MONACO — Sebastian Korda beat Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-3 in windy conditions at the Monte Carlo Masters to reach the third round of the clay-court season opener in Monaco.
Both players struggled with their serve in the decisive set as winds in reached 32 kilometers (20 miles) per hour. Korda finally broke for 5-3 and served out the match in just over three hours.
With his first career title in Miami still fresh on his mind, the 18-year-old Spaniard was twice unable to serve out the opening set before the American battled back and took it in a tiebreaker.
“It was very tricky,” the 21-year-old Korda said of the wind. “Up top it would go one way, and then it would kind of swoop down and tornado while you were playing. You never knew what you were going to get.”
Korda made a splash at the French Open in 2020 by getting to the fourth round before losing to Rafael Nadal. More recently, Korda gave a scare to the 21-time Grand Slam champion in his opening match at the Indian Wells last month before losing to his idol in California.
Korda will face Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz, who beat Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 on Wednesday.
Third-ranked Alexander Zverev opened his clay-court season by beating Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-1, 7-5 after coming from 4-2 down in the second set. His third-round opponent will be Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, who advanced when Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan retired while trailing 4-3 in the third set.
Other second-round winners included fourth-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy, Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada, Casper Ruud of Norway, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and Andrey Rublev of Russia.
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.
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.