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Nishikori Battles Into Madrid Third Round, Faces Wawrinka Next

Japan’s Kei Nishikori survived an unexpected battle against Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 7-5, 7-5 over two hours on Wednesday for a place in the Mutua Madrid Open third round against Swiss 2013 runner-up Stan Wawrinka.
The sixth seed and 2014 finalist was made to work when leading 5-1 in the first set, with World No. 109 Dellien fighting back and saving seven set points across three games. When Nishikori clinched the opener and broke for a 5-4 advantage in the second set, this year’s Brisbane International champion looked set for his 17th win of 2019, but Dellien had other ideas to ensure a tense finale.

One break proved to be enough in each set for Wawrinka in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s Guido Pella, the Brasil Open champion (d. Garin) and 2019 clay-court match wins leader (20-7). Wawrinka, with a 15-11 record in Madrid, lost to Rafael Nadal in the 2013 final.

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Eighth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas got off to a bad start, losing the opening game to love on serve, but last week’s Millennium Estoril Open titlist immediately bounced back to defeat French lucky loser Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 7-5 in 78 minutes.
With a 24-9 match record this season, the Greek awaits the winner of Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, the 2009 and 2012 quarter-finalist, and No. 11 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia.
Source: ATP World Tour

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