Opelka’s 1st serve gets him past Sock, into Delray quarters

Delray Beach Open
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DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Reilly Opelka’s winning streak in tiebreakers ended. His winning streak at the Delray Beach Open continued.

The second-seeded Opelka rode an unbeatable first serve into the Delray quarterfinals, beating Jack Sock 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-1. It was Opelka’s sixth consecutive victory at Delray, where he was the 2020 champion.

Opelka had 21 aces, just one double-fault, and won a staggering 53 of 56 points when he landed a first serve. He faced only one break point all day, which he saved.

“I competed really well,” Opelka said.

Opelka will face seventh-seeded Adrian Mannarino in the quarterfinals. Mannarino needed 3 hours, 3 minutes to beat Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 on Thursday night.

Opelka had a pair of unforced errors to end the first set, as Sock won the opening tiebreaker – Opelka’s first loss in his last seven tiebreaks, after going 6-0 in those situations on his way to winning a tournament in Dallas two weeks ago.

But he knotted the match by winning a second-set breaker, then ran away in the third set.

“He was starting to fatigue a lot,” Opelka said.

Also moving into the quarterfinals with a win Thursday was John Millman, who defeated Marcus Giron 6-3, 7-6 (6). Millman has played five sets in his two matches at Delray; four have gone to tiebreakers.

Millman will meet either No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov or Mitchell Krueger in the quarterfinals.

All four quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday. Top-seeded Cameron Norrie meets Sebastian Korda in a rematch of a 2021 Delray semifinal, and No. 4 seed Tommy Paul will play Stefan Kozlov. The Opelka-Mannarino match will be at night, as will Millman’s match against either Dimitrov or Krueger.

At French Open, Francisco Cerundolo is mad at chair umpire over Holger Rune’s double-bounce

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS – Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was devastated about losing his French Open fourth-round match to Holger Rune of Denmark in a fifth-set tiebreaker Monday. He also was mad at chair umpire Kader Nouni for missing a double-bounce of the ball on a point that was awarded to Rune early in his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory.

They were tied at a set apiece and on serve at 2-1 for the No. 6-seeded Rune early in the third at Court Suzanne Lenglen when the point of contention happened. Cerundolo, who was serving at deuce, hit a forehand that skidded low at the baseline and quickly bounced a second time – which normally would have meant that the point was his.

But Rune went ahead and got his racket on the ball, sending it back over the net. At about the same time, No. 23 seed Cerundolo was saying “sorry” to apologize for the odd way his forehand made the ball skim across the clay. Nouni was not immediately aware of the double-bounce, thought the ball was still in play and called Cerundolo for hindrance for talking during a point. That meant Rune got the point, and when he won the next one, too, he had a service break.

“It was unbelievable, because it was a clear double-bounce. I was mad at the umpire because he has to see it,” Cerundolo said. “It’s his fault.”

In tennis, electronic line-calling is used at many tournaments to make line calls, but replays are not used to check things like double-bounces or whether a point should be lost because a player touches the net, which is not allowed.

And while Cerundolo put the onus on the official, he also thought Rune could have ceded the point because of the double-bounce.

“For sure, I wish he would have done that, because it was a big moment,” Cerundolo said.

Rune, who moved into a matchup against No. 4 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, said he saw a replay after the following point, and “saw it was a double bounce. But the point already happened, and he called the score. So I felt sorry.”

But, Rune added: “This is tennis. This is sports. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me; some for him. That’s life.”

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.