Kyle Edmund wins amid rain delays at Auckland

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Kyle Edmund outlasted wildcard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 on Tuesday in a first-round match at the ASB Classic which stretched over almost 7-1/2 hours because of rain delays.

The pair had barely begun the center court contest at noon when steady rain forced them from the court for almost four hours. They returned sporadically through the afternoon and into the evening before Edmund, ranked 69th, finally clinched his win near 7:30 p.m.

Edmund had been dominant in the first set as Davidovich Fokina, ranked 85th and regarded as one of the potential next generation of stars on the ATP Tour, struggled to find him rhythm.

Davidovich Fokina found his way into the match in a second set punctuated by rain breaks, hitting hard from the baseline to match Edmund’s power.

The match was still in the balance when the pair went back in the early evening at the start of the third set and Edmund immediately captured the vital break. He then held on, sometimes under extreme pressure, to seal victory on his second match pint.

Davidovich Fokina revealed a wide array of shots from delicate drop shots to lobs and powerful forehands down the line. But he made a number of errors on pressure points which cost him the match.

“I had to fight a lot, dig in on a lot of points,” Edmund said. “But I’m happy. I don’t think I did too much wrong. He upped his level a lot, became very aggressive in the second and the third sets but it’s good to get a win under my belt.

“When you have a break like we did, he was finishing very well and getting on top. But coming out of that break you’ve got to stay on it and to break him at 1-0, he made unforced errors. There were small margins out there and it helped me a lot.”

Vasek Pospisil beat Jaoa Sousa 6-4, 6-2 in the only other first-round match completed early Tuesday.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.