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Jaziri Fends Off 8 M.P. To Down Opelka In Atlanta

Malek Jaziri will not forget his opening-round fight-back at the BB&T Atlanta Open in a hurry. The Tunisian saved an astonishing eight match points to deny last year’s semi-finalist, home favourite Reilly Opelka, on Tuesday.

Jaziri had defeated the #NextGenATP player in their only prior meeting in Washington last season but it took three tie-breaks. On Tuesday, the 33 year old would again eke out a tie-break against the 6'11" American and what a turning point it proved.

Malek Jaziri saves eight match points on his way past #NextGenATP player Reilly Opelka in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Jaziri hung in to fend off four match points on serve at 5-6 in the second set and a further four match points at 6/7, 7/8, 8/9 and 13/14 in the tie-break. He would concede just one game in the final set as he ran away with a 5-7, 7-6(14), 6-1 result.

Jaziri withstood 26 aces from the 19 year old and was constantly under the pump on his own serve as he fought off 12 of 14 break points. It sets a second-round meeting with 20-year-old American Tommy Paul.

In an all-American #NextGenATP showdown, 21 year old wild card Christopher Eubanks landed his maiden ATP World Tour match win when he surprised Taylor Fritz 7-6(5), 6-4. Eubanks’ 11 aces and conversion on his sole break-point opportunity paved his way to a second-round meeting with eighth seed Jared Donaldson.

“Being able to play in the tournament in my hometown is already difficult to put into words, but to be able to come out and win in front of the crowd it’s beyond comprehension,” Eubanks said. “I like to impose my will no matter who I’m playing so that was the game plan going in. I think I did a really good job of that.”

Eubanks said players always said that they expected to win no matter who they stepped on to the court against. He chose to take a different approach, however.

“I try to expect to play as well as I can play and be able to live with that result, so if I play well and it still goes the other way I have nothing to hang my head about it,” he said. “It also shows me what I need to improve if I play well and I don’t win.”

Australian John Millman was contesting just his third main draw match of the season on Tuesday, having missed the first four months of the year with a torn tendon in his groin. The 28 year old posted his most promising result since his return with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(5) opening-round victory over #NextGenATP American player, Frances Tiafoe.

Tiafoe broke to serve for the match at 6-5 in the deciding set but could not close it out. Millman’s win books a second-round clash with No. 4 seed Ryan Harrison.

Fifth-seeded Brit Kyle Edmund got his BB&T Atlanta Open debut off to a solid start with a 6-3, 7-5 win over 2015 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis. In an all-American encounter, sixth seed Donald Young joined Edmund in the second round after a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over qualifier Tim Smyczek. He saved all five break points faced and will next meet Slovak Lukas Lacko.

Vasek Pospisil booked a second-round meeting with second seed and last week’s Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open champion John Isner. The Canadian ground out a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(3) victory against American Bjorn Fratangelo.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/jaziri-millman-edmund-atlanta-2017-tuesday

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