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Tsitsipas Holds Off Home Favourite Paul

Stefanos Tsitsipas had to hit one, two and sometimes three winners to put away Tommy Paul during their second-round match on Wednesday. But Greece’s #NextGenATP star stayed patient and persistent to move past the 22-year-old 6-3, 7-5 at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

“I was a bit nervous in the beginning. Didn’t know what to expect. I’m really happy that I got through that first match. It was quite a challenging match,” Tsitsipas said.

The top-seeded Tsitsipas, 20, erased three break points in the fifth game and then promptly broke Paul before taking the opener. Paul, playing at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 128, made the Washington quarter-finals in 2017 and had three match points against Kei Nishikori for a semi-final spot.

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But he couldn’t capitalise on his chances against the World No. 6 Tsitsipas, who made the semi-finals in Washington a year ago (l. to Zverev). Paul broke for 5-3 in the second set but couldn’t serve it and lost the final four games of the match. Tsitsipas will next meet Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff or Aussie Jordan Thompson.

Eighth seed Milos Raonic, the 2014 champion, dropped only two first-serve points (26/28, 93%) in a 6-1, 6-4 victory against American qualifier Tim Smyczek.

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Raonic will face Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk, who ended Alex de Minaur‘s four-match winning streak 6-3, 7-6(6). The #NextGenATP Aussie won his second ATP Tour title on Sunday at the BB&T Atlanta Open (d. Fritz).

Nick Kyrgios has yet to drop a set in reaching the third round. The 24-year-old Aussie delivered 24 aces and beat French veteran Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6(5). Kyrgios will meet the winner between seventh seed David Goffin and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

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