The second day of action in Atlanta delivered some very entertaining matches and huge turnarounds. Tunisian Malek Jaziri ousted Reilly Opelka 5-7 6-6 6-1 after 2hours and 44 minutes, but only after saving no less than 8 match points in the second set! Opelka fired 26 aces and had to play against just 5 break points, but he lost his serve thrice and on the other hand, he converted just 2 out of 14 break points, and that cost him the match, with nothing left in the tank for the third set.
After a good start from both players, Reilly broke in game 8 to serve for the first set, only to lose his serve in game 9 as well, as Jaziri prolonged the set. Nonetheless, young American played another return game to break his rival in game 12, taking the opener 7-5.
He had a huge chance to bring the match home in set number 2, wasting 6 break points in games 2 and 6, and he had 4 match points in game 12 as well. Malek somehow survived until the tie break (saved 10 break points in total) and he had to dig deep in the tie break as well, before taking it 16-14! Reilly had another 4 match points at 7-6, 8-7, 9-8 and 14-13, but this just wasn't his day, as he missed them all to drop the breaker 3 points later.
Of course, Jaziri had everything in his hands now and he sailed through the final set by 6-1, breaking Reilly in games 2 and 6 to complete a marvelous victory and reach the second round. Christopher Eubanks, who plays Collegiate tennis at local Georgia Tech and who is currently ranked 461st in singles, defeated struggling Taylor Fritz by 7-6 6-4 in 81 minutes, for his first ATP win in a career. It was a very close match, with 1 break point for each player, and Chris made all the difference by seizing his chance and taking the first set tie break, prevailing in the crucial moments for straight sets triumph.
Eubanks served great right from the start, not allowing any chance on the return for Fritz, but younger American was also solid, with just 2 deuces in his 6 service games. The battle of good serves and forehands continued into the tie break, where Eubanks built a 5-2 lead before he closed the set by 7-5.
The middle of the second set proved to be a crucial period of the match, with those 2 break points. Eubanks broke in game 5 and he saved a break point a few minutes later to open up a 4-2 gap, sealing the deal on his own serve in game 10 for a great win.
The 5th seed Kyle Edmund improved his score to 15-19 in 2017, beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 7-5 in an hour and 24 minutes. Both players struggled to find the first serve (Edmund was on 45%) but it was Edmund who kept his second serve much safer, and that brought him the victory after all.
Briton lost just 9 points in 11 service games, keeping the pressure on his rival, and Baghdatis got broken twice from 5 break points he had to play against. The first set was over in half an hour, Kyle lost just 1 point in 5 service games and he broke Marcos at love in game 6, winning 9 points in a row at that moment.
The second set was closer and Marcos saved 3 break points in game 9 to stay in touch with his rival, but he lost his serve in game 11 and Kyle cross the finish line a few minutes later with another solid hold. First round results: