Donald Young Does In Wawrinka @CitiOpen; Kudla Breaks the D.C. Duck
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Dark clouds and rain threatened to slow down Tuesday’s packed schedule after a 4 ½ hour rain delay on Monday at the Citi Open in Washington. On the women’s side, after a brief delay in the early afternoon matches, fans saw some speedy matches. Donna Vekic was the first winner of the day against Carolyn Dolehide, 6-3, 6-4. Naomi Osaka blew past Bernarda Pera 6-2, 7-6(4) and Nao Hibino dismissed Sofya Zhuk 7-5, 6-4.
Ana Bogdan scored the upset of this young edition of the Citi Open with a 7-6(2), 6-3 shocker of Kate Makarova, last year’s Washington champion.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands started strong before fading against 2015 Washington champion Sloane Stephens, 7-5, 6-2, while both got a standing ovation from the Stadium court crowd. Belinda Bencic dismissed Harriet Dart, 7-5, 6-2. Plucky Yulia Putintseva was the slow winner today, coming back from the dead for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Tatjana Maria.
The clouds finally broke up as the men took the courts. Yosuke Watanuki came close to winning his first round match and first ever ATP World Tour-level match against Wild Card Daniil Medvedev, but wilted as he gave his opponent 10 break point opportunities in the second set. Jared Donaldson made quick work of Jordan Thompson despite Thompson getting the early break by a score of 6-4, 7-6(4). James Duckworth ended Thai-Son Kwiatkowski’s singles campaign in Washington, 6-3, 7-5, despite a raucous University of Virginia-hued crowd firmly behind their former Cavalier.
Marcos Baghdatis is still alive and kicking (I know!) with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Benoit Paire and Alex de Minaur took out Vasek Pospisil, 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-3.
The monkey is off his back. Denis Kudla broke his Citi Open duck tonight after competing in the event for over six years. This year, he stayed in his hometown of Arlington, Virginia, determined to play it like any other weekend. It worked, and Kudla is on to the second round after coming back to top Lukas Lacko, 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-4.
In the prime time match, Donald Young was lucky to have walked off a winner over Stan Wawrinka tonight, and DY was a 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) escapee. Wawrinka, like Andy Murray the night before, didn’t look up to form. The difference is that Murray’s opponent faded, while Young kept pouring on the pressure even in the third set breaker. That means “dangerous floater” Stan Wawrinka, as Frances Tiafoe called him yesterday, is gone—and D. Young gets K. Nishikori tomorrow night.
The heavens finally roared at the start of the match between Sascha Zverev and Malek Jaziri around 10:00 p.m delaying that match. Tomorrow marks an early start for this tournament on a Wednesday: Noon.