© Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour
Japan’s Nishioka advances
The 18-year-old has risen from outside the Top 100 in the FedEx ATP Rankings to a career-high No. 54 this year, capturing his first tour-level title in Umag in July. Alcaraz is making his debut in Cincinnati and will next face Ilya Ivashka in the final qualifying round after the World No. 67 defeated American Mitchell Krueger 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
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Fellow #NextGenATP star Lorenzo Musetti was unable to follow in Alcaraz’s footsteps though, falling to former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3 in 74 minutes. The 19-year-old, who forced Novak Djokovic to a fifth set in the fourth round at Roland Garros, has advanced to the semi-finals in Acapulco and the third round in Miami on hard this season.
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World No. 56 Tommy Paul also advanced, overcoming 23-year-old Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 6-2, with Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis cruising past Italian Gianluca Mager 6-4, 7-5. Later in the day, 15-time tour-level champion Richard Gasquet defeated Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-0. He next faces Jaume Munar after the Spaniard beat Slovakian Norbert Gombos 6-2, 6-2.