Thursday Review + Friday Preview

Thursday Review + Friday Preview

Thursday Review

DEFENDING CHAMPION REILLY OPELKA SHAKES OFF RUST
 TO DEFEAT YOSHIHITO NISHIOKA IN SECOND ROUND, 6-4, 6-4

Photo credit: NY Open/Alex Smith

  • Opelka is the highest remaining seed.
  • Jordan Thompson avenged a straight sets loss to Isner in the quarterfinals here last year. It was Thompson’s first win over Isner in four tries. Thompson will face unseeded Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinals.
  • In the first match of the day, eighth seeded Kyle Edmund defeated Dominik Koepfer 6-2, 6-4.

A lot has happened to Reilly Opelka since he won his first ATP Tour singles title here a year ago, but not a lot of tennis has happened for the 6-foot-11 American since an epic first round loss to world No. 12 Fabio Fognini that ended in a fifth set tiebreaker, 10-5, after three and a half hours.

Opelka started his New York Open title defense in shaky fashion yesterday – more than three weeks since his last match, the aforementioned loss in Melbourne. He needed 20 point and 8 deuces to hold serve in the first game of the match. Opelka was also unable to sink his teeth in the match on his return game, failing to win a point in either of Nishioka’s first two service games. Momentum began to shift however, with Nishioka serving to stay in the first set at 5-4. Opelka broke at love to take the opening set.

“Obviously (the loss was) frustrating, but you learn to live with losing in tennis. I’m not scared to lose, especially with [Fabio] Fognini,” said Opelka “I was a little more frustrated with knowing I had a long break before I played in the New York Open. I thought about even playing some of the challengers just to get some matches in.”


The storyline in the second set mimicked the first. Opelka earned the only break of the set easily at 5-4. Nishioka began making errors from the baseline that he had not been making earlier, and was visibly upset with himself standing on the baseline and talking out loud to himself and the ball.

The yeoman’s effort gets Opelka a quarterfinal meeting with qualifier Jason Jung. Jung knocked off No. 7 seed Cameron Norrie, 6-4, 6-4, to advance to his second consecutive New York Open quarterfinal and third ATP quarterfinal of his career. Â

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Opelka is the highest remaining seed. Jordan Thompson upset No. 1 seed John Isner 7-6(2), 6-7(3), 6-3 and avenged a straight sets loss to Isner in the quarterfinals here last year. It was Thompson’s first win over Isner in four tries. Thompson will face unseeded Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinals. In the first match of the day, eighth seeded Kyle Edmund defeated Dominik Koepfer 6-2, 6-4. Â
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Friday Preview
Today’s schedule at the New York Open features all four singles quarterfinal matches and the last doubles quarterfinal. Eight different nations are represented in the singles quarterfinals.
The first match of the day is the only quarterfinal pairing two seeded players — No. 4 Ugo Humbert vs. No. 6 Miomir Kecmanovic – two of the hottest players on the ATP Tour. Humbert comes to Long Island ranked a career-high No. 43 in the world and won his first tour level title last month in Auckland. Kecmanovic, who is 2-0 against Humbert, could become the youngest semifinalist here since the tournament moved from Memphis in 2018.
No. 8 seed Kyle Edmund takes on unseeded Soonwoo Kwon in the second quarterfinal. Kwon upset No. 2 seed Milos Raonic Wednesday night to advance to his second quarterfinal of the season, having reached the same round last week in Pune, India. Â
The night session features three returning New York Open quarterfinalists from last year in Reilly Opelka, Jason Jung and Jordan ThompsonOpelka, the defending champion, faces Jung in the featured night match. Jung, a California native who played collegiate tennis at the University of Michigan and represents Chinese Taipei, looks to reach his first career ATP semifinal. Last year, Jung shocked No. 2 seed and world No. 30 Frances Tiafoe in the second round here. He then fell in three sets to junior tennis rival Sam Querrey, who at 6-foot-6 possesses similar challenges as Opelka. Jung aspires to be the second qualifier to reach the New York Open final – a feat that Brayden Schnur accomplished last year. Jung’s run this year has been equally impressive to 2019. He handed former New York Open champion Kevin Anderson his first loss at Nassau Coliseum in the first round and ousted No. 7 seed Cameron Norrie yesterday.
Thompson and Andreas Seppi face off in the final quarterfinal match and the only pairing of two unseeded players. Thompson avenged his quarterfinal loss here last year to John Isner last night. The mustached Aussie has been a giant killer this week, having eliminated 6-foot-11 Ivo Karlovic in the first round and 6-foot-10 Isner. His next foe is 6-foot-3 Seppi, who is a week away from his 36th birthday. The winner could face the tallest of tasks in the semifinals should 6-foot-11 Opelka advance.