Paul Upsets Chung, Kozlov Unlucky Against Halys on Day 1 at BB&T Atlanta Open
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Tommy Paul, ranked barely inside the ATP top 300, earned one of the biggest wins of his career in Atlanta. The 20 year old came back to defeat Hyeon Chung 4-6 6-2 6-3 after coming through weekend qualifying with a pair of three set wins. Chung, a top 60 player at just 21, had miles more ATP experience in the matchup, and was a heavy favorite after taking the first set, but it was Paul who found his fourth gear and won the last two sets.
The first set was a sloppy affair as Chung dropped service twice, but Paul dropped serve three times. Paul played his best in set two, breaking Chung twice, while Chung had no breaks. The trend in favor of Paul continued in the third set, he went up a break twice, and in the end he broke Chung to win the match. The young gun Korean was let down by his rusty serve without the match, as it was an unreliable tool in his arsenal. Paul, backed by a strong serve, won just the second ATP match of his career.
Another young American, Stefan Kozlov, wasn’t as lucky, facing Quentin Halys, he came up just a few points short, as Halys won 7-5 7-6. The 20 year old Frenchman won his first tour level match of the season in just under 20 hours as he broke twice in the first set, saved a break point in the second set, and then overcame losing three match point chances up 6-5 in the second set to take the tiebreak after a total of six match points. Kozlov didn’t go away, but he wasn’t able to pull ahead either.
In other action on a rainy opening day of main draw play in Atlanta, Lukas Lacko dominated Thomas Fabbiano 6-1 6-2, and Jared Donaldson put away Ernesto Escobedo 6-3 6-1.
The doubles winners were Raja/Sharan, Millman/Ratiwatana, and Gonzalez/Lipsky as all three teams advanced into the last eight in the doubles competition.