Opelka-Isner, Round Four Awaits In Atlanta
American Reilly Opelka set up a tall second-round meeting against top seed and five-time champion John Isner on Tuesday at the BB&T Atlanta Open. Opelka beat Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan, who fell to Isner in the Hall of Fame Open final on Sunday, 6-3, 7-6(1), behind 17 aces.
"I thought I played really clean," Opelka said. "I played a really good tie-break, I made all my first serves."
The 6'11” Opelka and the 6'10” Isner have faced off three times in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, including three years ago in the Atlanta semi-finals, when Isner won in three sets.
But the 21-year-old Opelka beat Isner twice this year, including in the first round of the Australian Open and in February en route to his maiden ATP Tour title at the New York Open. Eight of their 10 sets have been decided by tie-breaks.
"Coin flip" was how both Isner and Opelka have described their second-round match. "This one probably a little more favoured for John, just because he's won it so many times," Opelka said. "Obviously I'm the underdog again playing him, and there's a good chance there are going to be a lot of tie-breaks."
Tiafoe sprinted to a 4-0 lead, but Tomic rallied and saved all three break points in the third set, including two consecutively from 3-4, 15/40.
Jack Sock competed for the first time in six months due to a thumb injury, but he fell short of a victory. #NextGenATP Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic beat the American 7-6(9), 7-6(5) in one hour and 54 minutes, withstanding Sock's 14 aces.
South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon, No. 117 in the ATP Rankings, fought back to beat Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-0, and Brit Daniel Evans breezed past Jason Jung 6-1, 6-1. The 21-year-old Kwon will next meet Brit Cameron Norrie. Evans will sixth seed Radu Albot, who advanced with a 6-4, 7-6(4) win over American Tennys Sandgren.
Eighth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert made a smooth transition to hard courts, defeating American wild card Cole Gromley 7-6(2), 6-2 in 76 minutes. The #NextGenATP star is currently at a career-high No. 46 in the ATP Rankings, following a Round of 16 run at Wimbledon (l. to Djokovic) and semi-final showing in Newport (l. to Isner).