ATP Washington: Felix Auger-Aliassime downs Reilly Opelka. Raonic wins


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ATP Washington: Felix Auger-Aliassime downs Reilly Opelka. Raonic wins

Heading to Washington with just nine ATP wins in 2019, Yoshihito Nishioka is still in the contention at the ATP 500 event, prevailing against the 7th seed David Goffin 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 after two hours and 40 minutes. Both players had their chances on the return and it was the Japanese who played better in the crucial moments, stealing Goffin's serve six times and prevailing in the pivotal points of the decider to cross the finish line first.

The Belgian was 3-1 up in the opener before losing serve thrice in a row, following Nishioka's pace in breaks seven and nine to reach the tie break that David won 7-5 in just under an hour. Yoshihito had the upper hand in set number two before finding himself a break down in the decider, pulling it back in the fifth game and taking the tie break 7-5 to celebrate the triumph.

Felix Auger-Aliassime is closing on the 30th victory in 2019, toppling Reilly Opelka 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in an hour and 46 minutes, surviving 22 aces from the American and earning two breaks from four chances to make a winning start.

The Canadian won two points more and played against only two break points, starting all over in the decider and leaving Reilly behind to reach the last 16. Settling into a great rhythm right from the start, Felix dropped four points behind the initial shot in the first set and broke at 2-2 after forcing an error from Opelka, sealing it with four winners in game nine for a 6-3.

Opelka had the advantage in the second set, sailing through his service games and drawing a break with a forehand return winner in the second game that moved him in front. Auger-Aliassime saved a set point on serve at 2-5 but that was all he could do as Reilly blasted three winners a few minutes later for a 6-3 and the deciding set.

There, nothing could have separated them until game ten when Felix scored the critical break to seal the deal and overpower a dangerous opponent. A lucky loser Norbert Gombos defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6, saving two set points in the second set tie break to notch the first win in the ATP tournaments since Gstaad 2017.

A former champion Milos Raonic defeated Tim Smyczek 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes losing serve once and delivering four breaks for a promising start. Atlanta champion Alex de Minaur had to slow down after a 6-3, 7-6 loss to a lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk in an hour and 35 minutes, not coming even close to his serving numbers from Atlanta in the opening set and wasting the opportunity to set up the decider when Peter won the second set tie break 7-5.