Auger-Aliassime in Stuttgart semifinals; Shapovalov out

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STUTTGART, Germany — One up-and-coming Canadian tennis player edged into the semifinals of the Stuttgart Open but another fell short.

Felix Auger-Aliassime needed two tiebreaks to beat Ugo Humbert of France 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8).

Canada’s Auger-Aliassime failed to convert three match points in the second-set tiebreak and had to save set point twice before winning three straight points to seal the quarterfinal.

That set up a semifinal for Auger-Aliassime against Sam Querrey of the United States, who recovered from a set down to beat fast-climbing Swiss 18-year-old Dominic Stricker, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Top-ranked Canadian Denis Shapovalov lost another close match 7-5, 7-6 (3) against veteran former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic. It was always likely to be a tough match for Shapovalov because he was playing for the second time on Friday after ousting Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-3 in the finish of a second-round match delayed from Thursday because of rain.

Cilic’s semifinal opponent is Austrian Jurij Rodionov, who upset fourth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Unseeded Parks beats top-seeded Garcia for her 1st title

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LYON, France — Unseeded American Alycia Parks secured a stunning 7-6 (7), 7-5 upset win over WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia in the Open Metropole de Lyon final to clinch her first career title.

“I think France has a special part in my heart right now,” Parks said. “I’ll be back next year.”

The 22-year-old Parks, who is ranked 79th, had 15 aces and saved all four break points against the top-seeded Garcia.

Parks secured the only break of a tight contest to win the match.

The fifth-ranked Garcia, a U.S. Open semifinalist last year, was seeking a 12th career title.

“Congrats on a great tournament,” Garcia told Parks in English. “If you keep playing like this for sure you’re going to keep going up (the rankings).”

Parks has a career-best ranking of 75th.

The 29-year-old Garcia, who grew up in Lyon, took time to thank her home crowd – this time in French.

“It means a lot to play here, thanks for being here,” Garcia said. “You supported me from the first point to the last. Thanks for all your encouragement.”

Zhu beats Tsurenko to win Thailand Open

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HUA HIN, Thailand — Zhu Lin of China won her maiden career title after beating Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Thailand Open.

In a match lasting one hour and 45 minutes, both players exchanged nail-biting baseline rallies before Zhu finally found a way past her determined opponent.

The 29-year-old Chinese player managed a break to go up 5-3 in the first set. Although she was broken to love in the following game, Zhu returned the favor straight back, also to love, to take the opening set in 46 minutes.

The second saw players trade breaks with Zhu eventually securing her first match point at 5-3. She sprayed a shot wide to miss the chance but capitalized on her third in the 10th game with a backhand winner.

“I’m so happy to finally win my first tour title. All the hard work finally paid off,” said the No. 54-ranked Zhu, who will crack the top 50 when the new WTA rankings are updated.

Zhu has started the season strongly, reaching the quarter-finals in Auckland and the last 16 at the Australian Open.

The victory also allowed Zhu to avenge her loss to the Ukrainian at the WTA Dubai Championships back in 2019.

Despite the loss, the No. 136-ranked Tsurenko, 33, will return to the top 100.