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Felix Breaks Through Just In Time Against Opelka

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Felix Breaks Through Just In Time Against Opelka

Canadian to face Cilic in R3

#NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime reached his second hard-court quarter-final of the season on Wednesday, beating 6’11” Reilly Opelka of the U.S. 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

The winner of each set didn’t face a break point in the set, with Auger-Aliassime breaking Opelka in the 10th game of the third. Opelka saved one match point at 4-5, 30/40 with a bouncy second serve. 

But, on his second match point, Auger-Aliassime got a racquet on a first serve, and Opelka dumped a tight backhand into the net. Auger-Aliassime won 89 per cent of his first-serve points (42/47).

Auger-Aliassime and Opelka Washington 2019

He was serving unbelievable. I even moved my position. I was trying to mix up the positions. Every time I was getting aced at the same spot. It was just so frustrating. How did he manage to ace me on that same line again every time?” Auger-Aliassime said. “Again, I had to deal with it. I was able to come back well in the third set. [There are] frustrating moments in a tennis match, but that’s how it is.”

The 18-year-old Canadian will next meet sixth seed Marin Cilic, who’s looking to make his second quarter-final of the season (Madrid, w/o to Djokovic).

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Fifth seed John Isner, another big-serving American, had better luck, saving all six break points faced against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz to advance 6-4, 6-4. Isner struck 14 aces and won 66 per cent of his second-serve points (19/29).

“I had to save a bunch of break points,” said Isner, who saved all six in his first two service games. “At a certain point in the match, I started to play really well. Probably 3-all in the first set, I started to pick it up. I was, in my opinion, fortunate to even be at 3-all, so I’m happy with the win.”

Thirteen of Isner’s 15 ATP Tour titles have come on American soil, and 10 on hard courts. He also leads the draw in Washington victories, with a 25-10 record. Isner, however, has never won the Citi Open, finishing runner-up in 2007, 2013 and 2015. He will next meet Frenchman Benoit Paire or Aussie Marc Polmans.

#NextGenATP Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic collected his 16th victory of the season with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) win against 15th seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. The 19-year-old will face Slovakian lucky loser Norbert Gombos, who took fourth seed Kevin Anderson’s place in the draw on Wednesday (right knee) and then beat France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(9), saving two set points in the tie-break, at 6/7 and 8/9.

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Read & Watch: Jamie Murray Claims 400th Win With Andy By His Side

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Read & Watch: Jamie Murray Claims 400th Win With Andy By His Side

Rojer/Tecau advance on Wednesday

Andy Murray broke down in tears last year at the Citi Open after a third-round singles win over Marius Copil that finished after 3:00 a.m. This year, the Brit returned to Washington and scored another victory on Wednesday under happier circumstances that also gave brother Jamie Murray his 400th tour-level doubles win.

The popular British pair won the last eight points of their first-round match to defeat Wimbledon finalists Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 6-7(7), 10-5. Their draw doesn’t get any easier as they next face third seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus, who defeated Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 6-3, 3-6, 10-7. 

“It was a good atmosphere. It felt like there were some good points and quick reactions out there,” said Andy. “I’m in a much better place than I was last year. Physically, I’m so much better now. To be competing again and pain-free is brilliant.”

Jamie has scored at least 35 tour-level wins in each of his past six seasons. The 33-year-old has won 23 tour-level doubles titles with six different partners, including the 2016 Australian Open and US Open (both w/Soares).

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Murray/Murray earned the first break of the match at 5-4 in the opening set after Jamie laced a backhand winner between the Frenchmen. Both teams held serve throughout the second set to force a tie-break, but the British brothers were unable to convert two match points at 6/4. A forehand volley from Mahut erased a third match point at 7/6 and an aggressive backhand volley from Roger-Vasselin two points later brought their clash to a Match Tie-break.

It appeared the French duo would score an impressive comeback victory after a pair of return winners gave them a commanding 5/2 advantage. But Murray/Murray found a new gear and erased both mini-breaks against them, then unleashed four consecutive winners to set up four match points. A strong serve from Jamie wrapped up play after one hour and 52 minutes.

The Murray brothers were competing together for the first time since 2016 and in their first tour-level event as a team since 2013 Indian Wells. Their two ATP Tour doubles titles together came at 2010 Valencia (d. Bhupathi/Mirnyi) and 2011 Tokyo (d. Cermak/Polasek). Jamie prevailed at this event last year with Bruno Soares (d. M. Bryan/Roger-Vasselin).

