WINSTON-SALEM, August 24, 2016
As second-round action continues at the Winston-Salem Open on Tuesday, two former champions and a three-time semi-finalist highlighted the action on Center Court at Wake Forest University.
2015 winner Kevin Anderson was knocked out by Jiri Vesely, losing 6-7, 4-6. The 23-year-old Czech withstood 16 aces, hitting seven of his own to advance in one hour and 43 minutes.
“We know each other very well,” said Vesely. “We both serve good. I knew it was going to be really up to one or two important points, and I think that’s what it showed today.
“I’m very happy the way I coped with it, the way I fought because you always have to stay there and you always have to just wait for your chance. That’s what I did today. I was just very patient and waiting for my opportunities.”
Vesely will next play the tournament’s number 12 Andrey Kuznetsov.
2014 champion Lukas Rosol fell to Steve Johnson. The fourth seed from the United States, who snapped John Isner’s three-year reign as the top US-American on Monday, didn’t face a break point, converting three of his own to finish the encounter in only 57 minutes.
“Right now I’m just not hitting the panic button at any moment, until the match is over and at that point there’s not much you can do,” Johnson said. “Even last week in Cincy, losing to Grigor Dimitrov, I feel like I had a chance to win until that last point, and that’s just how I’m approaching matches now and that’s a big difference for me.”
Johnson will next take on Fernando Verdasco, who defeated NextGen star Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Number six seed Sam Querrey, who has reached the semi-finals here in three out of four attempts, outlasted Guillermo Garcia-López with a 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 win. The 31-year-old US-American fired 24 aces, winning 86% of his first service points to set a third round clash with Viktor Troicki after two hours and eight minutes. Troicki beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-5.
“It’s been a solid year so far,” Querrey said. “I don’t feel a ton of pressure. I’m just trying to feel good, just trying to play some good matches.
Second seed Roberto Bautista-Agut also advanced to the next round, fighting past Aljaz Bedene 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the opening mach of the day. The world number 17 from Spain sent down 15 aces and broke his opponent’s serve three times to prevail in two hours and nine minutes.
“I wanted to keep going,” Bautista Agut said of the turnaround. “I wanted to leave everything on the court, and I think I was still focused on the match after losing the first set and I could come back.”
He will next face Marcos Badghdatis, who overcame Donald Young 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Third favourite Pablo Cuevas had a smoother path to the third round. The Uruguayan downed Malek Jaziri 7-5, 6-1 to book a clash with Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. The tournament’s number 16 moved past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-5.