Fritz upsets Rublev in straight sets at Paris Masters

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PARIS — Taylor Fritz saved the only break point he faced and converted the only break point he earned  to upset fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev 7-5, 7-6 (2) in the second round of the Paris Masters.

Fritz broke his Russian opponent in the final game of the first set and then saved a break point at 1-1 in the second.

The American, ranked 26th in the world, has been playing well in recent weeks. He beat Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells last month and reached the final of the St. Petersburg Open last week. Rublev defeated Fritz 6-3, 6-1 in Dubai earlier this year.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Pablo Carreno Busta both dropped out of contention for the ATP Finals by losing in the second round.

The ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime lost to Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 7-5, while the 12th-seeded Carreno Busta was beaten by French qualifier Hugo Gaston 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5.

Koepfer, who saved seven match points against Andy Murray in the previous round, broke Auger-Aliassime twice in each set, winning seven straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the second.

“Very disappointing. I should have done much better,” Auger-Aliassime said. “He played very well, but I fought against myself at some times.”

Auger-Aliassime and Carreno Busta can no longer overtake Jannik Sinner in the race for a spot at the eight-man season-ending tournament.

James Duckworth also beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

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.

Ruud loses, Kyrgios wins at Japan Open

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TOKYO — Top-seeded Casper Ruud lost and Nick Kyrgios won at the Japan Open.

Ruud, who reached the final at both the French Open and the U.S. Open this year, lost to Jaume Munar 6-3, 6-3.

Kyrgios, who lost in the Wimbledon final, defeated Tseng Chun-hsin 6-3, 6-1 to reach the round of 16. He will next face Kamil Majchrzak, who beat Sho Shimabukuro 7-6 (2), 6-2.

The victory for Kyrgios came on the same day that his lawyer asked an Australian court to dismiss assault charges against him on mental health grounds. Magistrate Glenn Theakston adjourned the case until Feb. 3.

The 27-year-old Kyrgios will appear in court in person on that date for the first time since he was charged by police by summons in July.

The common assault charge, which has a potential maximum sentence of two years in prison, relates to an incident in January 2021 that was reported to local police last December. The charge reportedly relates to an incident involving his former girlfriend.