STEVE JOHNSON, MARCUS GIRON WIN ALL-AMERICAN MATCH-UPS ON OPENING NIGHT TO ADVANCE TO ROUND OF 16
Monday night at NYCB Live saw two contrasting first round matches. The first night session of the week featured two all-American matches. In the first match, Steve Johnson outlasted Tennys Sandgren in just under two and a half hours.
Sandgren entered the match in great form having made the quarterfinals at the Australian Open where he went down to Roger Federer. Sandgren came out the better player getting an early break and eventually the first set in a tiebreak. However, Johnson would fight back and take the match to a third and deciding set. Sandgren appeared hampered by an ongoing knee issue in the final set but that did not stop him from producing an early contender for shot of the tournament. At 4-all, 30-30, Sandgren chased down a lob and played an audacious short angle tweener that appeared to even shock himself. Johnson was unfazed and put together a very clean tiebreak to take the match 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(3).
In the nightcap, fan favorite Jack Sock took on Marcos Giron. Sock, who is returning from injury, struggled from the get go going down 4-1 in the first set. The Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Davis Cupper was unable to take control of either set as Giron posted a routine 6-3, 6-4 victory. Giron’s serve was a feature all night, winning 76% of first serve points, helping him get off court in just over an hour and 15 minutes.
QUALIFYING RECAP: Three of the top four seeded players in the qualifying tournament — Japan’s Go Soeda, Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi and former Michigan standout Jason Jung — advanced to the main draw with straight sets wins on Monday. Soeda defeated former Top 20 player Bernard Tomic yesterday and will face Soonwoo Kwon today in the first round. Jung, who reached the quarterfinals here last year after upsetting Francis Tiafoe in the second round, earned the right to face 2018 New York Open champion Kevin Anderson with his win over Mitchell Krueger. And Lorenzi with face fellow qualifier Danilo Petkovic in the main draw today. Petkovic turned back Mitchell Krueger, the No. 3 seed. All four qualifiers hope to repeat Brayden Schnur’s remarkable run here last year. Schnur advanced through qualifying and reached his first ATP Tour final at the New York Open.