MEMPHIS, February 12, 2017 (by Elias Laradi)
Peter Polansky of Canada, the top seed in the qualifying of the Memphis Open, got his tournament started on Saturday with a solid straightforward win over Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-3, 6-3.
It was a tight match for the first six games, then Polansky took the advantage after facing a break point, and then had chances of his own to break in the next game and took it to lead 4-3. He cruised from there to take the first set 6-3. The second set was mostly dominated by the Canadian hitting crazy passing shots frustrating his Indian opponent. Polansky broke in the fifth game and from there it was one-way traffic. After the match Polansky was happy with his first encounter.
“It was a tricky match playing a doubles player, a lefty pretty crafty came out swinging. It’s a good first round in qualifying to get through and looking forward to my next match tomorrow,” the 28-year-old Canadian told.
In other action, Tommy Paul lost to Matthew Barton in a tight third set battle 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 in what was the match of the day. Benjamin Becker, who is playing his seventh Memphis tournament, got through Nikola Mektic 6-3, 6-3. Becker was happy with his first win of 2017.
“It’s good to get the win. I didn’t play a lot this year trying to get my rhythm back, old habits today was a little better and a good step in the right direction,” Becker told Tennis TourTalk after his match. The German veteran opened his season with a loss in the first round of the qualifying to the Australian Open and also fell in the opening round of the ATP Challenger in Dallas last week.
Becker will next play Tim Smyczek, who beat fellow US-American and doubles player Scott Lipsky playing a rare singles matches, but couldn’t keep up final score 6-2, 6-3. Another US-American fell out of the tournament when Denis Kudla lost to Matthew Ebden in another three set match 7-6, 1-6, 6-1. Ebden was relieved to get through his match.
“Dennis and I, we played a lot of matches especially in some finals. It was another tough match for both him and me, as we are good friends,” Kudla said.
Brian Baker, another US-American who was coming back from an injury plagued season, got past Elias Ymer of Sweden 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes. Baker was happy to be back in Memphis
“It’s great to be back. Any chance you get to play a pro match in the state of Tennessee is a win. I have been struggling with injuries but I am getting better with each win. It is always good to get a quality win over a good opponent,” Baker was pleased.
Darian King of Barbados beat University of Memphis student Andrew Watson 6-2, 6-3 and Tatsuma Ito of Japan defeated Ireland James McGee 4-6, 7-6, 6-1. The final round of qualifying takes place on Sunday with the field cut in half its down to the final eight with only four spots in the main draw.