Sinner extends winning run, joins Zverev in Vienna semis

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VIENNA – Jannik Sinner stretched his winning streak on indoor hard courts to 11 matches and 22 sets Friday by beating Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the Erste Bank Open.

The seventh-seeded Italian will take on American qualifier Frances Tiafoe for a place in Sunday’s final. In the other semifinal, Alexander Zverev takes on Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who upset seventh-ranked Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5).

Ruud, who has won a tour-leading five titles this season, led 5-4 in the opening set but the Norwegian lost nine of the next 10 games as Sinner gained control in most rallies.

The win puts Sinner in a favorable position for one of two remaining slots at next month’s ATP finals, leapfrogging Hubert Hurkacz and the injured Rafael Nadal into eighth place.

Tiafoe defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 7-6 (6), one day after upsetting top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 49th-ranked American squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set but broke Schwartzman when the Argentine served for the set at 6-5. Tiafoe saved a set point in the tiebreaker before converting his second match point.

Zverev defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to improve to 23-2 since losing to the Canadian in the fourth round of Wimbledon.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.