ATP

J.J. Wolf, Marcos Giron fly the United States flag in the Houston Open first round

By Sports Desk April 04, 2023

America's J.J. Wolf was the top seed in action on Tuesday at the Houston Open and he had no issue in his 6-3 6-2 first-round victory over Jordan Thompson.

Wolf, the fifth seed at the United States' only clay court event on the ATP Tour calendar, needed just 75 minutes to send the Australian home early on the back of a rock-solid serving performance.

Thompson was not able to produce a single break point opportunity in the match, and Wolf left an exclamation point on the contest by winning the final five games to run away with the win.

Meanwhile, seventh seed Marcos Giron gave the American crowd another win to cheer for in his 6-0 6-2 demolition of Ecuador's Emilio Gomez.

The chance for the double-bagel was there for Giron after winning the first 11 games to race out to a 6-0 5-0 lead, but he blew four match points as Gomez showed no quit and secured a break to at least take the match over the 60-minute mark.

Eighth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry prevailed 6-3 6-4 in his all-Argentine clash against Juan Manuel Cerundolo, taking a 3-2 lead in their overall head-to-head meetings after rising 21-year-old Cerundolo took the past two.

German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann booked a second-round matchup against second seed Tommy Paul after a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-2 triumph over Japan's Yosuke Watanuki, while Chile's Cristian Garin had little resistance in his 6-3 6-0 victory in a South American showdown against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien.

In the late window, Jack Sock failed to complete the United States clean sweep for the day as he fell 6-2 6-4 to the Czech Republic's Tomas Machac.

Related items

  • Raducanu cruises into Nottingham Open quarter-finals after dominant Snigur win Raducanu cruises into Nottingham Open quarter-finals after dominant Snigur win

    Emma Raducanu cruised into the quarter-finals of the Nottingham Open with a straight-sets victory over Daria Snigur on Thursday.

    After making her return from injury in the previous round, Raducanu made light work of the match, winning 6-2, 6-2 as her preparation for Wimbledon continued.

    Despite a bright start from Snigur, which saw her break the Briton's serve in the opening game, she could not hold off Raducanu's challenge as she reeled off six games in a row to win the first set.

    With her confidence back, Raducanu secured two breaks in the second set to ease through and will face Francesca Jones or Ashlyn Krueger in the next round.

    Data Debrief: Raducanu easing back to full threat

    After a slightly shaky first round against Ena Shibahara, Raducanu looked a confident figure on the court as she dispatched Snigur.

    Her serve proved a highlight as she served 11 aces in the second set, and had a 70 per cent win rate on her first serve throughout the match.

  • Top seed Pegula out of Libema Open as De Minaur progresses Top seed Pegula out of Libema Open as De Minaur progresses

    Top seed Jessica Pegula bowed out of the Libema Open following a three-set defeat by Aleksandra Krunic in s'Hertogenbosch.

    The world number five was ousted 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 by the 2018 winner of this event, who claimed the fifth top-10 victory of her career and advanced to the quarter-finals.

    Now ranked 400th in the world, Krunic recovered from an earlier break in the opening set to force a tie-break, in which she won five straight points to draw first blood.

    The Serbian also cancelled out a break before heading into another tie-break, but Pegula reeled off five points on the spin this time to level.

    The American was appearing in her first tournament since April, having missed the European clay-court season with a rib injury.

    However, she saw two break-point opportunities go begging in the opening game of the deciding set, and Krunic crucially broke in game three before holding out for an impressive victory. 

    Later on, Alex de Minaur booked his place in the quarter-finals of the competition after a straight-sets victory over Zizou Bergs. 

    The world number nine had to work for his victory over the Belgian, overcoming his opponent 7-5 6-4 to earn his first triumph on a grass court this year. 

    Bergs matched his opponent in the opening exchanges, but the Australian would eventually prevail, winning a break-point and following up without dropping a point in the final game. 

    De Minaur would again endure a difficult set to confirm the victory as Bergs threatened to level the encounter, but the number one seed again showed his class, finishing the contest in style. 

    De Minaur will face either Roberto Bautista Agut or Milos Raonic in the next round.

    Data Debrief: Krunic rekindles special memories as de Minaur earns maiden grass win

    Krunic will forever have an affinity with s-Hertogenbosch, where she won her only career WTA title six years ago.

    And the 31-year-old claimed an impressive scalp here to reach her first WTA quarter-final since 2022 - and first on grass since that 2018 triumph.

    De Minaur impressed once again, winning 86 per cent of his first serve points against the Belgian. 

    Their meeting in s-Hertogenbosch was the first between the pair, with De Minaur able to overcome his quarter-final defeat to Alexander Zverev at the French Open. 

  • Nadal confirms Wimbledon absence to focus on Olympics Nadal confirms Wimbledon absence to focus on Olympics

    Rafael Nadal confirmed he will miss Wimbledon in order to focus on competing at his "last Olympics" in Paris.

    The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation confirmed on Wednesday the 22-time major winner will feature in the men's singles and men's doubles events, which will be played on the clay courts of Roland-Garros.

    Nadal, who will partner Carlos Alcaraz in the doubles, played what was expected to be his final French Open campaign last month, where he said he was unlikely to play at Wimbledon following his first-round exit to Alexander Zverev.

    And the 38-year-old confirmed his decision on his social media channels, opting to continue his preparations on clay rather than switching from grass at the All England Club, where he is a two-time champion.

    "It was announced yesterday that I will play at the Summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics," said Nadal, who will prepare for the Olympics by entering the ATP 250 event in Bastad earlier in July.

    "With this goal, we believe that the best thing for my body is not to change surfaces, and to keep playing on clay until then. It's for this reason that I will miss playing at the Championships this year at Wimbledon.

    "I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that amazing event that will always be in my heart, and be with all the British fans that always gave me great support. I will miss you all."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.