10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Tennis10sBalls Reports • Del Potro Opens In Delray Beach With Win Over Chardy, Fritz Outlasts Querrey

Great to have Delpo back at #DBO2018. – Photo by @DelrayBeachOpen via Twitter.



By Ricky Dimon


Juan Martin Del Potro kicked off his 2018 Delray Beach Open campaign with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Jeremy Chardy on Tuesday. Del Potro fired seven aces without double-faulting a single time and he broke Chardy four times while advancing in one hour and seven minutes.


It was a much-needed victory for the No. 2 seed, who lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the Auckland final and then got blown out by Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open third round. But he has to be feeling great in Delray Beach, where he is now 12-2 lifetime with a title in 2011 and no losses prior to the semifinals.


Del Potro is joined in the second round by Taylor Fritz, who edged fellow American Sam Querrey–who was the runner-up last week in New York–via a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) decision. It marked Fritz’s first ATP-level appearance of the year, but he had already been in fine form with one Challenger title and one Challenger runner-up performance.


“I didn’t even know it was my first tour-level match of the year,” Fritz said afterward. “I felt ready. I did well in the Challengers I played this year…. (I) took last week off, was training hard, and I felt ready.”


“I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride again after I had a good offseason. I feel like I’m still riding that wave of confidence from the success I was having at the Challengers and now this even solidifies the confidence that I’ve been having in myself and in my game.”


A different up-and-coming American–Frances Tiafoe–awaits Del Potro on Thursday. It will be their third head-to-head showdown and second of the season, with the Argentine having won both of their previous meetings. He prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1) last year in Acapulco and 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 at the recent Australian Open.


Tiafoe started the 2018 campaign in disappointing form–even on the Challenger circuit–but he picked up the pace to reach his first career ATP quarterfinal in New York. The 20-year-old scored three-set wins over Sebastian Korda and Dudi Sela before falling to eventual champion Kevin Anderson 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. Tiafoe advanced on Monday in Delray Beach by avenging a recent Brisbane setback with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 defeat of Matthew Ebden.


Also on Thursday, NextGen stars Denis Shapovalov and Jared Donaldson will be squaring off for the first time. Shapovalov is coming off a 7-5, 7-6(4) victory over Ivo Karlovic, who defeated Donaldson 6-4, 7-6(4) in New York. Donaldson advanced in Delray Beach by holding off lucky loser Peter Polansky 7-6(6), 6-1.


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

@Taylor_Fritz97 upsets No.4 seed Sam Querrey to become the 8th player in the second round, joining @JohnIsner, @ReillyOpelka, @SJohnson_89, @JaredD, @JackSock, @Yimlife1313 & @FTiafoe. – Photo by @DelrayBeachOpen via Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *