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Americans Lead The Way In Atlanta

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2018

Americans Lead The Way In Atlanta

Tiafoe, Fritz, Harrison, Rubin and Young all through to second round

It was a strong day for home players at the BB&T Atlanta Open, with five of the seven American players in action on Tuesday emerging victorious.

Next Gen ATP Finals contender Frances Tiafoe notched his first win of the North American hard-court season , beating Marius Copil 6-4, 6-4 in 61 minutes. The Delray Beach Open champion converted the only two break points of the match and dropped just four points behind his first serve (31/35) to advance.

Fifth-seeded Tiafoe will meet qualifier Alex Bolt or Marcos Baghdatis in the second round.

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Fellow #NextGenATP American Taylor Fritz also scored a 6-4, 6-4 victory, beating Dell Technologies Hall Of Fame Open finalist Ramkumar Ramanathan. Fritz fired 36 winners, including 10 aces, and didn’t face a break point throughout the 64-minute first-round clash.

“I felt pretty good,” Fritz said. “I played solid all the way through… I was able to put a really good game together in the second set to break and [I played] a solid game in the first set and that is all you really need to do.”

Fritz will play Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung for a place in the quarter-finals. “It will be fun. We’ve practised and I really like playing Chung,” Fritz said. “I like his ball… and I think it will be a really good match and I’m excited for it.”

Ryan Harrison recovered from a set down to defeat James Duckworth 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-1. The eighth seed won 75 per cent of first-serve points and saved four of five break points.

You May Also Like: ATP Firsts: Taylor Fritz

Atlanta resident Donald Young was forced to save a match point to book his spot in the second round. The wild card recovered from a set down, withstanding 30 aces, to edge Ivo Karlovic 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(6). Noah Rubin also progressed, beating Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4.

“I felt good coming into this [match],” Rubin said. “I played good in qualifying and… I thought I played solid and kept my composure the whole time.”

Seventh seed Mischa Zverev broke the unbeaten start for the Americans with his 6-3, 6-7(8), 6-3 victory over Tim Smyczek. The German fired 11 aces on his way to a second-round meeting with Mikhail Youzhny. The Russian breezed past US wild card Emil Reinberg 6-2, 6-0 and announced he would retire from the sport after this year’s St. Petersburg Open.

Sixth seed Jeremy Chardy scored a debut win in Atlanta, landing 15 aces in a 6-4, 6-3 win over 2015 quarter-finalist Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. The Libema Open runner-up will face Cameron Norrie in the second round. Norrie cruised to victory against Malek Jaziri 7-5, 6-0.

Did You Know?
Seven of the eight previous editions of the BB&T Atlanta Open have been won by home players. Defending champion John Isner owns a record four titles, with Andy Roddick (2) and Mardy Fish (1) also enjoying success. Australian Nick Kyrgios (2016) is the only player from outside the United States to lift the trophy.

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Lopez Wins Gstaad Opener; Haase, Sousa Make Early Exits

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2018

Lopez Wins Gstaad Opener; Haase, Sousa Make Early Exits

Galovic and Bagnis cause upsets

Eighth seed Feliciano Lopez began his campaign for a second trophy at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad on Tuesday with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Federico Delbonis of Argentina in 89 minutes. The 36-year-old Spaniard, who beat Robin Haase for the 2016 title, will now prepare to meet Spaniard Oriol Roca Batalla or Italian Paolo Lorenzi.

Elsewhere, Croatian lucky loser Viktor Galovic recorded just his second tour-level victory to knock out fifth seed Haase of the Netherlands 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in 88 minutes for a second-round encounter against #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. Haase finished runner-up at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament in 2013 (l. to Youzhny) and 2016 (l. to Lopez).

Facundo Bagnis, an Argentine qualifier, who is currently No. 177 in the ATP Rankings, hit 11 aces and recovered from 1-3 down in the second set to beat sixth-seeded Portuguese Joao Sousa 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 54 minutes. He now awaits the winner of a wild-card clash between Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler or 2010 champion Nicolas Almagro of Spain.

Did You Know?
Lopez has a 24-10 record at the event, which was first held in 1898.

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ATP Firsts: Taylor Fritz

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2018

ATP Firsts: Taylor Fritz

#NextGenATP American is in sixth place in the ATP Race To Milan

Taylor Fritz feels like this is his time of the ATP World Tour season. The California native is back in the U.S. and back on his favourite surface – hard courts.

The 20-year-old, who fell in five sets in the Wimbledon second round to fourth seed Alexander Zverev earlier this month, will look to reach his second BB&T Atlanta Open quarter-final this week (2016, l. to Isner).

“I feel like I was playing well at Wimbledon, and now I’m coming onto hard court, which is my best surface… I’m playing with a lot of confidence, and I’m feeling good about my game,” Fritz told

You May Also Like: Fritz, With Annacone On His Team, Knows This Run Can Continue

The #NextGenATP right-hander opens against Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open finalist Ramkumar Ramanathan of India on Tuesday. But first, Fritz took time to talk with about his ATP Firsts, including the time he almost beat Roger Federer and when he met his future wife on the tennis court as a 12-year-old.

First moment I realised I loved tennis
I’m still waiting for that. (laughs)

First coach and most important lesson he/she taught me
My dad, and it was to have fun with tennis… [I started] when I was 2. Quit for a couple years, though, at like 5 to 6, wasn’t really feeling it anymore, then got back into it… I got burnt out at 4. (laughs)

Watch: Fritz Introduces His Family

First pinch-me moment on the ATP World Tour
When I played Federer in 2016 [at Stuttgart], and I won the second set off him. That’s when I was like, ‘This is happening. What’s going on here?’ I ended up losing the match but just winning the second set on him, I was just like, ‘This is insane. This is a dream.’

I had a chance to win that match. I think I had break points to serve for the match in the third, and what went through my head was like, ‘Oh my God, I might actually beat Federer,’ and that’s what definitely lost it for me.

First thing I bought with prize money
I bought a house… I don’t make that kind of money to buy a mansion in LA… Three-bedroom house.

First time I met my wife
This is funny. The first time I met her we were actually 12, and we were playing doubles. We played against her. She actually beat me in doubles in the Southern California Sectionals… She was playing with Brandon Holt, who plays at USC [University of Southern California] now. [Score was] 4 and 4, maybe? She was pretty good. We didn’t really stand much of a chance.

That’s when we met each other… then we actually really met I guess at Intersectionals in the 16 and unders. And that’s when we kind of became a thing.

Read More: Fritz Weds Raquel Pedraza In California

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