Struff, Nishioka and Kecmanovic post Cincinnati upsets
Jan-Lennard Struff and qualifiers Yoshihito Nishioka and Miomir Kecmanovic all posted upset victories on Wednesday to advance to the third round of the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati.
Struff outlasted fifth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6); Nishioka stunned fellow Japan native Kei Nishikori, the sixth seed, with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory; and Kecmanovic shocked seventh-seeded German Alexander Zverev 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4 on the hardcourt in Mason, Ohio.
Struff, a 29-year-old German, recorded 16 aces while eliminating Tsitsipas in 2 hours, 17 minutes. Tsitsipas had 14 aces.
"He was playing very well," Struff said afterward of Tsitsipas. "I was telling myself, 'I have to go for it, otherwise I won't win.'
"I've been working hard with my team, on my fitness, and it's all finally paying off and I'm playing with greater consistency."
Struff next will oppose ninth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev, who registered a 7-6 (2), 6-1 win over France's Benoit Paire.
Nishioka, 23, was beaming after finishing the straight-set win over Nishikori in 1 hour, 40 minutes. It marks the first top-10 victory of his career.
"I was so excited to play with him," Nishioka said. "I was nervous at the beginning. But also, I could see he was nervous too. So I think we were both tight. Maybe I was playing more aggressive than him."
Said Nishikori: "It was a tough match for me. I think he played good tennis. Served well ... good to see he's getting stronger, growing up."
Nishioka next will face Australian Alex de Minaur, who posted a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over America Reilly Opelka.
Zverev committed a career-worst 20 double faults to open the door for Kecmanovic, who made just three while winning in 2 hours, 20 minutes.
The 19-year-old Serbian defeated a top-10 player for the first time.
Kecmanovic will face 11th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. The Spaniard beat American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, taking advantage of three of his four break-point changes.
Among other matches, 16th-seeded David Goffin of Belgium ousted Argentina's Guido Pella 6-1, 7-5, and France's Lucas Pouille knocked off Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4. Russian No. 8 seed Karen Khachanov avoided an upset, holding off Australia's Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-2.
Russia's Andrey Rublev defeated Swiss Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4, and will next face seven-time event champ Roger Federer, the No. 2 seed, for the first time in his career.
"I always wanted to meet him," Rublev said of playing Federer. "Finally, we meet, and we'll see tomorrow. I will do my best. I will fight until the end."
France's Richard Gasquet prevailed 7-5, 7-6 (1) over Argentina's Federico Delbonis; France's Adrian Mannarino swept Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-3; and Argentina's Diego Schwartzman beat Moldova's Radu Albot 6-4, 6-2.
--Field Level Media
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