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The winner between Murray/Murray and Klaasen/Venus will face second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, who won the lone quarter-final of the day over Matthew Ebden and Nicholas Monroe 6-2, 5-7, 10-2. On Monday, Melo earned the 500th doubles win of his career.

Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau moved into the last eight over fourth seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares 7-6(9), 2-6, 10-7. The 2014 champions saved three set points in the first-set tie-break en route to prevailing in one hour and 42 minutes. Next up for Rojer/Tecau are four-time Washington champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who defeated Treat Huey and Denis Kudla 6-4, 2-6, 10-5.

<a href=''>Jean-Julien Rojer</a> and <a href=''>Horia Tecau</a> in Washington 2019

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Thiem Takes All-Austrian Battle In Kitzbuhel

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Thiem Takes All-Austrian Battle In Kitzbuhel

World No. 4 going for his 14th tour-level title this week

Top seed Dominic Thiem breezed through to the Generali Open quarter-finals in Kitzbuhel on Wednesday, beating countryman Sebastian Ofner 6-3, 6-2. Thiem, who’s seeking his first Kitzbuhel title (2014 finalist), won 80 per cent (28/35) of his first-serve points and will next meet Spain’s Pablo Andujar, who beat home favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber, a Kitzbuhel resident, 6-4, 6-4.

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy reached his third consecutive quarter-final on clay, upsetting second seed and Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag champion Dusan Lajovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

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Chardy made the last eight at the Bastad Swedish Open and the Hamburg European Open. Both times the French veteran fell to the eventual champion in the quarter-finals: Nicolas Jarry in Bastad and Nikoloz Basilashvili in Hamburg.

Chardy will next face Gstaad champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who dismissed 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals semi-finalist Jaume Munar 6-2, 6-3.

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In other action, Norway’s #NextGenATP star Casper Ruud will face fourth seed Pablo Cuevas for a place in the semi-finals. Ruud held off German qualifier Matthias Bachinger 6-4, 7-6(3), and Cuevas, a six-time ATP Tour clay-court titlist, dropped only two games in the final two sets, advancing 6-7(1), 6-0, 6-2.

Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco, the third seed, beat Slovakian Jozef Kovalik 6-4, 7-6(7) and will meet seventh-seeded Lorenzo Sonego of Italy. Sonego, the Turkish Airlines Open Antalya champion, beat last year’s Ecuador Open champion Roberto Carballes Baena 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(1).

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Jordan Thompson's Tale Of Two Seasons

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Jordan Thompson’s Tale Of Two Seasons

From one solitary tour-level win in 2018 to the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings in 2019, Aussie Jordan Thompson tells why he needed to step back before moving forward

It was the first round of the 2016 US Open and Jordan Thompson had just blown a two-set lead to fall to gritty Belgian Steve Darcis 7-5 in the fifth set. In the post-match autopsy, coach Des Tyson laid it on the line.

“He sat me down and said that I owed it to myself to start eating better given how hard I was working on the court and the gym. I had a little bit of a sweet tooth for lollies (candy) and desserts. I really took that advice on board,” Thompson told “I cut them out and I noticed straight away how much better I felt.”

Three years on, 25-year-old Thompson is now one of the most disciplined and competitive forces on the ATP Tour, much in the mould of fellow Australians Alex de Minaur and John Millman. He’s also the second-ranked Aussie at No. 46.

“I have that competitive streak like Alex and John. I don’t want to give away a point and neither do those blokes. Growing up I looked up to Lleyton Hewitt. I loved the way he competed and his ‘never-say-die’ attitude. I also respect Andy Murray for his fighting spirit.

“I’ve been labelled as a pretty quiet guy and a man of few words. I’m happy to just go about my business and let the other [Aussie] guys have bigger profiles. I like remaining under the radar.”

Although Thompson has embarked on a steady march up the ATP Rankings during the past 18 months, the pathway has been a tale of two seasons.

In 2018 he endured a horror 1-11 record at tour-level events. He did, however, win 52 matches at the ATP Challenger Tour, a mark second only to the 57 matches won by Carlos Berlocq in 2007. In 2019 Thompson has been off to the races, boasting a career-best 21 match wins heading into this week’s Citi Open and reaching his first ATP Tour final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

“2018 was a rough year. I only won one tour-level match and I never heard the end of it, whether it be friends, family or other people on social media,” the Sydney native said.

