Korda beats Miami winner Alcaraz to advance in Monte Carlo

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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.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.