ROME — Fresh off his victory at the Madrid Open, Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the Italian Open because of a right ankle injury.
Later, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the women’s tournament with a left Achilles injury.
The 19-year-old Alcaraz beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic back-to-back in Madrid then defeated Alexander Zverev in the final for his tour-leading fourth title of the year.
Alcaraz hurt his ankle during the quarterfinal win over Nadal.
Rome organizers said Alcaraz’s place in the Rome draw would be taken by Finnish player Emil Ruusuvuori, who will open against Cristian Garin in the second round. Alcaraz, who was seeded seventh at the Foro Italico, had a first-round bye.
Alcaraz will be chasing his first Grand Slam title at the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.
Osaka injured herself in her first-round win over Anastasia Potapova at the Madrid Open 10 days ago and she said she “hasn’t healed yet.”
“I need to be careful, especially in advance of Roland Garros,” Osaka said.
Osaka was slated to open against Sara Sorribes Tormo, the Spaniard she lost to in the second round in Madrid.
Osaka will be replaced in the draw by Nuria Parrizas Diaz.
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.