Frank Outduels Pasha; Ginepri, Young Look Strong To Open Day 1 @BBTAtlantaOpen
It was very hot from the start and Day 1 Qualifying was hassled by intermittent rain showers in the afternoon, but a host of talented players made strong starts on their qualifying efforts.
The best match of the day was between Mitchell Frank and Nathan Pasha. Pasha used his power game to work over Frank and take the first set 6-3, but Frank would prove more reliable in the 2nd set, as Pasha slipped up and dropped it 6-2. At this point, It was déjà vu for the University of Georgia standout, as he faced the same situation last year in Atlanta 1st round qualifying. Unfortunately for him, the result would be the same as Frank would hold his serve throughout the 3rd before getting a couple of lucky netcords to break and seal the match 6-4 in the 3rd.
Frank is a junkballer who uses a lot of slice and drop shots and has loopy strokes, but he tends to overplay points at times and extend them longer than he should, thus giving his opponents more chances and extending his time on court. He is certainly not the prototypical American player.
Somdev Devvarman dominated over Patrick Davidson 6-0, 6-2. Dev was toying with the American in the opening set, playing some unrelenting angles with considerable pace. Davidson would try and pick himself up in the 2nd set, but he never really had a chance from the start, as a confident Devvarman would advance to the next round of qualifying.
Before that match, Kevin King upset Jimmy Wang 7-6, 1-0 with a retirement. Wang served for the opening set twice but was broken both times, then double faulted to end the tiebreak. Just a game later, he retired. He was not looking physically bad at the time that I saw him, but he was certainly mentally out of it.
In the other match I fully watched, Robby Ginepri looked just fine in his opening round qualifying match, rolling past a cramping Andrew Carter, 6-3, 6-1. Ginepri was simply less error-prone, and Carter mightily struggled to get his first serves in even before cramping, proving not to be that difficult of a test for the Georgia resident.
In other action:
Tim Smyczek beat Luke Saville 6-1, 6-3, as the Aussie couldn’t convert any of his 10 break point chances during the match.
Saketh Myneni set up a meeting with his countryman Devvarman by beating Marcelo Demoliner 6-3, 7-5.
Prakash Amritraj blitzed Jason Jung 6-2, 6-0.
Tyler Hochwalt beat Jean-Yves Aubone 6-3, 6-4.
Jeff Dadamo beat Christopher Eubanks 6-2, 6-3 in under an hour.
Chris Guccione prevailed over Mark Verryth 7-5, 6-2.
Donald Young was collected against Catalin Gard 6-2, 6-2.
Matt Ebden recovered from a slow start to win 6-4, 6-1 over Santiago Gonzalez.
Yuichi Sugita got a lucky 2-6, 1-2 retirement against Andre Sa.
Dean O’Brien beat his friend Juan-Carlos Spir 7-6, 6-7, 6-2.
Today, 2nd round qualifying matches between Ebden-O’Brien, Guccione-Sugita, Smyczek-Frank, Devvarman-Amritraj, King-Hochwalt and Ginepri-Dadamo will take place, while Mischa Zverev-Nathan Rakittt and Takura Happy-Eric Sock will finish their first round qualifying matches that were scratched because of the rain. The winners will play a 2nd round qualies match against each other a few hours later.
—Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com