LONG ISLAND, February 16, 2018
The top two seeds at the New York Open opened their singles tournaments on Thursday after their first-round byes. No. 1 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa rallied past US-American qualifier Ernesto
Escobedo 3-6, 6-4, 7-6.
Anderson, who reached the final of the US Open last year, started the season well by reaching the final at Pune in the first week of 2018, but fell in the opening round of the Australian Open to eventual semi-finalist Kyle Edmund, and has not played a match since. In the first meeting with Escobedo, the World No. 11 from Johannesburg fired 22 aces, winning 88 per cent of his first service points to prevail after one hour and 51 minutes.
“It feels great to get through,” a relieved Anderson told. “That’s what you’re playing for, another opportunity to come out tomorrow. It’s tough when you’re seeded. Obviously, I’ve been here for a few days now, playing on Thursday pretty late on in the week and playing against an opponent who has already been out there and won three matches with a good sense of the [court] conditions. I think that showed a bit in the first set, but obviously pleased to get through.
“It gives me confidence going through. Even though I got the second set, he (Escobedo) came out very focused in the beginning of the third set. No real breaks- I did a great job taking care of my serves. Indoor tennis is like that and I’m excited to have another opportunity and another match tomorrow.”
Tiafoe And Querrey Prevail
Next up for Anderson will be Frances Tiafoe. The #NextGenATP US-American battled past Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. Tiafoe converted four of his eight break point chances to advance to his first quarterfinal on the ATP World Tour after one hour and 34 minutes.
“Feels good. Obviously, I didn’t have a good start to the year. Not at all,” Tiafoe said. “There was a lot going on and I was happy to go home last week, spend time with family, my brother; me and him do everything together. He’s been on my team since the U.S. Open; we’ve put some good work in. Feel rejuvenated, and playing some good tennis again, in a great headspace, which is most important.”
Second seed Sam Querrey defeated Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-3. The 30-year-old US-American saved all three break points he faced, capitalizing on two of his own to advance in 64 minutes.
“I felt pretty good. I mean, I twisted my ankle five days ago so I didn’t practice a ton this week, but yesterday it felt fine. I played a set this morning as practice and felt good. Things felt good out there. A little bit of a struggle early in the second, but I played some solid break points and I was pretty happy with the overall performance,” Querrey told and will next play Ivo Karlovic from Croatia, who ousted US-American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4.