“I had my tonsils out at the end of 2017 and that knocked me around in the pre-season. I came into Australia and ran into some tough tennis and it dragged my confidence down. But I went back to the Challenger Tour and won more than 50 matches. It’s tough to drop back to that level but I was prepared to do it. That’s where I got my confidence and match fitness back.”

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Thompson, who is coached by fellow Australian Jaymon Crabb, finished the 2018 Challenger season by reaching three consecutive finals, winning back-to-back titles (for the loss of just two sets) on home soil in Traralgon and Canberra.

“That was a pretty good way to finish the year and then I hit the ground running in 2019. I was fit and hitting the ball much better.”

At this year’s Miami Open he beat Top 50 players Cameron Norrie, Karen Khachanov and Grigor Dimitrov before falling to then World No. 7 Kevin Anderson in the round of 16. “Against Khachanov I barely missed a ball. That gave me a lot of confidence going into the match against Grigor. I then took a Top 10 player in Kevin Anderson to 7-5, 7-5, so that run really instilled belief in myself.”

The hardcore Wests Tigers rugby league fan then reached the third round at Roland Garros before his run to the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final (l. Mannarino). He continued his good grass form by reaching the Antalya semi-finals. He’s also appeared in three other quarter-finals this year in Sydney, New York and Houston, demonstrating that he has a game for all surfaces.

And Thompson, who earlier in his career worked with countrymen Sandon Stolle and Jamie Morgan, says that he’s just getting started.

“I was always told that my best tennis would come around 28, 29, 30. You can see how many guys in the Top 50 are in their 30s. I’m more mature and always working to be better and striving to achieve. I don’t want to stop just because I’m in the Top 50. I want to progress to the Top 40, Top 30.”

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Nadal & Canada's Raonic, Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov Headline Montreal; When Is The Draw & More

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Nadal & Canada’s Raonic, Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov Headline Montreal; When Is The Draw & More

All about the ATP Masters 1000 tennis tournament in Montreal, Canada

Rafael Nadal returns to defend his title at the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 tournament, with the 2019 Coupe Rogers to be held in Montreal. The four-time tournament champion will be looking to win a 35th Masters 1000 trophy after re-establishing sole ownership of the record with his victory in May at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

The first five Masters 1000 tournaments of the 2019 season have been won by different players, and 2017 champion Alexander Zverev will attempt to continue that trend. The field also features a pair of first-time Masters 1000 champions in Dominic Thiem (BNP Paribas Open) and Fabio Fognini (Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters), as well as fellow Top 10 stars Stefanos Tsitsipas, Kei Nishikori, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev.

A trio of Canadians — Milos Raonic and #NextGenATP stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov — will lead home hopes. Raonic reached the final here in 2013 (l. to Nadal), while a 17-year-old Shapovalov enjoyed his breakthrough run two years ago when he upset Nadal en route to becoming the youngest Masters 1000 semi-finalist in history. Earlier this year, Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime reached the semi-finals at the Miami Open presented by Itau. 

Here’s all you need to know about the Montreal tennis tournament: what is the schedule, where to watch, who has won and more. 

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Established: 1881

Tournament Dates: 5-11 August 2019

Tournament Director: Eugene Lapierre

Draw Ceremony: Friday, 2 August, at 4:30pm on site

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Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday and Sunday at 11:00am
* Main draw: Monday – Friday at 12:00pm and 6:30pm, Saturday at 12:00pm and 6:00pm
* Doubles final: Sunday, 11 August at 1:30pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 11 August not before 4:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV 
TV Schedule

Venue: IGA Stadium

Prize Money: USD $5,701,945 (Total Financial Commitment: USD $6,338,885) 

Buy Montreal Tennis Tickets

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Ivan Lendl (6)
Most Titles, Doubles: Mahesh Bhupathi, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5)
Oldest Champion: Rafael Nadal, 32, in 2018
Youngest Champion: Michael Chang, 18, in 1990
Lowest-Ranked Champion (since 1979): No. 95 Mikael Pernfors in 1993
Most Match Wins: Ivan Lendl (57)

2018 Finals
Singles: [1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 62 76(4)   Read & Watch
Doubles: [2] Henri Kontinen (FIN) / John Peers (AUS) d Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Michael Venus (NZL) 62 67(7) 10-6  Read More 

Hashtag: #CoupeRogers
Facebook: @CoupeRogers
Twitter: @CoupeRogers
Instagram: @CoupeRogers

Did You Know… Since 1881, the best players in the world have showcased their skills on Canadian courts. Only Wimbledon and the US Open have longer histories than this ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

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Dimitrov Scrapes Past Johnson In Los Cabos

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Dimitrov Scrapes Past Johnson In Los Cabos

Bulgarian looking to start second half of the year on a high note

Grigor Dimitrov ended a four-match losing streak and improved to 12-12 on Tuesday by grinding out a 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(5) win against American Steve Johnson at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex.

