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ATP Round-up: Nick Kyrgios Picks Up Three-set Win in Houston Opener

Nick Kyrgios (AP Photo)

Nick Kyrgios (AP Photo)

The win against American Mackenzie McDonald was Nick Kyrgios' first win on clay since 2019

Nick Kyrgios of Australia used three sets to defeat American Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Tuesday in the first round of the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston. Playing as a wild card, Kyrgios earned his first win on clay since 2019. He most recently made a stellar run at the Miami Open but was fined $35,000 for unsportsmanlike behavior during his Round of 16 defeat.

American wild card J.J. Wolf knocked off countryman and eighth seed Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 6-4. Wolf dialed up four aces and won three of six break-point opportunities against Brooksby.

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No. 7 seed Tommy Paul of the U.S. won when German opponent Peter Gojowczyk retired in the third set. Other winners Tuesday included Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer, Australian Jordan Thompson and Americans Steve Johnson, Mitchell Krueger and Sam Querrey.

Four night matches in Houston pitted Chilean fifth seed Cristian Garin against American Jack Sock; Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas against Australia’s Max Purcell; American sixth seed Frances Tiafoe against countryman Marcos Giron; and American Christian Harrison against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo.

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No. 2 seed Daniel Evans, No. 4 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, No. 5 seed Federico Delbonis and No. 7 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina all lost on the opening day at Marrakech, Morocco.

Spain’s Pablo Andujar upset Great Britain’s Evans 6-4, 6-2, despite Evans saving 12 of 17 break points. Italian Lorenzo Musetti took down Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (5), 6-1. Portugal’s Joao Sousa beat Delbonis 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours, 28 minutes, and Argentina’s Federico Coria beat Spniard Davidovich 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.

Canadian top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime escaped the carnage and posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Moroccan wild card Elliot Benchetrit. Auger-Aliassime, ranked ninth in the world, hit six aces and saved all six break points he faced.

Other winners Tuesday included Dutch sixth seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Serbian eighth seed Laslo Djere, Spain’s Robert Carballes Baena and Carlos Taberner, France’s Richard Gasquet, Slovakia’s Alex Molcan and Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.

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first published:April 06, 2022, 12:01 IST