LONDON – Former Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic kept his focus to beat Alexander Bublik 7-6 (6), 7-5 and advance to the quarterfinals of the Queen’s Club on Wednesday.
Tommy Paul upset sixth-seeded Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in a first-round match at the grass-court tournament, and Botic van de Zandschulp reached the quarterfinals by beating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (5), 6-3.
The seventh-seeded Cilic, a two-time Queen’s champion making his 15th appearance at the tournament, saved three set points after trailing 5-0 in the first-set tiebreaker.
Bublik fell behind 3-0 in the second set and used an array of underarm serves and drop shots to get back on serve. But his second double fault in the last game set up match point for his Croatian opponent, who earned his 34th victory at Queen’s.
“The game plan against Alexander is to keep focus, you never know what is coming,” said Cilic, a finalist at Wimbledon in 2017. “He made it a little bit crazy in that second set and out of nowhere started to do these underarms serves and slices and drop shots, and just breaking up the rhythm.”
The 33-year-old Cilic, the champion in 2012 and 2018, will next face qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori, who beat Britan’s Jack Draper 6-2, 7-6 (2).
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Alex de Minaur 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to set up a quarterfinal match against Van de Zandschulp.
Paul will face Stan Wawrinka in the second round.
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.
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.