U.S. Open champ Raducanu upset at Indian Wells; Murray wins

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Emma Raducanu came down to earth in her first tournament since her surprising U.S. Open victory, losing in straight sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the BNP Paribas Open.

Raducanu lost 6-2, 6-4 in the second round, ending her 10-match winning streak that began in New York. She received a wild-card into the combined ATP and WTA tournament in the Southern California desert.

It was Raducanu’s fifth Tour-level event since making her WTA Tour debut in June.

“I’m kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson so going forward I’ll just have more experience banked,” she said.

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2 in his first match as a wild-card. Murray fired five aces and connected on 82% of his first serves against the French lefty-hander. Murray converted three of six break points; Mannarino failed in his lone chance to break.

Leyla Fernandez, who lost to Raducanu in the U.S. Open final, defeated Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-3. Fernandez converted 5 of 9 break points and hit 71% of her second serves.

Sasnovich, a 27-year-old from Belarus ranked 100th in the world, reached the doubles semifinals last month at the U.S. Open while Raducanu was completing a stunning run from qualifier to champion at age 18.

“Emma just won the U.S. Open and I lost there in the first round,” Sasnovich said, “so it was a little bit different.”

Sasnovich got service breaks to take leads of 3-1 and 5-2 and close out the set in 30 minutes without ever losing her serve.

Raducanu rallied in the second set, taking a 4-2 lead. But Sasnovich broke for a fifth time and led 5-4 before serving out the match. Sasnovich won 53% of her second serves to just 29% for Raducanu.

“I’m still so new to everything,” Raducanu said. “The experiences that I’m going through right now, even though I might not feel 100 percent amazing right now, I know they’re for the greater good.”

Sasnovich advanced to play No. 11 seed Simona Halep in the third round. Halep beat Marta Kostyuk 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Iga Swiatek needed just 71 minutes to dispatch Petra Martic 6-1, 6-3.

The last time the tournament was played in 2019, Swiatek lost in qualifying. Now, she’s the No. 2 seed and the 2020 French Open champion.

Swiatek won nine of the first 10 games against Martic before the Polish star got broken twice and fell behind 0-3 in the second set. Swiatek rallied to win the next six games and close out the match.

“In 2019, I wasn’t playing that confident, but I’m really happy that times have changed now,” Swiatek said. “In the second set, I lost focus for one game and she broke me pretty fast, so I knew I just had to keep going and not stop for a second time.”

No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina beat Tereza Martineova 6-2, 7-5. No. 7 Petra Kvitova beat Arantxa Rus 6-2, 6-2. Ninth-seeded Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova topped American Madison Keys 6-3, 6-1.

Victoria Azarenka advanced via walkover when Magda Linette quit trailing 7-5, 3-0. Shelby Rogers routed Kristina Kucova 6-2, 6-2. No. 19 Jessica Pegula beat Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-3.

On the men’s side, Americans Jenson Brooksby and Ernesto Escobedo won their first-round matches. Brooksby beat Cem Ilkel 7-6 (5), 6-4, and Escobedo defeated Holger Rune 6-4, 6-1.

Alycia Parks reaches 1st WTA quarterfinal in Ostrava

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.

The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.

The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.

“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.

Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.

Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.

Djokovic beats Van de Zandschulp to reach Astana quarters

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.

Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.

“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.