CHENGDU, September 23, 2018 (Press Release)
With qualifying rounds concluding today at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre, the main draw of the Chengdu Open 2018 will begin on Monday featuring three singles first round matches along with two matches from the doubles draw.
Seventh seed Joao Sousa will open his campaign against American Tim Smyczek in the day’s first match slated for Centre Court commencing not before 1pm.
The Portuguese world No. 49 has had a productive season, picking up his third career title on the clay courts of Estoril in May and making the fourth round of the US Open with wins over Pablo Carreno Busta and Lucas Pouille. The 29-year-old overcame Smyczek in straights set in their only previous encounter on Tour, which came last year in the qualifying rounds of the Cincinnati Masters.
The second match on Centre Court will see the doubles scratch pairing of Matthew Ebden and Mischa Zverev taking on Chinese wild cards Gao Xin and Te Rigele.
Next up, American Bradley Klahn, who made the second round at Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup this year, takes on Australian former world No. 17 Bernard Tomic.
Tomic, who is climbing back up the rankings after a difficult year on Tour that saw his ranking fall to No.243 in May, fought hard in his qualifying match today to reverse a one set deficit and prevail 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4) in two and half hours.
The day’s final Centre Court encounter is sure to be the most highly anticipated match for local fans, as Chinese wild cards Zhang Ze and Wu Yibing face off in a battle of the wild cards.
At 28-years-old, Zhang is currently the top ranked singles player in China (No. 219) , while 18-year-old rising star Wu brought home China’s first ever US Open triumph when he picked up the Boy’s Singles title last year and broke the top 300 for the first time earlier this month. The compatriots have never met before on the ATP Tour.
In the only match scheduled for Court 1, top seeded Croatian doubles pair Mate Pavic and Ivan Dodig, currently ranked at No.4 and No.24 respectively, face a potentially tricky first round encounter against former world No.1 Leander Paes of India and his partner Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela of Mexico.
In the three other final round qualifying matches played on Sunday, seeded players eased past their lesser ranked opponents to move into the main draw.
Qualifying second seed Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium defeated exciting Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(4), 6-2, fourth seeded South African Lloyd Harris beat Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4, 6-2 and Indian seventh seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran ousted Japan’s Hiroki Moriya 6-4, 6-3.