Friday Review and Saturday Preview
Today’s semifinals at the New York Open features No. 6 seed Miomir Kecmanovic against No. 8 Kyle Edmund while unseeded Adreas Seppi takes on qualifier Jason Jung.
This is the second semifinal appearance of the year for the 20-year-old Kecmanovic, who also reached the final four in Doha. The up-and-coming Serb has been one of the fastest rising stars on the ATP Tour in the past 12 months. He earned his first win on tour in Brisbane just a year ago and comes to New York ranked No. 54 in the world. This is his third career semifinal and he is attempting to reach his first final.
Edmund, 25, ranked No. 62 in the world, is attempting to reached his third career ATP Tour final and first since winning 2018 Antwerp (def. Gael Monfils in decisive third set tiebreak). He is 5-3 this season with two of his loses coming to Serbs Filip Krajinovic (Doha) and Dusan Lajovic (Australian Open) and the third to American John Isner (Auckland).
While two 20-somethings compete in the early semifinal, the night session features two unseeded veterans. Seppi, 35, has been a fixture in the Top 100 since 2004 and has earned nearly $10.5 million during his career. He has reached a least one ATP Tour semifinal in 15 of the last 16 years (went 0-6 in quarterfinals in 2014). Currently ranked No. 98, Seppi saved a match point in the third set tiebreak during his first round match over Damir Dzumhur on Monday. He lost a first set tiebreaker last night against Jordan Thompson but fought to a 6-4 win in the second set and cruised to the semifinals with a 6-1 triumph in the third set.
Jung, 30, has had the longest road to the semifinals. He played 7 hours and 8 minutes of tennis en route to his first ATP semifinal, having won two qualifying matches and three more in the main draw. Ranked No. 131, Jung is attempting to become the second qualifier to reach the New York Open final in the last two years. Brayden Schnur accomplished the feat last year losing a third set tiebreaker to Reilly Opelka.
Doubles Semifinal Preview
Americans Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock face Great Britain’s Dominic Inglot and Aisam-Ul-Haq Quereshi of Pakistan in the first match of the day. Sock is still considered one of the best doubles players in the world despite his recent singles woes. He has three Grand Slam men’s doubles titles (2014 Wimbledon with Pospisil and both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 with Mike Bryan). Sock won the 2011 US Open mixed doubles title with Melanie Oudin and a gold medal in mixed doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Sock also won the bronze medal in men’s doubles in Rio with Steve Johnson (a potential New York Open doubles final opponent). Monroe, who played varsity tennis at the University of North Carolina, owns four ATP doubles titles.
Inglot and Qureshi are a new doubles team in 2020 and came to New York after reaching the doubles final in Montpellier last week. Inglot, a former standout at the University of Virginia, has a career-high ATP doubles ranking of No. 13 and has earned 229 wins and 13 titles in doubles on tour. His most recent title was 2019 Atlanta with Austin Krajicek. In 2004, Inglot was an extra for the main character in the movie Wimbledon played by Paul Bettany.
Qureshi reached the final here last year with Santiago Gonzalez. He has earned 340 wins and 17 titles in doubles on ATP Tour, including five titles with five different partners during the 2017 season. His best showing at a major came just down the Southern State Parkway when he reached the US Open final in both men’s doubles (with Rohan Bopanna) and mixed doubles (with Květa Peschke) in 2010.
The final match of the day features another all-American team of Steve Johnson and Reilly Opelka against Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jonny O’Mara from Great Britain. This is just the second time Johnson and Opelka have played doubles together. The last time they partnered was a first-round loss here a year ago. Johnson is one of the most accomplished tennis players in the history of collegiate tennis. He attended the University of Southern California from 2009-12, winning the NCAA team title each of his four years and the NCAA singles titles his junior and senior seasons (2011-12), ending his collegiate career with a 72 match winning streak in singles.
This is the third tour-level pairing for Arevalo and O’Mara, who own a 7-2 record together going into today. They reached the third round of the US Open last year and quarterfinals of the Australian Open a few weeks ago.
QUALIFIER JUNG TAKES OUT DEFENDING CHAMP OPELKA AS ALL FOUR QUARTERFINAL WINNERS RALLY FROM A SET DOWN
Friday’s quarterfinal match-ups provided a lot of excitement for tennis lovers on Valentine’s Day. All four singles matches, as well as a doubles quarterfinal, went the distance and the every victor rallied after losing the first set.
No. 6 seed Miomir Kecmanovic knocked off No. 4 Ugo Humbert 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the first match of the day to remain undefeated against Humbert in three mettings. No. 8 Kyle Edmund (left) turned back Soonwoo Kwon 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5). The highly competitive third set ended unceremoniously with a double fault by Kwon on match point. Still, Edmund was complimentary of Kwon’s efforts this week.
“To have someone come from India and come here and play good tennis straight away beating Milos [Raonic] shows you’re in a good place, so it was a nice win for me today,” said Edmund. “And obviously tomorrow the guy [Miomir Kecmanovic] is in a good place too, he’s got some form, he’s won three matches like me so you expect a tough match (in the semifinals).”
The biggest win upset of the day went to qualifier Jason Jung, who ousted defending New York Open champion Reilly Opelka 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Long Island seems to bring the best out of Jung’s tennis. Five of Jung’s seven wins on the ATP Tour have come at the New York Open – two last year, including an upset over No. 30 Frances Tiafoe. This year, he had to win two matches in the qualifying rounds just to reach the main draw. His three main draw wins here this year including victories over both former New York Open champions, Kevin Anderson (2018) and Opelka (2019).
“(The black court) suits my game,” said Jung. “I like indoors first of all. And the court is actually not as fast as people think it is, so it gives me a little bit more time to get to the ball against these big guys. The ball’s not coming that fast. It is fast, but not as fast where I can’t get it, so I think that could be a reason.”
The nightcap between Jordan Thompson and Andreas Seppi also went the distance. Seppi improved to 3-0 against Thompson after his 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-1 that ended after midnight. With more than 12 hours of thrilling tennis, what was there not to love on Valentine’s Day at the New York Open.