Davis Cup semifinals last year.

His victory over Thiem, who has also dealt with injuries in recent years, gave Croatia a 3-1 victory in Rijeka. The Austrians had taken the tie against the No. 1 team in the Davis Cup rankings to a fourth match when Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler beat Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic 6-3, 7-6 (11) in the doubles match earlier Sunday.

Chile, Finland, the Netherlands, South Korea and the Czech Republic also completed victories Sunday to secure their places in the next round, which will be played in September.

On Saturday, the U.S. completed a sweep of Uzbekistan, while Serbia, France, Britain, Switzerland and Sweden also finished off victories. Those 12 countries will play in the group stage, along with reigning champion Canada, 2022 runner-up Australia and wild-card recipients Italy and Spain.

Eight teams will then advance to the closing matches of the Davis Cup Finals scheduled for Nov. 21-26 in Malaga, Spain.

In Sunday’s other matches:

– Finland 3, Argentina 1: On indoor hard courts in Espoo, Finland, Harri Heliovaara and Emil Ruusuvuori edged Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, before Ruusuvuori secured the winning point and a personal 3-0 weekend by beating Facundo Bagnis 7-5, 6-1.

– Netherlands 4, Slovakia 0: On indoor hard courts in Groningen, Matwe Middelkoop and Wesley Koolhof sent the hosts through with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Alex Molcan and Lukas Klein. Middelkoop then beat Jozef Kovalik 6-4, 6-4.

– South Korea 3, Belgium 2: On indoor hard courts in Seoul, the hosts rallied from a 2-0 deficit after the first day. Min-Kyu Song and Ji Sung Nam kept them alive with a 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) victory over Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille. Soonwoo Kwon then beat David Goffin 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 before Seong Chan Hong completed the comeback with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over Zizou Bergs.

– Czech Republic 3, Portugal 1: On an indoor clay court in Maia, Portugal, Jiri Lehecka wrapped up the victory by beating Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-1.

– Chile 3, Kazakhstan 1: On an outdoor clay court in La Serena, Chile, Cristian Garin beat Alexander Bublik 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 after the hosts had taken the lead with a victory by the doubles team of Alejandro Tabilo and Tomas Barrios Vera.