Nishikori rallies to beat Opelka in Dubai

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Kei Nishikori came back from a set down to beat Reilly Opelka in the first round of the Dubai Championships, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired from his match.

Nishikori won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to set up a second-round match with David Goffin. The Japanese player faced only one break point, which cost him the first set, and didn’t give Opelka a chance to break after that.

Nishikori is trying to rebuild his form after the coronavirus pandemic and recovery from elbow surgery restricted him to just four tournaments in 2020.

Tsonga was 3-3 in the first set with Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri when the French player retired. It was another setback for Tsonga after he picked up his first tour match win since 2019 in Marseille following an injury-hit 2020.

Surprise Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev reached the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Egor Gerasimov after recovering from 2-0 down in the second set. Karatsev plays Dan Evans next.

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.