Saturday, 18 February 2017

Upsets in Memphis and Buenos Aires

North and South America are hosting ATP tournaments, and both are at the quarter final stage.

In Memphis, one of only two seeds left, American Steve Johnson (4), battled back to lead 4-2 in set two after being slaughtered 6-0 in the opening by Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakhstan.  
Kukushkin had won through to the spot expected to be filled by fifth seed Bernard Tomic, but the troubled Australian exited embarrassingly to Barbadian qualifier in the first round.
Sadly for the home crowd, Johnson capitulated, and the final four games and the match went to Kazakhstan.

Kukushkin will play the victor of an unexpected quarter final clash featuring Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden, ranked 490, but an impressive conqueror of American young gun Taylor Fritz, who himself had dispensed with eighth seed Yen-Hsen Lu in the opening round.  Ebden will face Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili, who took top seed Ivo Karlovic the cleaners in the second round.

The only seed left in the draw is American John Isner (2) whose task will be to eliminate another US entrant Donald Young.  Young had beaten French sixth seed Adrian Mannarino first up before showing young compatriot Reilly Opelka a trick or two.

Four Americans contributed to the final eight, but third seed Sam Querrey was not among them, having fallen to unseeded fellow countryman Ryan Harrison, and rather easily 6-3 6-1.  Harrison, ranked 33 spots below Querrey, now meets Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina following his impressive straight sets display against 7th seed Steve Darcis.

Buenos Aires is the current South American donation to men's tennis, and Japan has been kind enough to send its top player to Argentina as top seed.  Kei Nishikori was a no show for Davis Cup duties, and he seems to find this relatively minor event of more significance.  Ranking points outweighs fighting for your country for many of the very best players.

Nishikori is in battle with sixth seed Joao Sousa from Portugal in a quarter final, and while it is the match hoped for by tournament officials, both players reached there by knocking out Argentines - Diego Schwartzman and Federico Delbonis respectively,  removing smiles from most of the partisan crowd.
The opening set to the top seed 6-1 spells problems for Sousa.

The locals were appeased somewhat with the performance of wildcard Carlos Berlocq, whose Argentine racquet worked more positively to send third seed David Ferrer back to Spain in no uncertain terms.
Carlos is set to clash with Thiago Monteiro in an all South American unseeded quarter final, after the Brazilian ousted another Spaniard Tommy Robredo.

The other all unseeded quarter final featured Austrian Gerald Melzer and the Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov.  Melzer removed eight seed Paolo Lorenzi, and Dolgopolov ended Uruguayan hopes with his win over second seed Pablo Cuevas.
Dolgopolov proved too assured and won a semi final berth, 7-5 6-4.

He was going to face the might of Spain, whatever the result of the other quarter final, and it will be fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, whose three set triumph over fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas won him the right.

No comments:

Post a Comment