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U.S. Open: Reilly Opelka blasts his way to second round

U.S. Open: Reilly Opelka blasts his way to second
round 1

Reilly Opelka, who won the first of his two titles in the New York Open at Nassau Coliseum in 2019, probably isn’t a contender at the U.S. Open, but he’s working on it.

He’s got a ways to go to get to the height of his game, and when you are 6-11 that’s a substantial climb. He won his opener against Soonwoo Kwon on Tuesday, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4.

Opelka blasted 33 aces with a 70% first-serve percentage.”I thought it was a typical, routine kind of serving performance for me, and I definitely made him feel really uncomfortable,” Opelka said.

American men are having a decent showing here even if none of them would be considered a contender. Opelka, the No 22 seed, is the only remaining seeded America after No. 20 John Isner, the 36-year-old veteran, was knocked out on Monday by unseeded American Brandon Nakashima, who has been showing some promise.

Another promising American, Sebastian Korda, retired with a stomach issue in the second set of his match against Mikoloz Basilashvili. Virtually unknown Maxime Cressy, a Californian born in France, scored a major upset, coming back from two sets down and defeating No. 9 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7). Mackenzie McDonald knocked out No. 27 seed David Goffin 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.

Barty moves on

No. 1 seed Ash Barty moved through her first-round match against the crafty Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 7-6 (7). No. 4 seed Karolina Pliskova beat American wild card Caty McNally 6-3, 6-4.

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Kyrgios’ travails

Nick Kyrgios lost to Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-3, 6-4, 6-0, in the wee morning hours on Tuesday on Armstrong Stadium. Kyrgios struggled with the heat and his temperament. The chair umpire gave him a code violation for taking too much time to retrieve and use his towel.

“So I have to walk back to the box to wipe my arms because I’m sweating and I get a time violation, but someone can go to the bathroom for 20 minutes and it’s ok?,” said Kyrgios to umpire Carlos Bernardes. “My job is to come out here and play for the people. Not to walk back and forth to my towel.”

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