Seventh seed David Goffin received one of the toughest draws at the US Open, facing big-serving American Reilly Opelka in the first round. But the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up was opportunistic on Monday to advance.
Goffin converted four of his seven break points in a 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory after two hours and 27 minutes. He now leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head series 2-1.
The Belgian has been consistent at Flushing Meadows in recent years, advancing to the fourth round of the US Open in three consecutive appearances. Goffin has not lost before the third round of a major since 2018 Wimbledon. Opelka was in form, reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final at last week’s Western & Southern Open, but it was not enough.
The key came at 1-1 in the third set. The four-time ATP Tour titlist did not earn a break point on Opelka’s booming serve in the first two sets. But he slowly began to put more returns in play and lengthen rallies, forcing the American out of his comfort zone. Goffin, who made only 19 unforced errors, will next play Lloyd Harris. The South African beat 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
Giron underwent right hip surgery in December 2015 and left hip surgery in February 2016. The 27-year-old cracked the Top 100 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time today, reaching a career-high World No. 96 after qualifying for last week’s Masters 1000 event and making the second round.
Giron will next play Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who ousted 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Mikael Ymer 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-3. Krajinovic has shown good form since the ATP Tour returned last week, advancing to the Western & Southern Open quarter-finals. He only lost three games in the second round against World No. 3 Dominic Thiem, and held a match point against Milos Raonic in the last eight before losing in three sets.