Disaster For Seeded players As Zverev, Brands, Daniel Move Into Valencia Main Draw
Adam Addicott, Tennis Atlantic
There were shocks aplenty during the qualifying draw of the Valencia Open as none of the eight seeded players successfully qualified for the main draw of the ATP 250 event, which is headlined by David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez.
World No.54 and top seed Federico Delbonis suffered a heavy defeat in the first round of the draw against Germany’s Mischa Zverev. The Argentine was knocked out 6-2, 6-0 by Zverev after 58 minutes. After crushing the top seed, the German played Spanish world No.453 Mario Vilella Martinez. Martinez, who has won three Futures title this year, produced a more competitive match but still lost in straight sets to Zverev 6-4, 6-3. In the final round, he faced another unseeded player, Japan’s Yuichi Sugita. Sugita recovered from a set and a break down to defeat 7th seed Jan-Lennard Struff in his second round match (2-6, 6-3,6-4). The German continued his impressive form against the Japanese player by winning eight out of the last nine games of the match to seal his place in the main draw, winning 6-4, 6-1. Valencia is the fourth consecutive tournament where Zverev has successfully qualified for the main draw.
Joining Zverev will be fellow countryman Daniel Brands, who upset two seeded players to reach his first ATP main draw for 12 months. The German is currently ranked 170th in the world and has won two titles this year, one Challenger and one Future tournament. After dropping two games in his opening match against Spanish wild card Bernabe Zapata Miralles, he faced third seed Thanasi Kokkinakis. The 19-year-old Australian was blown away by Brands as the German unexpectedly took the match with little difficulty 6-3, 6-1. Kokkinakis is the highest ranked player Brands has beaten on the ATP World Tour since David Ferrer in the second round of the 2014 Qatar Open. The 28-year-old was able to back up the impressive scalp by defeating 8th seed Albert Montanes in the final round 6-3, 6-2 to progress to the main draw.
Poland’s Michal Przysiezny qualified for his second ATP main draw of the year without dropping a set. The world No.167 was given an easier route into the main draw when the only seeded player in his section, America’s Rajeev Ram, lost in the second round to Frenchman Quentin Halys. Przysiezny defeated two Spanish players (Javier Marti and Carlos Taberner) in straight sets during his first two rounds to set up a showdown with Hayls. The 19-year-old was tough competition for the Polish player during the first set as Przysiezny successfully fended off four out of five break points to claim the set after coming through a close tie-break. After claiming the crucial opening tiebreaker, the Pole eased himself to win 7-6 (6), 6-2, after 83 minutes on the court.
Completing the quartet of qualifiers is Japan’s Taro Daniel. The 22-year-old is currently ranked 120th in the world (12 places below his career best) and has won two Challenger titles this year. During his first two matches Daniel dropped only three games. In his first round he lead Laslo Djere 6-0,4-0, before the Serbian retired and then defeated Spain’s Marc Giner 6-0, 6-3. In the final he faced Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos, who defeated 6th seed Íñigo Cervantes in the first round. Despite trailing in the early part of both sets, Daniel battled back to edge past Gombos 6-4, 6-3.
Despite losing in the final round, Gombos will play in the final after being awarded a lucky loser spot.
First round matches
Q Daniel Brands – Nick Kyrgios – First meeting
Q Taro Daniel – Q Michal Przysiezny – First meeting
Q Mischa Zverev – Thomaz Bellucci – Bellucci has beaten Zverev back in 2012 in the first round of qualifying at the ATP Nice Open.