Tennis Prose




Jan/21

5

So Much Intrigue In Delray Beach

The first ATP tournament of the year begins in Delray Beach as qualifying rounds start today and will feature Stefan Kozlov and Donald Young trying to revive their careers and plummeted rankings.

Ryan Harrison and Noah Rubin were gifted wildcards into the main draw. Harrison will face Gianluca Mager for the chance to play the Querrey/McDonald winner.

Rubin will face a qualifier.

Defending champion Reilly Opelka has pulled out of the event, presumably with his troubling knee issue. So the top seed is Christian Garin and no. 2 is John Isner.

Rising force Sebastian Korda will try to continue his momentum generated in the second half of 2020 with strong results at Roland Garros and winning a Challenger. And of course it will be curious to see the results of the week spent in Las Vegas with Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Korda plays Soonwoo Kwon, who made a strong run here a year ago. beating Harrison and Mannarino in three sets to reach the QF (lost to Opelka 63 64).

Also of interest is the all Brazilian showdown between 33 year old Thomaz Bellucci (ranked 281) and 26 year old Thiago Monteiro (ranked 84). Bellucci is like Harrison and Young, trying to save his career, but will have to beat Monteiro, who he never beaten in three tries.

41 year old Ivo Karlovic, now ranked 148, is also on the hotseat to regain his place on the ATP main tour. He will have to beat 34 year old Pablo Andujar, ranked 59. These two veterans have played only once, with the Spanish grinder prevailing in Miami two years ago.

Also looming in the main draw are Adrian Mannarino, Hubert Hurkacz, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe and Bjorn Fratangelo.

18 year old American Zane Khan, ranked 949 now, faces Alexander Ritschard in the qualies. The former junior standout, who is coached by former French top 5 player Sebastian Grosjean and his uncle Shariq Khan, is locally based in Boca Raton and is overdue for a breakout.

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1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 5, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Young and Khan both won today to advance in qualies.

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