American Men Fare Well In Qualifying
by Matt Fitzgerald|
After winning the biggest match of his life last week at Indian Wells, Donald Young was back to work, playing in the qualifying stages of the Sony Ericsson Open.
His draw pitted him against Frenchman Arnaud Clement. The former world No. 10 started strong against Young, breaking him twice to take the first set. Young soon settled in, converting an early break point and maintaining the momentum throughout the rest of the match. After a nervous final game in the third set which saw seven deuces, he finished Clement off, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Awaiting Young in the final qualifying round is Frank Dancevic. The Canadian upset fifth seeded Brian Dabul, 7-6(3), 6-1.
It was a good day to be a seeded American at the Sony Ericsson Open as a number of US players moved on to the second round of qualifying. Wild cards however, did not fare so well.
Robert Kendrick defeated Franco Skugor 6-2, 7-6(3) and served well, winning 85% of his first service points. For a main draw berth, he’ll play German Julian Reister, a convincing 6-2, 6-3 winner over American wild card Alex Domijan.
The No. 12 seed Ryan Sweeting, coming off a third round appearance at Indian Wells and a new career high ranking of 91, was tested early by Colombia’s Juan Sebastien Cabal. The Bahamian-born American eventually closed out the first set in a tie-break and increased his level of play to get through with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory. Sweeting’s next opponent will be Lukas Rosol, a 7-5, 6-3 winner against wild card Gaston Elias.
Michael Russell, one of the most experienced players in the qualifying draw, defeated Swiss Stephane Bohli 6-4, 6-4. He’ll look to advance to his third straight main draw here, but will need to overcome Marinko Matosevic. The 25 year old Australian outclassed American wild card Jordan Cox, prevailing 6-0, 6-2 in just 50 minutes.
Alex Bogomolov Jr., the No. 20 seed, battled fellow American Jesse Levine (a wild card) over three sets, winning 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Bogomolov has enjoyed early success this year, winning the Dallas Challenger and reaching the quarter-finals in Zagreb after winning three qualifying matches there. Hoping to qualify into a second straight Masters 1000 event, Bogomolov next faces Simone Bolelli, a former Top 40 player. The Italian, seeded eighth, breezed past Izak Van Der Merwe of South Africa 6-2, 6-3. Bolelli did not drop serve and broke Van Der Merwe four times.
Top seed Grigor Dmitrov moved on with a straight sets win over Rik De Voest, 6-4, 7-6(2). Dmitrov enters the event with a career best ranking of 70 and will play wild card Nicholas Massu in the final qualifying round. Massu defeated the 14th seeded Michal Przysiezny of Poland 6-4, 6-4.
The No. 2 seed Rainier Schuettler, needed three sets to get past Bobby Reynolds, winning 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. To advance into the main draw, Schuettler will play Grega Zemlja, a 6-3, 6-2 victor over Ivan Navarro.
Other seeded players were less fortunate. American Tim Smyczek rolled past No. 4 seed Dudi Sela with a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Daniel Munoz-De La Naza knocked off seventh seeded Horacio Zeballos 6-2, 6-2 and Robert Farah rallied past No. 9 seed Illya Marchenko 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
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