Mannarino, On Preferred Surface, Keeps Winning
Adrian Mannarino’s best tennis has been played on grass, so there stands reason to believe the Frenchman’s first title will also be won on the turf. The top seed moved a step closer to his maiden ATP World Tour crown on Wednesday, beating Aussie Jordan Thompson 6-2, 7-6(4) to move into the quarter-finals at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open in Newport.
Mannarino reached his third Newport quarter-final (2015, 2016) and improved to 6-6 at the ATP World Tour 250 event. The 30-year-old left-hander has won 59 per cent of his grass-court matches in his career (43-30), compared to 46 per cent of his overall matches (155-181), according to his FedEx ATP Win/Loss Record.
“I think the last four or five years I’ve had good results on grass. So it’s just [a surface] that I feel comfortable on. It’s always good to come here with some confidence,” Mannarino said.
The left-hander has reached the fourth round at Wimbledon the past two years, and he made his third and fifth ATP World Tour final, respectively, at the 2016 and 2017 Turkish Airlines Open Antalya.
He will next meet Spain’s Marcel Granollers, who reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final on grass by beating 2016 finalist and sixth seed Gilles Muller 7-5, 7-6(4).
“I think it’s one of my biggest wins on grass. Gilles is a really good player here,” Granollers said. “I think I served very good for the match, and I went for my chances.”
Third seed Steve Johnson won 80 per cent of his service points (33/41) to beat compatriot Christian Harrison 6-3, 6-1. Johnson will next play Israel’s Dudi Sela.
“[Sela] is a fantastic tennis player, He’s played Newport a lot so he knows how to play here,” Johnson said.
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Sela, for the first time in his seven-match FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Ivo Karlovic, beat the 2016 champion 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 6-2. Karlovic hit 18 aces but also 15 double faults.
“I’m very happy,” said Sela, who’s making his fifth appearance at Newport. “I have a lot of friends coming from New York and from all over. It’s nice to play here.”
Fourth seed Matthew Ebden, last year’s finalist (l. to Isner), was upset by American Tim Smyczek 6-3, 6-3. Smyczek will next face Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei, who beat France’s Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4.
Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan pulled away from eighth seed Denis Kudla of the U.S. 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Ramanathan will next play Canadian Vasek Pospisil, who upset second seed Mischa Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 for his fourth tour-level victory of the season.