Auger-Aliassime beats top-seeded Tsitsipas to win 1st title

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ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first career title at the ninth attempt, upsetting top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2 in the Rotterdam final to deny his opponent an eighth title.

Victory at the indoor tournament came as a relief for the 21-year-old Canadian after losing his previous eight finals dating back to 2019.

“It has not been the smoothest road since my first final,” Auger-Aliassime said. “It is an amazing day for me to get my first title and especially here. I played my first ATP main draw here a couple of years ago, so it is right I won my first title here.”

The third-seeded Auger-Aliassime hit seven aces and won 93% of his first serve points, compared to just one ace for Tsitsipas.

The big-serving Greek was unusually poor on his serve with four double-faults and only 31 of 55 first serves landing in. His second serve let him down, too, and he won only 33% of points on it.

It was Auger-Aliassime’s third win in eight matches against Tsitsipas, and he did not face a break point in a dominant performance where he broke Tsitsipas three times.

“He was playing very good tennis, producing good shots and serving incredibly well throughout the match. I wasn’t able to respond,” Tsitsipas said. “I wasn’t able to respond. I wasn’t able to serve well today and my percentages were so low.”

The 23-year-old Tsitsipas dropped to 7-11 in finals.

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.