Murray brings back Lendl for coaching help

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Andy Murray’s manager announced that the 34-year-old from Scotland and Ivan Lendl have agreed to return to working together over the next few months.

Their partnership produced three Grand Slam singles trophies and two consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016 for Murray, the only tennis player with more than one Summer Games singles title.

“I have great respect for what Andy is trying to accomplish and want to try to help him as much as I can,” Lendl wrote in a text to The Associated Press.

The two men now plan to hold a training block in the United States for several weeks after the Miami Open hard-court tournament, which ends on April 3.

While the tennis tour moves to Europe for the clay circuit culminating with the French Open from May 22 to June 5, Murray will prepare for the grass season. Wimbledon begins on June 27.

Murray also intends to hire another coach who will work with Lendl and travel with Murray.

He is currently ranked 84th and has an 8-6 record in 2022, with losses in his second matches at each of his past four tournaments, including the Australian Open in January.

Murray has dealt with a series of injuries in recent years, most prominently serious hip problems that led to two operations. He had hip resurfacing surgery in 2019.

His greatest successes on the court have come with Lendl – who won eight Grand Slam titles as a player – in his corner.

That includes, most famously, the 2013 title at Wimbledon, which made Murray the first British man in 77 years to win the singles championship at the All England Club.

Before that, Lendl also coached Murray to his triumph at the 2012 U.S. Open. They went their separate ways in 2014, before reuniting in 2016, about a month before Murray won his second Wimbledon trophy.

Murray also made it to No. 1 in the ATP rankings while he was with Lendl, getting there for the first time in November 2016.

They stopped working together again in November 2017.

Over the years, Murray also has been coached by Amelie Mauresmo, Brad Gilbert and Jamie Delgado, among others.

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.