Alycia Parks reached the third round of a WTA 1000-level tournament for the first time when she took down 15th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-2, 7-6 (5) on Friday at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Parks, a 22-year-old from Atlanta, won her first WTA singles title in February when she took down No. 1 seed Caroline Garcia of France in Lyon, France.
It had been rocky for Parks since then. Friday’s victory ended a two-month-long main-draw losing streak.
“I think it was a little bit of expectations and a lot of little stuff thrown at me,” Parks told the WTA website. “So I had to go back to how I was winning these matches. I had to literally sit down with my dad and be like, ‘What’s happening? Why is this happening?’ He said, ‘You changed your routine.’ So I had to go back to that. I’m back on track now.”
Parks had a whopping 13 aces to Azarenka’s two. Parks also won 25 of 30 first-service points (83.3 percent) and saved 4 of 6 break points while converting 4 of 7 chances to break Azarenka’s serve.
“Every opponent, I just look at them all the same,” Parks said. “I don’t think about their ranking or what they achieved. I just go out there and play them as if I was playing someone 1000 in the world or someone with no ranking.”
Parks will face Italian 18th seed Martina Trevisan in the next round after Trevisan beat Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 7-5.
No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland took care of Austria’s Julia Grabher 6-3, 6-2. Up next for the world No. 1 will be 28th-seeded American Bernarda Pera, who ousted Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-1, 6-3 in 66 minutes.
One more American won Friday — No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula dispatched Magdalena Frech of Poland 7-6 (5), 6-3. Next up for Pegula is No. 29 seed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, who outlasted Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
Three other seeded players fell Friday. Anna Kalinskaya of Russia upset No. 7 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, Xiyu Wang of China recorded a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory over No. 23 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada, and Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko rallied past Swiss No. 25 seed Jil Teichmann 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Other winners included Russians No. 8 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia, No. 12 seed Veronika Kudermetova, No. 16 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova and No. 21 seed Anastasia Potapova; No. 11 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, No. 22 seed Qinwen Zheng of China; and No. 27 seed Petra Martic of Croatia.
–Field Level Media