Just two days after lifting his maiden ATP title in New York, the 21-year-old American Reilly Opelka is through to the second round in Delray Beach as well, demolishing Tennys Sandgren 6-4 6-0 in 55 minutes! Despite hitting only eight aces, Reilly held everything under control behind the initial shot, losing 12 points in eight service games and fending off the only break points he faced.
The match had two phases, the first until 4-4 and the second where Opelka had the upper hand, rattling off eight straight games to march over the finish line with four consecutive breaks of serve. Tennys got broken in the ninth game after a double fault and Reilly saved a break point in the following game with a forehand winner, securing the opener and accumulating the energy for set number two where he won all the games to move over the top with a service winner at 5-0.
The 2nd seed John Isner asked for a wild card in Delray Beach, seeking the first title here after a 6-3, 7-6 win over Peter Polansky in an hour and 32 minutes. John wasted six match points against Opelka in the semi-final of New York but he is back on the winning way, blasting 23 aces and saving all four break points in the second set to bring the match home without having to play a decider.
Polansky fought well, losing serve once in the opener and staying on the level terms with John in the second set before falling in the tie break to hit the exit door. Isner found the zone right from the start, serving well and breaking at love in game four after a double fault from the Canadian.
Serving for the set, John delivered four service winners in game nine for a 6-3, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter. Things were not that easy at the start of the second set, though, facing four break points in game two that he successfully repelled with two service winners and two from his forehand wing to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard.
Polansky endured two break points at 5-5 although he lost two points on serve in the tie break to propel Isner over the finish line, with the American landing two service winners at 5-4 to seal the deal and reach the last 16.
Mackenzie McDonald defeated the fellow American Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 35 minutes after a great fight. Taylor shot 17 aces but he struggled on the second serve, facing three break points and losing serve twice, once in sets he lost.
The first set was fast and fluid and Fritz claimed it after rattling off 12 of the last 13 points at 3-3, breaking Mackenzie at love in game eight for the crucial lead. The result followed the serve in set number two until game ten when Taylor got broken at 15, losing serve again in the fourth game of the third set to hand the win to McDonald.
Playing against each other for the second week in a row, Radu Albot ousted the Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 37 minutes, saving all four break points he faced and finding the way to steal Ivos serve in the penultimate game of the match and secure the place in the second round.
Ivo saved two set points in the opener before failing to win the tie break, playing under pressure in set number two and not being able to reach another tie break. Returning to action for the first time since last August and a severe knee injury, Jared Donaldson lost to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes, making a strong start before losing the edge in sets two and three.