Under Pressure, Tsitsipas Responds In Tokyo Opener
The Greek, who was making his Olympic debut, had to battle back from a break down in the third set to advance to the second round in one hour and 54 minutes. Tsitsipas won 75 per cent (43/57) of his first-service points to set up a meeting with Frances Tiafoe after the American downed Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea 6-3, 6-2.
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev came through his first round more comfortably with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu. The German hit nine aces to advance in 61 minutes. Zverev will next face Daniel Elahi Galan, after the Colombian defeated Egyptian Mohamed Safwat 7-5, 6-1.
Japanese star Kei Nishikori got off to a winning start on home soil as he upset fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4. The World No. 69, who won a bronze medal in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro (d. Nadal), broke Rublev three times. Nishikori will next face Marcos Giron after the American moved past Slovakian Norbert Gombos.
Two-time Olympic singles gold medallist (2012 and 2016) Andy Murray was forced to withdraw ahead of his opening match against #NextGenATP Felix Auger-Aliassime due to a right quad injury. The Brit's replacement, Australian Max Purcell, shocked ninth-seeded Canadian Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6(2) to advance.
Seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz also moved through as he defeated Australian Luke Saville 6-2, 6-4 in 60 minutes. The Pole, who lifted the Miami Open presented by Itau trophy in April, will meet Great Britain’s Liam Broady in the second round after the lefty battled past Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-2.The ROC’s Karen Khachanov and Argentine Diego Schwartzman both booked spots in the second round. Khachanov rallied past to beat Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, while Schwartzman overcame Peruvian Juan Pablo Varillas 7-5, 6-4.