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Alcaraz cruises into China Open quarters, Sabalenka wins

VCG / Visual China Group / Getty

BEIJING (AP) — Second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz cruised into the quarterfinals of the China Open with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lorenzo Musetti in the second round on Sunday.

The top-seeded Spaniard hit 18 winners and broke the Italian's serve four times in the 81-minute rout as he became the first player to win 60 tour matches this season.

"Today was a perfect match for me," Alcaraz said. "You can improve and be better every day but I was proud of my tennis playing this level. I played high quality, great shots and a great return game."

Next up for Alcaraz is seventh-seeded Casper Ruud, who was taken the distance by Tomas Martin Etcheverry 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7) in a three-hour thriller.

Sixth-seeded Jannik Sinner had a 6-2, 6-0 win over Yoshihito Nishioka to reach his 12th quarterfinal berth of the season.

The Italian will play Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals. The Bulgarian was imprerssive in his 6-3, 7-5 victory over third-seeded Holger Rune to reach the quarterfinals for the fourth time in eight appearances in Beijing.

"I'm focusing on the level of my tennis. I've lost quite a few close matches this year against a few players like that, so I really wanted to step up my game a little bit more," said Dimitrov of after his 92-minute win.

In her debut match as the world’s top-ranked player, Aryna Sabalenka delivered a dominant 6-1, 6-2 win against Sofia Kenin in the first round of the woman's draw in Beijing.

The Belarussian fired 22 winners to just nine unforced errors against the 31st-ranked Kenin and wrapped up a routine victory in 67 minutes in her first match since the U.S. Open.

"Honestly, I didn't expect to play that good on my serve," Sabalenka said. "On practice, it didn't work that well. But I was super happy that I was able to bring that level on my serve today. I think it's helped a lot."

Sabalenka, looking for fifth tour title in China and first since the 2019 WTA Elite Trophy, will face Katie Boulter in the second round.

Anhelina Kalinina upset Wimbeldon champion and eighth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. The Ukrainian will next play Daria Saville, who beat Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-2.

Jelena Ostapenko, seeded-13th, rallied from a set down to beat Eva Lys 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, while qualifier Mirra Andreeva stunned tenth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova 6-2, 6-2.

Other first round winners included Liudmila Samsonova, Jennifer Brady, Linda Fruhvirtova and Yulia Putintseva.


AP tennis:

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