Dimitrov broke in the sixth game of the third set with a forehand winner up the line, but saw a match point come and go at 5-3, 40/30 before being broken while trying to serve out the match. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion, however, recovered in the tie-break, nailing a diving volley winner to bring up his second match point.

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“I knew I had to be ready for everything. It was a pretty good first set from me. Then in the second, I had my chances. He started serving better. It was just harder to return well, and then again in the third, he played a good game to break me when I was serving [for the match]. The tie-break was super tight,” Dimitrov said.

He now leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Johnson 5-2 and will face second seed Guido Pella for a place in the ATP 250 quarter-finals.

“He’s been playing great tennis. Lefty. I can expect anything from him, but right now I’m really focussed on my side of the net. This is the more important thing. I’ve worked on a lot of things in the past months. I feel that slowly but surely I’m getting back to a good rhythm,” Dimitrov said.

Fifth seed Taylor Fritz, BB&T Atlanta Open finalist (l. to De Minaur), won 88 per cent (28/32) of his first-serve points and never faced a break point to beat German qualifier Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 6-4. Fritz, who won his maiden ATP Tour title last month in Eastbourne (d. Querrey), will next meet Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India.

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Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero had beaten Chile’s Cristian Garin only twice in their seven non tour-level meetings. But Londero is 1-0 against Garin at tour-level, having upset the sixth seed 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. Londero will next face South Korean qualifier Soonwoo Kwon, who sped past Germany’s Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, last week’s Gstaad finalist, 6-2, 6-1.

Seventh seed Radu Albot ran away with his first-round match against Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 2-6, 6-0 and will face Taro Daniel of Japan for a spot in the quarter-finals. Daniel routed American Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-0 in 63 minutes.

Brit Cameron Norrie set up a second-round meeting with Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin by beating Frenchman Gregoire Barrere 7-6(5), 6-0.

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Nadal Launches Second Edition Of Mallorca Challenger

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Nadal Launches Second Edition Of Mallorca Challenger

Tournament returns to Spaniard’s academy during the second week of the US Open

It was exactly 16 years ago that Rafael Nadal stood on the centre court in Segovia, Spain, and lifted the trophy in front of the home crowd. The victory, his second on the ATP Challenger Tour, moved him into the Top 50 for the first time.

Nadal successfully used the Challenger circuit to vault up the ATP Rankings and announce his arrival with aplomb. Flash forward to 2019 and the Manacor native is hoping that the next generation of Spanish stars have the same opportunity that he did.

On Tuesday, the World No. 2 welcomed local media to the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, announcing the second edition of the Challenger in his hometown.

“We try to make the event fun and dynamic, so people who like tennis have the chance to enjoy it at a high level,” Nadal said. “The idea is also that fans can enjoy the many events around the tournament, so that it also becomes a social happening and they can be entertained. The fact that admission is free helps make it easier for people to enjoy the tennis.”


In 2018, the academy celebrated professional tennis for the first time, with Top 100 players Pablo Andujar, Daniel Evans and Thomas Fabbiano joining #NextGenATP Spaniards Nicola Kuhn and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the field. In the end, Bernard Tomic was the last man standing, claiming the inaugural title.

This year, the the tournament has a new name, but remains the same world-class event. And the Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s International Realty already has its first entrant. Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz was awarded a main draw wild card. The 16-year-old became the first player born in 2003 to win a match on the ATP Challenger Tour, advancing to the second round in Alicante in April. At 16 years and two months, he is currently the youngest player in the ATP Rankings.

“When I was younger, I was lucky enough to play all Futures tournaments here in Spain and didn’t need to travel far. It was a great help. Now, efforts are being made by the Spanish Federation to expand the Challenger tournaments here. It is so important to promote tennis at this level and also helps the young Spaniards who are pursuing professional careers. That said, I hope everyone enjoys this Challenger and it becomes a success.”


Nadal wants to ensure that the future stars of the game have a platform to showcase their talents. With an elite venue in Mallorca, his academy provides the perfect setting to do so.

More than 7,000 spectators took in the action last year and the party is sure to continue as the tournament opens its doors for a second edition. It is held during the second week of the US Open, running from 26 August to 1 September.

