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U.S. OPEN TENNIS 2017 QUALIFYING REPORT • SHAPOVALOV, SMYCZEK AMONG THOSE ADVANCING & SOLINCO STRINGS HAS 30 PLAYERS IN QUALIES

By Ricky Dimon

 

Denis Shapovalov, of recent Rogers Cup fame, kicked off his U.S. Open qualifying campaign with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Denis Kudla on Monday. Shapovalov fired 10 aces and converted four of five breaks in an impressive all-around effort. He also benefited from five Kudla double-faults to advance after one hour and 15 minutes.|

 

“Unreal support today at @usopen,” Shapovalovic posted on Twitter. “Thanks so much to everyone who came to watch [heart emoji] #DontStopFighting”.

 

At just 18 years old, the Canadian is already up to No. 69 in the rankings. But his rapid rise came well after the U.S. Open entry deadline, so he failed to gain direct entry into the main draw. Thus Shapovalov is forced to play qualies, and he will try to keep things going against Gastao Elias on Wednesday.

 

In qualifying, the competition level is a far cry from what the Bahamas resident faced earlier this month in Montreal. At that Masters 1000 event, Shapovalov won four matches–including over Juan Martin Del Potro and Rafael Nadal–before succumbing to eventual champion Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

 

Now he finds himself two wins away from the 128-man field of an even bigger tournament. The same can be said of a multitude of American men, including J.C. Aragone, Raymond Sarmiento, Bradley Klahn, Mackenzie McDonald, Christian Harrison, Tim Smyczek, Austin Krajicek, Mitchell Kreuger, Evan King, Michael Mmoh, and Reilly Opelka.

 

Smyczek scored a solid 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over 16th-seeded Quentin Halys. Next up for him is Sarmiento, a straight-set winner over Benjamin Bonzi.

 

An intriguing second-round showdown to keep an eye on involves Shapovalov’s fellow Canadian, Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 2016 U.S. Open junior champion, who the 2015 junior doubles title with Shapovalov, is going up against Sergiy Stakhovsky. Auger-Aliassime beat Hiroki Moriya, while Stakhovsky made quick work of Alexey Vatutin.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

Editors Note: We think Denis deserved a Wildcard into the maindraw….

We hear that ASHE stadium is having some “surfacing” issues. (maybe a bubble)

We are Thrilled for K.T. Kim! Thirty players love his SOLINCO strings and are playing with them in qualies.

Lots of main draw players love them too. JAMIE Murray for years now. The Bryan Bros this year. Go check their website or follow them on social.

 

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