Wednesday Recap and Thursday Preview
Second Round Singles and Quarterfinal Doubles
Today’s schedule at the New York Open features the last four second round singles matches and two doubles quarterfinals.
The singles line-up features two literal David versus Goliath type match-ups. Defending New York Open champion and No. 3 seed, Reilly Opelka gets his title defense underway against rising Japanese star Yoshihito Nishioka. At a mere 5-foot-7 Nishioka, stands well under a foot shorter than Opelka who towers at 6-foot-11. Despite the height differential, Nishioka will like his chances after starting the year strong, collecting two wins at the ATP Cup, the Tour’s new national team event, and reaching the third round at a grand slam for the first time in his career at the Australian Open. Opelka enjoyed his best season on tour in 2019, claiming his first tour-level title here on Long Island and reached a career high ranking of No. 31 in October. He comes into today’s match having only played one singles match this season, a five-set loss to Fabio Fognini at the Australian Open where he surrendered a two-sets-to-none lead going down 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5).
No. 1 seed and top-ranked American John Isner opens the night session tonight on stadium court taking on Australian mustachio Jordan Thompson. The two players met in the quarterfinals here last year, with Isner taking a routine 6-4, 6-1 win. Isner also took a four-set victory over Thompson in the first round of the French Open last year to improve to 3-0 in the head-to-head series.
At 6-foot-10, Isner is the tallest player to be ranked in the Top 10 in the history of the ATP Tour. The 34-year-old veteran ended the 2019 season ranked inside the Top 20 for the 10th straight season and owns 15 ATP Tour titles, 11 of which have been won stateside. He made the third round at this year’s Australian Open before having to retire against Stan Wawrinka due to a left foot injury. Thompson, 25, a modest 6-foot tall, also made the third round of the Australian Open, losing a five-set thriller to Fabio Fognini 7-6(4), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(4).
Fans can expect to see opposing styles of play in both of these matches, with big serving on display from the Americans and classic counter punching tennis from Nishioka and Thompson.
The other singles matches pits No. 8 seed Kyle Edmund against Dominik Koepfer and qualifier Jason Jung versus No. 7 seed Cameron Norrie.
SOONWOO KWON SURVIVES 33 ACES BY NO. 2 MILOS ROANIC
NO. 6 KECMANOVIC, NO. 4 HUMBERT AND SEPPI POST STRAIGHT SETS WINS
The big servers continue to fall in New York after Soonwoo Kwon stunned No. 2 seed Milos Raonic last night. Kwon, ranked No. 84 in the world, survived 33 aces by Raonic and saved all seven break points he faced on his serve en route to 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-4 victory in just under two and half hours.
Throughout the first set both players were barely troubled on serve but it was Kwon who took it to Raonic in the tiebreak playing more aggressively and getting his opponent on the run. Raonic looked better in the second set but failed to take advantage of two 0-40 games on Kwon’s serve. The former Wimbledon finalist would eventually take the set in another tiebreak thanks to a costly forehand volley error from Kwon at 2-3. However, Kwon was not to be deterred, going up an early break in the third set finding his confidence once again on his forehand to take the set 6-4 and record one of the biggest wins of his career.
The nightcap saw No. 4 seed Ugo Humbert of France oust American Marcus Giron, 6-1, 6-0. The 24-year-old Humbert has been in form as of late. He enters this week ranked a career-high No. 43 in the world and has a 6-2 record this year including a title-run in Auckland. Earlier in the day No. 6 seed Miomir Kecmanovic, 20, of Serbia turned back 38-year-old Italian qualifier Paolo Lorenzi, 6-3, 6-3. Another Italian, Andreas Seppi advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over American Steve Johnson.