ATP Challenger Tour 

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Tsonga Hits 44 Winners, Upsets Khachanov

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Tsonga Hits 44 Winners, Upsets Khachanov

Frenchman prevails in big-hitting contest

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought through a mid-match dip to upset second seed Karen Khachanov 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 on Tuesday at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

Tsonga was a swing away from being up a set and a break when Khachanov served at 4-6, 0-1, 0/40. But the Russian won five straight points and erased another 0/40 deficit on serve during the fourth game. Tsonga, in turn, lost his serve the very next game, and Khachanov ran away with the second set.

More From #CitiOpen
No Mistaking The Rapid Rise Of Opelka
Tiafoe Tames Bublik To Reach Washington Third Round
Murray: Doubles Now, Singles Soon

But in the third, the 34-year-old Tsonga regrouped and neither big hitter faced a break point until Tsonga saw his match point, when Khachanov sailed a backhand long.

I played very good tennis, just really happy to go through this one. It’s been a long time since I won against a Top 10 player. It’s good for me. It’s good to get some rewards when you’re working well and you play some good matches,” Tsonga said.

The right-hander, No. 70 in the ATP Rankings, had never won a match in Washington before this week but will now play for a spot in the quarter-finals against Brit Kyle Edmund, who earned his 100th tour-level win with a 6-1, 6-4 victory against South African Lloyd Harris.

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American Reilly Opelka, who made the BB&T Atlanta Open semi-finals last week (l. to De Minaur), set up an intriguing matchup with #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. Opelka, 21, saved all three break points faced to dismiss countryman Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 7-6(3). The ninth-seeded Auger-Aliassime, 18, received a bye.

The winner between Opelka and Auger-Aliassime will meet sixth seed Marin Cilic, who beat Romanian Marius Copil 7-6(4), 7-6(4). Lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk of Germany escaped past Hamburg European Open finalist Andrey Rublev 7-6(6), 4-6, 7-6(2) and will meet Atlanta champion Alex de Minaur of Australia.

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Read & Watch: Squirrel Makes Khachanov Move In Washington

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Read & Watch: Squirrel Makes Khachanov Move In Washington

Critter puts a scare into Khachanov and the Washington crowd

Karen Khachanov moves when he’s chasing balls and trying to stay in rallies. But he really becomes alert when there’s a squirrel on court, as fans at the Citi Open saw on Tuesday evening.

A squirrel found its way onto the court before the eighth game of the second set of Khachanov’s second-round match against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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During the 5-2 changeover, the squirrel briefly stopped in front of Tsonga, before darting over to Khachanov, then back to Tsonga, then back to Khachanov, who finally noticed the creature and nearly jumped in his chair.

The squirrel, however, meandered past the players and into the stands, where fans shrieked but it appeared none were hurt from the critter’s brief foray onto Stadium Court. Watch Now

Earlier in the day, a moth delayed play between Frances Tiafoe and Alexander Bublik before a ball boy came to the rescue. Watch Now

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Tiafoe Tames Bublik To Reach Washington Third Round

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2019

Tiafoe Tames Bublik To Reach Washington Third Round

American to meet Medvedev or Fratangelo in third round

Frances Tiafoe made a winning start to his home tournament on Tuesday, moving past Alexander Bublik 6-1, 7-6(5) at the Citi Open.

The 16th seed advanced to the third round in Washington for the first time, saving four of six break points against the Newport runner-up en route to victory. Tiafoe entered the tournament on a four-match tour-level losing streak, but proved the more consistent player throughout the 79-minute encounter.

The Maryland native covered the court well and benefitted from 13 Bublik unforced errors to take the first set after 24 minutes. Bublik moved up the court and experimented with underarm serves in key moments to unsettle his opponent in the second set, but Tiafoe once again found his way through. The 21-year-old rallied from 3-5 down and clinched the tie-break as Bublik committed his 10th double fault of the match.

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Tiafoe will face third seed Daniil Medvedev or Bjorn Fratangelo for a spot in the quarter-finals. The World No. 40 is yet to meet either player at tour-level.

Yoshihito Nishioka will meet seventh seed David Goffin for a spot in the third round. The 23-year-old earned his 10th tour-level win of the season with a 6-4, 6-1 victory against Daniel Evans.

Miomir Kecmanovic also advanced, saving all six break points he faced to beat Alexei Popyrin 7-6(6), 6-3. The Serbian, who reached his maiden ATP Tour final in Antalya in June, will face 15th seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round.

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