Murray overcomes Wawrinka in 3 sets in Cincinnati

Western & Southern Open - Day 3
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MASON, Ohio – Andy Murray pulled out a 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-5 win over Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in a matchup of three-time Grand Slam champions trying to put injuries behind them.

Murray and Wawrinka both have a U.S. Open title among their Slam championships, and both required multiple visits from trainers to treat leg problems during the 2-hour, 57-minute match at the hard-court tournament that serves as a tuneup for the U.S. Open.

Wawrinka, 37, of Switzerland, had two surgeries on his left foot in 2021 and has lost in the first round in each of his last four events. Murray, 35, of Britain, suffered an abdominal strain two weeks before Wimbledon but reached a second round for the first time in his last three tournaments.

“I was hanging on in the third set,” Murray said in an on-court interview. “I was struggling a bit. So was Stan. We’re not young any more.”

Serena Williams had been scheduled to face 19-year-old Emma Raducanu of Britain, the defending U.S. Open champion, in a first-round match on Monday that was pushed back to Tuesday because of what the tournament described as “a number of factors related to scheduling.”

Raducanu was anxious to face Williams, 40, the 23-time Grand Slam winner who is preparing to walk away from tennis.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to play the greatest tennis player of all time for probably the last time,” Raducanu said Sunday. “For our careers to have crossed over, I’m really fortunate that I got to play her. Whatever happens, it’s going to be an incredible experience for me and something I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life.”

Williams has said she wants to have another child and pursue business interests. She has not said what her last event will be, but she has made it sound as if her final farewell will come at the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 29 in New York.

Williams lost 6-2, 6-4 to Belinda Bencic on Wednesday night in Toronto in her first match since she announced her intentions.

In a first-round women’s match Monday, unseeded 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova upset ninth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-4, 6-4, while 14th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, another former U.S. Open winner, breezed to a 6-3, 6-3 win over qualifier Jaume Munar of Spain.

Unseeded Parks beats top-seeded Garcia for her 1st title

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LYON, France — Unseeded American Alycia Parks secured a stunning 7-6 (7), 7-5 upset win over WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia in the Open Metropole de Lyon final to clinch her first career title.

“I think France has a special part in my heart right now,” Parks said. “I’ll be back next year.”

The 22-year-old Parks, who is ranked 79th, had 15 aces and saved all four break points against the top-seeded Garcia.

Parks secured the only break of a tight contest to win the match.

The fifth-ranked Garcia, a U.S. Open semifinalist last year, was seeking a 12th career title.

“Congrats on a great tournament,” Garcia told Parks in English. “If you keep playing like this for sure you’re going to keep going up (the rankings).”

Parks has a career-best ranking of 75th.

The 29-year-old Garcia, who grew up in Lyon, took time to thank her home crowd – this time in French.

“It means a lot to play here, thanks for being here,” Garcia said. “You supported me from the first point to the last. Thanks for all your encouragement.”

Zhu beats Tsurenko to win Thailand Open

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HUA HIN, Thailand — Zhu Lin of China won her maiden career title after beating Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the Thailand Open.

In a match lasting one hour and 45 minutes, both players exchanged nail-biting baseline rallies before Zhu finally found a way past her determined opponent.

The 29-year-old Chinese player managed a break to go up 5-3 in the first set. Although she was broken to love in the following game, Zhu returned the favor straight back, also to love, to take the opening set in 46 minutes.

The second saw players trade breaks with Zhu eventually securing her first match point at 5-3. She sprayed a shot wide to miss the chance but capitalized on her third in the 10th game with a backhand winner.

“I’m so happy to finally win my first tour title. All the hard work finally paid off,” said the No. 54-ranked Zhu, who will crack the top 50 when the new WTA rankings are updated.

Zhu has started the season strongly, reaching the quarter-finals in Auckland and the last 16 at the Australian Open.

The victory also allowed Zhu to avenge her loss to the Ukrainian at the WTA Dubai Championships back in 2019.

Despite the loss, the No. 136-ranked Tsurenko, 33, will return to the top 100.