Nadal to miss Davis Cup group stage, Djokovic leads Serbia

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LONDON – Carlos Alcaraz will lead Spain against Novak Djokovic’s Serbia next month in the Davis Cup group stage after Rafael Nadal wasn’t named to the Spanish team.

Nadal is set to return to competition at this week’s hard-court tournament in Cincinnati after an abdominal injury caused the 22-time Grand Slam champion to pull out of Wimbledon ahead of the semifinals.

The injury also kept him out of this month’s event in Montreal, another hard-court warmup event before the U.S. Open, which begins in New York on Aug. 29.

Spain and Serbia also play Canada and South Korea in Valencia, one of four European cities hosting the group stage Sept. 13-18. The other cities are Bologna, Hamburg and Glasgow.

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray will play in the tournament for the first time since 2019 after being named to Britain’s team that will face the United States, Kazakhstan and the Netherlands in Scotland.

Second-ranked Alexander Zverev, who had surgery in June to repair torn ligaments in his right ankle, will lead the German team in Hamburg against France, Belgium and Australia.

Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, will lead Croatia against Italy, Argentina and Sweden in Bologna.

The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage in Malaga on Nov. 22-27.

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.