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

February 18, 2022 GMT

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — 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 Thursday, 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.

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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 No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals. Dimitrov topped Mitchell Krueger 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the late match Thursday.

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 Dimitrov.