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Griekspoor saves 2 MPs, Felix rides his luck in Rotterdam

Felix survives thriller against Cressy, Goffin defeats #NextGenATP Prizmic, Raonic advances
February 12, 2024
Tallon Griekspoor in action on Monday in Rotterdam.
© Alyssa van Heyst Photography 2024
Tallon Griekspoor in action on Monday in Rotterdam. By ATP Staff

With his back against the wall, Tallon Griekspoor dramatically stayed alive on Monday at the ABN AMRO Open. The Dutchman saved two match points in front of a vocal home crowd to overcome Lorenzo Musetti 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(3) and reach the second round in Rotterdam for the fifth time.

After a slow start, Griekspoor converted his fifth set point in the second set to level the match, before he rallied from a break down in the third set. He saved two match points when serving at 5-6, 15/40 in the decider, raising his level in the tie-break to triumph against Musetti after two hours and 56 minutes in the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting.

The 27-year-old Griekspoor holds a 12-1 record on home soil since the start of the 2023 season, highlighted by winning the title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last June. The No. 29 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings will continue the quest for his third tour-level trophy against Hubert Hurkacz or Jiri Lehecka. Last year he reached the semi-finals at the ATP 500 event.

 

Felix Auger-Aliassime survived three set points in a dramatic second-set tie-break to see off net-rushing American Maxime Cressy 7-6(3), 7-6(8).

The 2022 champion fired 18 aces and rode his luck deep in the tie-break when Cressy looked like he would claim a mini-break at 8/8 when he followed a strong cross-court forehand to net, only to see the Canadian frame a forehand lob winner.

"The margins were very small and I had luck on my side in the end. To hit a shank lob to set up match point was quite crazy," Felix said. "But I gave myself opportunities and you create your own luck in a way."

The former World No. 6, who enters this year's tournament unbeaten, next faces the winner of fellow former Rotterdam champion and second seed Andrey Rublev and Belgium's Zizou Bergs.

 

Earlier, David Goffin earned his first tour-level win since last October when he moved past #NextGenATP Croatian Dino Prizmic 6-4, 6-7(12), 6-1 in two hours and 56 minutes.

Goffin, who reached the final in Rotterdam in 2017, will next play fifth seed Alex de Minaur or American Sebastian Korda. His last win prior to Monday came in Antwerp in October.

Wild card Prizmic was making his debut at the ATP 500 event. Last month, the 18-year-old pushed Novak Djokovic to four sets at the Australian Open in a match that lasted four hours, the longest first-round major clash of the World No. 1’s career.

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Milos Raonic also earned his first tour-level win of the season, defeating Dutch wild card Jesper de Jong 7-6(5), 6-4.

The Canadian, who hit 20 aces, has now recorded at least one tour-level win in 14 different seasons. The 33-year-old, who reached the semi-finals in Rotterdam in 2015, next plays Alexander Bublik or Borna Coric.

Top seed Jannik Sinner leads the field in Rotterdam. The Italian, who clinched his first major trophy at last month's Australian Open, commences his campaign on Wednesday against Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp. Last year, Sinner reached the final in Rotterdam.

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