Former champion Tommy Haas made a winning return to River Oaks, dismantling American young gun Reilly Opelka 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 for his first singles match win since Wimbledon 2015.
The German won just two points more than his 19-year-old competitor in the opening set but managed to save all three break points faced.
Opelka put together a comeback of sorts in the second set to push his first career meeting with the veteran to a decider, but fell just short in the final set.
In his post-match press, Haas stressed how meaningful it was to score a win against a rising star, “It’s nice to win these matches, especially against the young guys who are going to be around for a long time. The nerves when you’re trying to win a match are something you can’t practice.”
Next up for the 39-year-old, fellow tournament champion Jack Sock. The pair is even in their head-to-head 1-1, although they have not met since early 2014.
In the final match of the evening, Dustin Brown ousted defending champion Juan Monaco 7-6(7) 6-3.
The German is no stranger to upsetting U.S. Clay champions at River Oaks. In 2014, Brown stunned 2013 champion John Isner 6-4 6-7(7) 7-6(4) in the second round of play.
Next up for the former quarterfinalist is No.4 seed Steve Johnson. The American leads their head-to-head 1-0.