Tsitsipas Holds Off Home Favourite Paul
Stefanos Tsitsipas had to hit one, two and sometimes three winners to put away Tommy Paul during their second-round match on Wednesday. But Greece's #NextGenATP star stayed patient and persistent to move past the 22-year-old 6-3, 7-5 at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
“I was a bit nervous in the beginning. Didn't know what to expect. I'm really happy that I got through that first match. It was quite a challenging match,” Tsitsipas said.
The top-seeded Tsitsipas, 20, erased three break points in the fifth game and then promptly broke Paul before taking the opener. Paul, playing at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 128, made the Washington quarter-finals in 2017 and had three match points against Kei Nishikori for a semi-final spot.
But he couldn't capitalise on his chances against the World No. 6 Tsitsipas, who made the semi-finals in Washington a year ago (l. to Zverev). Paul broke for 5-3 in the second set but couldn't serve it and lost the final four games of the match. Tsitsipas will next meet Aussie Jordan Thompson, who beat Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7(8), 6-4, 7-5.
Eighth seed Milos Raonic, the 2014 champion, dropped only two first-serve points (26/28, 93%) in a 6-1, 6-4 victory against American qualifier Tim Smyczek.
Raonic will face Germany's Peter Gojowczyk, who ended Alex de Minaur's four-match winning streak 6-3, 7-6(6). The #NextGenATP Aussie won his second ATP Tour title on Sunday at the BB&T Atlanta Open (d. Fritz).
Nick Kyrgios has yet to drop a set in reaching the third round. The 24-year-old Aussie delivered 24 aces and beat French veteran Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6(5). Kyrgios will next face Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka, who upset seventh seed David Goffin 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(5).