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Tsitsipas beats Bonzi for clash with Kyrgios at Halle Open

HALLE (AP) – The second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Benjamin Bonzi 7-6 (1), 1-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Halle Open on Tuesday, when there were also wins for Felix Auger-Aliassime and Nick Kyrgios.

Tsitsipas, who reached the quarterfinals in Stuttgart last week before a surprise loss to Andy Murray, had to fight hard to beat the 52nd-ranked Bonzi in one hour, 55 minutes to take his tour-leading tally to 36 wins in 2022.

Tsitsipas is bidding for his second title of the year and his first on grass. The Greek player next faces Kyrgios, the Australian wild card entry who defeated Daniel Altmaier 6-3, 7-5.

Kyrgios was playing for the first time since he complained of facing racist abuse from the crowd in a loss to Murray last week in the Stuttgart semi-finals.

The fourth-seeded Auger-Aliassime defeated Marcos Giron 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 for a second-round clash with the sixth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated Danish teenager Holger Rune on Monday.

Sebastian Korda defeated Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-3 but fellow American Maxime Cressy lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to the fifth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz.

Also, eighth-seeded Karen Khachanov won 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-2 against fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev, and Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor battled to a 7-6 (10), 6-3 win over Alex Molcan. Roberto Bautista Agut, seeded seventh, was leading 6-2, 3-0 against Marton Fucsovics when the Hungarian retired from the match.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece returns to France’s Benjamin Bonzi. PHOTO: AP