Reilly Opelka reacts to avoiding surprise loss to qualifier in first clay match



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Reilly Opelka reacts to avoiding surprise loss to qualifier in first clay match

American tennis star Reilly Opelka made a slow start to his Houston opener but was glad that he was able to recover and avoid a surprise loss to qualifier Mitchell Krueger. Opelka, seeded at No. 3, had a first round bye in Houston before he faced world No.

161 Krueger in the round-of-16. Opelka, ranked at No. 18 in the world, handed a 3-6 6-2 6-4 loss to Krueger in his first clay match of the season. "He played well, I think he came out swinging. I think he was free, I wasn't. It's a different situation," Opelka said after the match, per the ATP Tour website.

"He's playing free on that court and I hadn't played a match on clay yet. He was three matches in, so it changes the momentum. It was a good opportunity for him to play free and get a win and I'm a guy that hasn't always been the most consistent, especially changing surfaces, so I think it was a good win."

Opelka avoided a surprise loss to Krueger

Krueger made a positive start to the match as he broke Opelka in the third game to take a 2-1 lead in the first set.

In the ninth game, Krueger earned his second break to seal the first set. After losing the first set, Opelka bounced back at the start of the second set as he broke Krueger in the opening game of the set. Opelka then collected his second break in the fifth game and served out for the second set in the eighth game.

Krueger had the first break point of the third set but missed out on it in the sixth game. Krueger paid the price for failing to convert his break point as Opelka earned the first break of the set in the seventh game. Opelka then routinely held on to his serve the rest of the set to complete a comeback win.

Opelka plays next Dutch Gijs Brouwer, against whom he has no previous meetings. With the win over Krueger, Opelka advanced to the Houston quarterfinal for the first time in his career.