Tommy Paul and Jason Jung Advance at BB&T Atlanta Open Qualifying
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Day 1 of the 2018 BB&T Atlanta Open saw the first round of qualifying complete. Bernard Tomic suffered a surprise defeat against Tommy Paul, Paul prevailed 6-3 4-6 6-3 in just over an hour and a half. Paul broke Tomic twice in the opening set and despite recovering to take the second with an early break, he fell under relentless pressure by Paul in the final set, as Paul broke for 5-3 and took the match after saving a break point in the next service game.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran will be Paul’s opponent in the final round of qualifying. Gunneswaran got bageled in the opening set but it was smooth sailing in sets 2 and 3 against Mohamed Safwat for a 0-6 6-3 6-1 result.
Local favorites Chris Eubanks, Garrett Johns, and Kiranpal Pannu all fell in straight sets. Jason Jung continued his great form with a 6-4 6-3 win against Eubanks, Jung wasn’t broken in the match saving the break points he faced, while Eubanks was broken late in the first and twice in the second set.Embed from Getty Images
Thanasi Kokkinakis was one of two Australian players to advance on the day as he defeated Pannu 6-3 6-4. While Alex Bolt was the other, defeating Johns 6-1 6-4. Johns worked himself into the match but it wasn’t enough to extend play beyond the second set.
J.P. Smith wasn’t so lucky, Smith fell to Denis Kudla in a battle that Kudla won 3-6 7-6 6-3, each set had a myriad of break point opportunities, and a late break in the third got Kudla the win. Noah Rubin saved all the break points he faced to defeat Evan King 6-4 6-4.Embed from Getty Images
Hubert Hurkacz drubbed Ilya Marchenko 6-1 6-1 and draws Kokkinakis in the final round of qualifying. The other pair of final round qualifying matches are Jung vs. Rubin and Kudla vs. Bolt.
After tomorrow the qualifiers will be placed into the newly announced main draw. Jack Sock withdrew from draw after sustaining an injury in practice. John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Hyeon Chung, and Matt Ebden take the top 4 seeded spots and get byes into the second round. The doubles draw was also announced with star pairings including Mike Bryan and Frances Tiafoe, and Kyrgios/Kokkinakis.