Opelka, Brooksby make quarterfinals at inaugural Dallas Open

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DALLAS — Second-seeded Reilly Opelka advanced to the quarterfinals of the inaugural Dallas Open with a straight-sets win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

Opelka, a two-time ATP Tour winner ranked 23rd in the world, won 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8) in his second meeting with Stebe. The first was at Wimbledon in 2019.

“I played well in the big points,” Opelka said. “I stayed in the tiebreakers, competed hard, it could have easily gone to a third set.”

The 24-year-old American will face fifth-ranked Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who beat Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-3, 6-1, in just over an hour. Mannarino has reached back-to-back quarterfinals for the first time since October 2020.

Fourth-seeded Jenson Brooksby, playing with a career-best No. 54 world ranking and seeded in an ATP Tour event for the first time in his career, also advanced the quarterfinals with 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Italian Andreas Seppi.

Brooksby, the 21-year-old American who reached fourth round as a wild card in the 2021 U.S. Open, has yet to win an ATP Tour title despite a breakout 2021 that included 49 professional wins and three ATP Challenger titles.

“It felt pretty good,” Brooksby said. “A little nervous, being in my first match of the year. It will always be a tough feeling losing early, but I competed well.”

Qualifier Vasek Pospisil continued his strong start to 2022, beating Austrian Jurji Rodionov, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 6-2. The 31-year-old Canadian, with a far more successful doubles career, is seeking his first singles title since turning pro 15 years ago.

John Isner advanced to the semifinals in doubles in his hometown event, partnering with Jack Sock in a 6-0, 7-6 (2) win over Germans Oscar Otte and Peter Gojowczyk. Isner, who lives about a mile from the SMU tennis complex hosting the event, plays Pospisil in singles Friday.

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.