Playing against each other for the second time, Nick Kyrgios and John Millman competed in the most exciting match of the opening day at Delray Beach Open, with Nick scoring a 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 triumph in two hours and four minutes.
Kyrgios played just three matches so far in 2019 before this event and he grabbed the second win, firing 19 aces and 11 double faults while playing against only one break point. Millman couldn't convert it although he was close to the finish line as well, losing serve once in the entire match and staying neck and neck with Nick until the deciding tie break that the younger Aussie won 7-3 to reach the second round.
Interestingly, Kyrgios scored the only game of the match at the very beginning when Millman sent a backhand long, saving a break point with a great drop shot in game four and closing the opener with a service winner at 5-4.
Nothing could separate them in set number two, reaching the tie break that Millman claimed 7-1 after a poor forehand from Nick who seemed to play at some 30% of his abilities. Despite that, his initial shot carried him through the third set as well and he grabbed the tie break 7-3 after John's forehand error to secure the place in the second round.
The 21-year-old Lloyd Harris secured his 11th ATP win and the first in the ATP tournaments since Chengdu last September, beating Darian King 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 36 minutes. King certainly had his chances, creating 16 break points after pushing his rival to the limits on the second serve although he converted only two of those, which wasn't enough after three breaks he suffered.
Darian was the better player in the opening set, wasting the first eight break points, including three at 5-4 that could have secured the opener for him. Out of sudden, Lloyd scored the first break in game 11 before playing a terrible volley in the following game that delivered a break for King and sent the set into a tie break.
There, Harris forced an error from his opponent in the eighth point for a 7-1, gathering the momentum before the second set where he opened a 4-2 lead and sealed the deal with a service winner in game nine to move into the second round.
Denis Istomin managed to beat Feliciano Lopez for the first time in four encounters, notching a 7-6, 6-2 win in an hour and 39 minutes after losing serve only once, in the very first game of the match. He pulled the break back in game four and won the tie break 7-5 before leaving Lopez behind with a double break at the start of the second set that was enough to push him over the finish line.