Sousa Survives Smyczek In Chengdu
In his second appearance at the Chengdu Open, Joao Sousa notched his first victory after two hours and 50 minutes on Monday, surviving 16 aces from Tim Smyczek to beat the American 7-6(1), 6-7(7), 6-3.
Sousa, the No. 7 seed, is bidding to capture his second title of the season, after becoming the first Portuguese champion at the Millennium Estoril Open in May. It appeared for a moment, after failing to convert a match point in the second-set tie-break, that the Portuguese No. 1 might be in trouble against this year's Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open semi-finalist. But while Smyczek saved 17 of 21 break points he faced in the match, it was not enough to beat the World No. 50, who earned his 25th tour-level victory of the season.
Sousa will next face Moldova's Radu Albot or Canadian Vasek Pospisil for a place in the quarter-finals. Sousa is tied at 2-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Albot, and he has won all three of his FedEx ATP Head2Head clashes against Pospisil.
In the other singles match of the day, Aussie Bernard Tomic overcame a set-and-a-break deficit to oust American Bradley Klahn 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 6-2. It is Tomic's first tour-level match win since Wimbledon. He will try to make the last eight when he plays either No. 5 seed Gael Monfils, who is fresh off a triumph at the Kaohsiung Challenger, or #NextGenATP South African Lloyd Harris.
Top Seeds Advance In Doubles
Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic came from a set down to beat Leander Paes and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 on Monday to reach the second round in Chengdu. Pavic has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals with full-time partner Oliver Marach.
Did You Know?
Earlier this month at the US Open, Sousa became the first Portuguese player to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam.