Paul, Donaldson Lead NextGenATP Winners In Atlanta
American Tommy Paul exacted revenge in a battle of #NextGenATP players at the BB&T Atlanta Open on Monday. The 20 year old prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 over Korean seventh seed Hyeon Chung to record just his second ATP World Tour match win.
Paul had fallen to the World No. 53 in the Emirates ATP Rankings a year ago in Houston. It marked his third straight win on the Atlanta hard courts, having won through two rounds of qualifying to make the main draw.
“I had to bounce back in the second set. I thought I did a pretty good job,” Paul said. “He had some chances early in the second and I thought my fitness was something that really helped me out a lot.
“It’s really big. I’m definitely really excited to get out there on Wednesday and hopefully get a second (win) of the year.
“I’m from the south, from North Carolina, so I love coming back here. I’ve got a lot of friends here.”
With nine #NextGen ATP players in the main draw, six squared off against each other on Monday. Paul admitted to being spurred on by the success of his emerging peers.
“I really love all the other guys my age doing well, it kind of pushes me to work harder,” Paul said. “If they can do it, why can’t I?”
Paul could meet another NextGen ATP player in compatriot Reilly Opelka in the second round. The American, who reached his maiden ATP World Tour semi-final in Atlanta last year, opens against Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.
Paul’s fellow American NextGen ATP player Jared Donaldson also advanced to the second round on Monday. In another all-NextGen ATP clash, the 20-year-old Donaldson easily accounted for countryman Ernesto Escobedo 6-3, 6-1. He will meet another young American in the second round – either NextGen ATP player Taylor Fritz or 21-year-old wild card Christopher Eubanks.
Frenchman Quentin Halys ensured it would not be a clean sweep for the Americans in the third showdown between NextGen ATP players on Monday. Halys took down Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 7-6(7) to reach the second round. He will next face recent Wimbledon quarter-finalist, No.3 seed Gilles Muller.