Stricker, 18, stuns Hurkacz to reach Stuttgart quarterfinals

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STUTTGART, Germany — Swiss teenager Dominic Stricker stunned the second-seeded Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Stuttgart Open.

The 18-year-old Stricker, who is ranked 335th, once again showed his composure in the tiebreakers a day after beating Radu Albot 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) on his grass-court debut.

Stricker hit eight aces and saved five of the six break points he faced against Hurkacz to set up a meeting with Sam Querrey. The American defeated Australian qualifier James Duckworth 6-4, 7-6 (7).

Stricker was ranked No. 1,168 at the start of the season but is climbing rapidly. He also reached the quarterfinals on his ATP Tour main draw debut in Geneva three weeks ago.

Third-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated South Africa’s Lloyd Harris 6-3, 7-6 (4). The Canadian next plays sixth-seeded Ugo Humbert, who overcame home favorite Yannick Hanfmann 7-6 (9), 6-2.

Also, fourth-seeded Alex de Minaur won an all-Australian clash against Jordan Thompson 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-4 for a quarterfinal against Austrian qualifier Jurij Rodionov.

The 142nd-ranked Rodionov was leading 5-3 when Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk had to retire.

Marin Cilic upset Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-2 and was awaiting the winner between Denis Shapovalov and Feliciano Lopez.

Tiafoe beats Tsitsipas to give Team World 1st Laver Cup win

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LONDON — Frances Tiafoe staved off four match points to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 1-6, 7-6 (11), 10-8 and clinch victory in the Laver Cup for Team World over Roger Federer’s Team Europe for the first time.

Tiafoe, a 24-year-old American, performed with the same crunch-time success and wide-smiling showmanship he displayed en route to his first Grand Slam semifinal at the U.S. Open this month.

The victory over 2021 French Open runner-up Tsitsipas allowed the group of 20-somethings on Team World to go up 13-8 in the three-day competition against Team Europe, which in addition to Federer – the 20-time major champion who just retired – featured Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Djokovic had wins in singles and doubles to put Team Europe up 8-4. The last day’s matches were worth three points each, with the first squad to 13 earning the trophy named for Rod Laver, the only man to win the calendar-year Grand Slam twice.

Team World took the lead on the final day at the O2 Arena, thanks to a pair of victories by Felix Auger-Aliassime, a 22-year-old from Canada. He defeated 21-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic 6-3, 7-6 (3), after partnering with Jack Sock to edge Murray and Matteo Berrettini 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in doubles.

Team Europe came into the week having won all four previous editions of the Laver Cup, which was founded by Federer’s management company.

This one served as a celebration of the 41-year-old Swiss star’s career. His final match before retirement came when he and Nadal lost in doubles to Tiafoe and Sock.

Tiafoe was a single point from losing to Tsitsipas four times in their second-set tiebreaker. On the first, at 6-5, Tsitsipas netted a forehand to close a 22-stroke exchange. Tiafoe erased the second, at 9-8, with a volley winner. And Tsitsipas sailed backhands long on each of his last two chances to close it out, at 10-9 and 11-10.

Tiafoe went a record 8-0 in tiebreakers at Flushing Meadows this month and was just as resilient in the big moments this time. When Tsitsipas put a forehand into the net to end the match – and the competition – Tiafoe dropped his racket, then fell to his back on the court, where his teammates piled on top of him.

Sonego beats Bublik at Moselle Open to win 1st title of 2022

Winston-Salem Open - Day 5
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METZ, France – Lorenzo Sonego clinched his first title of the season by beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the Moselle Open final.

The 27-year-old Italian did not drop a set all tournament as he won the third title of his career and first on hard courts.

The unseeded Sonego recovered from 0-40 down in the fifth game of the match and secured victory when the seventh-seeded Bublik sent a backhand return long.

He then danced on court as he celebrated a perfect tournament where he also beat defending champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals.

Sonego’s win will move him up 21 places in the ATP rankings and into 44th place.