Americans Have Mixed Day In New York
American Reilly Opelka keeps checking off the milestones to start 2019. Last month, he earned his first Grand Slam win, upsetting No. 10 John Isner in four sets at the Australian Open. On Thursday, Opelka advanced to his third ATP Tour quarter-final at the New York Open.
The 6'11” Opelka was leading Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-7(8), 7-6(6), 1-0 when the 32-year-old retired (leg). Opelka hit 32 aces and won 95 per cent of his first-serve points (56/59) in the abbreviated match.
The 21-year-old will try to reach his second tour-level semi-final (Atlanta 2016) when he faces Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who beat Aussie John Millman 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4 to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final of the year.
The two other Americans in singles action had a mixed day at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. Sixth seed Sam Querrey had no trouble with Moldova's Radu Albot, winning 6-3, 6-4. The 2018 finalist landed almost 75 per cent of his first serves and never faced a break point.
Querrey will face Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei. The 29-year-old upset second seed Frances Tiafoe of the U.S. 6-3, 7-5. Jung, No. 143 in the ATP Rankings, rode an early break to a one-set lead. He stumbled while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second, but he broke back immediately.
“It's been a long time coming. I've worked hard for a lot of years. It hasn't been easy. I'm just so happy for this moment and have to try to enjoy this for a couple hours and then prepare for tomorrow,” Jung said.
Tiafoe, who received a late wild card, was fresh off his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal). “I thought he played great tonight. He came after me, and I just didn't have answers for him,” Tiafoe said.
In doubles, Americans Tennys Sandgren/Jackson Withrow upset Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, the top seeds, 7-6(9), 6-4. The Bryans were playing in their second event of the year after making the quarter-finals in Melbourne.
Did You Know?
In the semi-finals of the Boys’ 16s singles championships at the 2004 Easter Bowl, Querrey defeated Jung 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. “I remember it was three sets, and I had a really bad back. I guess I wasn’t doing my core exercises when I was 15, but it’ll be exciting tomorrow,” Jung said.