A couple of hours after saving a match point against Milos Raonic in the semi-final, Reilly Opelka was back on the court in Delray Beach, defeating Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes to lift the second ATP title.
It was the second clash between Opelka and Nishioka in two weeks, with the American scoring triumphs in both (6-4, 6-4 in New York), firing 27 aces today and fending off three out of four break chances to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.
The Japanese gave his best to win as many return points as possible (18 of 28 on Reilly's second serve) but it wasn't enough to create more damage, getting broken four times from 12 opportunities offered to propel the rival towards the crown.
Reilly saved a break point in game five with a booming serve and broke Yoshihito with a deep return to open a 4-2 gap before spraying a massive forehand error in the next game to suffer the only break and keep the Japanese on the positive side of the scoreboard.
The American landed a perfect forehand down the line winner to fight off a break chance at 4-4, converting the third set point at 6-5 to complete the opener and move closer to the title. With no room for errors, Nishioka saved three break chances in games six and eight in set number two, staying in contention and reaching the tie break that he won 7-4 following a forehand mistake from Reilly, taking only six points on the return in the entire set but delivering two mini-breaks that secured a decider for him.
There, the American lost five points behind the initial shot and there were no mistakes this time around, kicking off the set with a break at 15 after a double fault from Yoshihito and producing another one in game seven to forge a 5-2 advantage.
Serving for the title, Reilly landed an ace down the T line to seal the deal and celebrate the second ATP crown after New York last year.