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Hijikata snaps losing streak with maiden clay court win

3 minute read

Australia's Rinky Hijikata had never won an ATP Tour-level clay court match until he came up against American Chris Eubanks in Houston.

RINKY HIJIKATA. Picture: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Rinky Hijikata has snapped a four-match losing streak and in the process claimed his first ATP tour-level clay court victory.

After consecutive hardcourt defeats last month in Miami, Phoenix and Indian Wells, the 23-year-old Australian recorded an upset 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) win over fifth seed Chris Eubanks in seven minutes shy of two hours on court in Houston.

Currently ranked 80th in the world, Sydneysider Hijikata will next play American world No.92 Brandon Nakashima, who was a 6-1 6-4 winner against Croatian Dude Ajdukovic.

"Just managed to get through there. It wasn't looking good for a while," Hijikata said in his on-court interview.

"I think Chris didn't miss a first serve for a long, long time and I wasn't touching too many serves or making any.

"I'm just glad that I kind of just hung around long enough and managed to come up with a few good points when I had to.

"(I am) pretty resilient. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in clay court tennis, especially when I feel like both of us haven't played too much on it.

"So I'm just trying to learn as much as I can, try and adapt... I'm just looking forward to the next one."

American J.J. Wolf enjoyed a 6-3 2-6 6-4 victory over Swiss qualifier Alexander Ritschard and Belgian Zizou Bergs beat local qualifier Patrick Kypson 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

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