© Alex Smith/Atlanta Open

Brandon Naksahima saves the lone break point against him in a Wednesday win.

Nakashima Leads American Charge In Atlanta

Tiafoe, Paul also advance

#NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima won the match of the day on Wednesday at the Atlanta Open, saving three set points in the first-set tie-break en route to a 7-6(8), 6-4 victory against John Millman.

Playing in his first event since pushing Nick Kyrgios to a fifth set in the Wimbledon fourth round, the returning Atlanta finalist advanced to his third quarter-final of the 2022 season.

"A lot of long rallies out there and court conditions were tough as always here in Atlanta, but luckily I was able to squeeze that first set out," said the 20-year-old. "Then I was lucky to get an early break in the second set and ride that out until the end.”

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Nakashima led the tie-break 3/0 before falling behind 4/6, but escaped to take command of the match. The eighth seed scored the lone break of the contest midway through set two as he improved his Atlanta record to 6-1.

“I think the court speed definitely suits my game a lot," he said of the Atlanta setup. "I like the faster conditions, and with the heat it seems to be ideal for my game.”

Fourth seed Frances Tiafoe awaits in the quarter-finals after his 7-5, 6-4 win against Taro Daniel on Wednesday. Tiafoe owns a 3-0 ATP Head2Head record against his countryman, including wins this season at the ATP Masters 1000s in Indian Wells and Miami.

“He’s definitely had my number... but every match with him is super close and we’re good friends off the court," Nakashima said of the matchup. "Either way, if I play against him, I know it’s going to be a good battle.”

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Fifth seed Tommy Paul equalled his personal-best season mark of 25 tour-level wins with his 6-3, 6-3 victory against Soonwoo Kwon. The 25-year-old is through to his seventh quarter-final of the year with a run to the Delray Beach semi-finals his best result of the season.

He will next face Ilya Ivashka, who prevented an American sweep of Wednesday's four singles matches with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win against lucky loser Steve Johnson in the evening session.

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