U.S. Open champ Emma Raducanu trails but wins at French Open

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PARIS — U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu’s French Open debut was as difficult as can be for more than a set before she emerged with a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-1 victory over Czech qualifier Linda Noskova.

The 12th-seeded Raducanu trailed by a set, then was down a break in the second set twice, before coming back to win in more than 2 1/2 hours against a player who was trying to pull off the sort of upset Raducanu did over and over again at Flushing Meadows last year.

At the U.S. Open, Raducanu was an 18-year-old participating in only her second Grand Slam tournament – and she became the first qualifier to win a major tennis trophy.

At Roland Garros, she faced the 17-year-old Noskova, who is ranked 184th and was making her Grand Slam debut after going through qualifying.

Noskova won the junior title in Paris in 2021 and was the youngest player in the women’s field this time. Had she won, she would have been the first qualifier to beat a player seeded as high as No. 12 at a major since Raducanu knocked off No. 11 Belinda Bencic at the U.S. Open.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.