Richard Gasquet makes a winning debut at the Winston-Salem Open, prevailing against Daniel Evans.

Gasquet Tested In Winston-Salem; Young Advances

Gasquet playing second tournament since injury layoff

Top seed Richard Gasquet fought for a win in his opening match Tuesday, overcoming Great Britain’s Daniel Evans 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 after two hours and 28 minutes at the Winston-Salem Open

“It was a tough match for me,” said the Frenchman, who had been sidelined for five weeks with a back injury and made his return last week in Cincinnati. “I think physically I'm not in my best shape. But I know I'm still tough to beat.

“It's important for me to do this kind of match,” he added. “Everything is possible in this draw.”

After dropping serve late in the second set, World No. 15 Gasquet saved two break points in the third and went ahead a decisive break at 4-2. 

“Tough one; I had chances in the third set,” said Evans. “Obviously he's a class player and class showed through in the end... I was happy with how I played, just a few too many mistakes at the wrong time.”

Gasquet next faces countryman Stephane Robert, who needed two hours and 21 minutes to battle past No. 13 seed Federico Delbonis 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in another late-night match. 

Donald Young topped another Frenchman, last year’s runner-up Pierre-Hugues Herbert, to advance to the second round. The American, No. 57 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, did not face a break point in the 57-minute match as he won 6-4, 6-1.

 “I was fortunate enough to break early in both sets, so it let me relax,” said Young. “It definitely wasn’t easy and I’m definitely pleased with the win and looking forward to the next round.” The American will next face No. 14 seed Marcos Baghdatis for the third time. Their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry is tied at 1-1.

Fourth seed Steve Johnson will face Lukas Rosol in the second round after the Czech beat Victor Estrella Burgos 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, while sixth seed Sam Querrey will open against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez after the Spaniard defeated Damir Dzumhur 7-6(0), 6-1. 

Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, the No. 12 seed, made his way through to the third round after countryman Mikhail Youzhny withdrew with a leg injury following his first-round match. Youzhny had defeated Australian qualifier James Duckworth 7-6(8), 1-6, 6-3.

Top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Nenad Zimonjic rallied from a set down to reach the quarter-finals, edging Nicholas Monroe and Donald Young 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-7 in one hour and 41 minutes. Second seeds Mate Pavic and Michael Venus also advanced, beating Guillermo Duran and David Marrero 6-0, 7-5.

In his penultimate tournament before retiring, Eric Butorac was beaten in the first round alongside Scott Lipsky. The fourth seeds fell 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-3 to Jonathan Erlich and Santiago Gonzalez.

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