Kokkinakis, Bolt, Rubin, and Gunneswaran Secure BB&T Atlanta Open Main Draw Spots
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
BB&T Atlanta Open Qualifying for 2018 concluded on Sunday with the four qualifiers set. Two of them are Australian as Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated Hubert Hurkacz 6-2 7-6 in just over an hour and a half, and Alex Bolt defeated Denis Kudla in the last match of the day 6-7 6-3 6-3 in 2 hours.
Kokkinakis got off to a great start with an immediate break, and for his part wasn’t broken in the match despite a few spare chances for Hurkacz of Poland. The second set was much closer but from 6-6 Kokkinakis won two consecutive points to secure his qualification. Hurkacz would go on to make the main draw as a lucky loser.Embed from Getty Images
Bolt dropped the opening set despite breaking back after going down a break. He played a poor tiebreak to hand Kudla a one set lead. Kudla couldn’t maintain his advantage though, he was broken in the opening game of set 2 and then once more in the final game of the second set, all while failing to pressure Bolt in the Australian’s service game. That theme continued in the third set, Kudla offered little on return and despite saving an early break point on his serve, he was broken to go 4-2 down in the third, and eventually lost the match.Embed from Getty Images
The remaining qualifiers were American Noah Rubin and India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran. Gunneswaran made his ATP main draw debut in Stuttgart just a few weeks back, and now he’s into his second ATP main draw at the age of 28. He also won his first challenger title this year, and perhaps next will make his main draw debut in a Grand Slam. Gunneswaran eased past Tommy Paul 6-3 6-3 in just over an hour, he wasn’t broken in the match.Embed from Getty Images
Rubin eased past a previously in-form Jason Jung 6-4 6-2 in a match that was also just past an hour. Rubin did not face a break point and had relatively smooth sailing to reach his third ATP main draw this year.Embed from Getty Images
The placement of the qualifiers into the main draw is as follows:
Hurkacz(LL) vs. Alex De Minaur
Bolt vs. Marcos Baghdatis
Gunneswaran vs. Lukas Lacko
Kokkinakis vs. Rubin in a qualifier vs qualifier matchup.