#NextGenATP Stars Nardi, Tseng Advance In Roland Garros Qualifying
Luca Nardi and Chun-hsin Tseng, currently 10th and seventh respectively in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, both earned straight-sets wins Wednesday at Roland Garros qualifying to move within one victory of their debuts at the clay-court Grand Slam.
Italy's Nardi, who knocked off qualifying No. 31 seed Andrej Martin in three sets on Tuesday, continued his run with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Great Britain's Paul Jubb, the 2019 NCAA Divison I mens' singles champion. The 18-year-old Nardi reached a career-high of No. 198 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings earlier this month behind a pair of ATP Challenger Tour titles on the season — the first of his young career.
He will face Spain's Bernabe Zapata Miralles on Thursday for a spot in the main draw next week in Paris. It would be Nardi's Grand Slam debut. Zapata Miralles, the eighth seed in qualifying, has not dropped a set in reaching the final round, losing five games in two matches. He cruised past Portugal's Gastao Elias, 6-1, 6-1, on Wednesday.
Chinese Taipei's Tseng, seeded 11th in qualifying, got past countryman Jason Jung, 7-5, 6-4. The 20-year-old will face Cedrik-Marcel Stebe on Friday after the German battled past 17th seed Juan Manuel Cerundolo, 7-6(5), 6-3, on Wednesday.
The 2018 Roland Garros boy's singles champion, Tseng made his major debut in January as a wild card at the Australian Open, where he fell in three sets to Germany's Oscar Otte. Tseng currently sits at a career-high of No. 110 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after first breaking into the Top 200 last December.
The two highest-seeded players in action Wednesday in qualifying were both eliminated in the second round. Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco dropped a 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 decision against Alexander Ritschard of Switzerland, who is seeking his tour-level main-draw debut in Paris. Ritschard will face Camilo Ugo Carabelli of Argentina in the final round of qualifying on Friday.
Sixth seed Radu Albot came up on the wrong side of one of the matches of the day, with Australia's Jason Kubler pulling off the upset, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(10-4). Kubler, who also won a three-setter in the opening round, will face Pedro Sousa of Portugal on Thursday for a main-draw spot.
Roland Garros is the only major in which the former junior World No. 1 has not competed in the main draw. Kubler reached a career-high of No. 91 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2018 after reaching the second round of the US Open earlier that year.