TOKYO/SHANGHAI — Fifth-seeded Tommy Paul rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over Germany’s Daniel Altmaier in the opening round of the Japan Open in Tokyo.
Australia’s Jordan Thompson knocked out No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-3, 6-4 and No. 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada outlasted Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic 7-6 (3), 6-7 (2), 6-2.
Marcos Giron defeated Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6 (14), 4-6, 6-1. Mackenzie McDonald was a 7-5, 6-4 winner over Australian Max Purcell. Austria’s Sebastian Ofner needed 2 hours and 48 minutes to finish a 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 7-5 win against Australia’s Christopher O’Connell.
Elsewhere, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland claimed his second Masters title in a dramatic final at the Shanghai Masters, saving a match point before prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8) against Andrey Rublev.
Like he did in his impressive semi-final win over Sebastian Korda, the Polish player’s serve was again his strike weapon as he sent down 21 aces and won more than 80 per cent of his first serve points.
Hurkacz struck the first blow of the final with a forehand winner to break Rublev in the sixth game, which proved decisive in taking the opening set.
It was the first set that the 25-year-old Russian player had dropped in the tournament but it seemed to spur him on, as the No. 7-ranked player found his range in the second, hitting 16 winners to force a decider.
As the match tightened, Rublev saved one match point on serve at 4-5 before taking a 5-2 advantage in the third set tiebreaker. Hurkacz responded by firing back-to-back aces before forcing a Rublev error to level at 5-5.
Rublev then earned a match point at 6-5, which Hurkacz saved, before he converted on his fourth chance to take the title after two hours and nine minutes.
“It was such a battle,” Hurkacz said according to AP. “Especially emotionally. I had a match point and Andrey hit an amazing serve and then he had a match point and then I had some match points.
“It was back and forth and such a tricky match. Andrey was playing some great shots. I was trying to respond. It was one of those matches and I kept believing and I am super happy with how I managed at the end.
“It is such a big tournament and so much tradition. It is a huge event and I am really happy now.”
The 26-year-old has now won seven tour-level titles, with his triumph in Shanghai joining his Masters title win at Miami in 2021.