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.

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.