Andrey Rublev improves to 15-2 on year with Indian Wells win

Andrey Rublev
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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Andrey Rublev beat Dominik Koepfer 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, improving the Russian’s record to 15-2 this year with his 10th straight victory.

Rublev trails only Rafael Nadal’s mark of 16-0 on the season, having won titles in Dubai and Marseille.

The seventh-seeded Russian overpowered Koepfer with 32 winners, including 18 off the forehand side. Rublev also controlled the net, taking 11 of 15 points there.

Trailing 2-4 in the first set, Rublev won a 28-stroke rally with a forehand. Rublev broke at 5-all to take control of the set.

Andy Murray lost to No. 31 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 7-6 (9), 6-3.

“I certainly had my chances and against players that play that style of tennis and have obviously big serves and not easy to break, you need to, when you get those chances, be ruthless,” Murray said. “I just didn’t quite play well enough in those moments and that’s the thing that obviously I want to turn around.”

No. 23 John Isner defeated Sam Querrey 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), Steve Johnson beat No. 22 Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (5), 6-4 and No. 28 Frances Tiafoe defeated Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-4.

No. 20 Taylor Fritz, a semifinalist here last year, beat Kamil Majchrzak of Poland 6-1, 6-1

“I think I’m a way better player than I was when I was here last year,” Fritz said. “My goal is to move into the top 10. I definitely have higher expectations.”

No. 24 Marin Cilic went down 6-7 (7), 6-3, 7-6 (6) to Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia. No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime lost to Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 6-3.

In women’s play, No. 3 Iga Swiatek got by 29th-seeded Clara Tauson 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-1.

“I’m pretty happy that I was able to come back again this season from one set down,” Swiatek said. “I felt like physically I’m really well prepared and I could use all my strengths, even after two hours of playing, so I’m pretty proud of that.”

Playing on her 18th birthday, No. 16 Coco Gauff lost to Simona Halep 6-3, 6-4.

Petra Martic of Croatia outlasted 11th-seeded Emma Raducanu 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5 in nearly three hours. No. 25 Madison Keys advanced 7-6 (4), 6-1 over Alison Riske.

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.