Ernesto Escobedo, 2019 New York Open
Mondays are usually lazy days at an ATP 250 tournament. With a field of 32, there’s always a smaller number of qualifiers and tournament organizers can’t schedule the big names with the byes until the first round is complete. Local favorite Noah Rubin is scheduled to marquee the night session today, and that leaves some popcorn match qualifiers for today’s day session followed by two singles main draw matches.
Ernesto Escobedo came back from a set down to beat Yasutaka Uchiyama, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) yesterday to set up an all-American affair with Chris Eubanks, who breezed past wild card Adam El Midawhy, 6-3, 6-2. Eubanks was so comfortable after the win that he ate the popcorn a fan offered him and autographed the nearly empty bag. I expect Eubanks to get some revenge today, as Escobedo won their qualifying final here in New York 364 days ago. Eubanks also beat Escobedo at last year’s Aptos Challenger.
Alexei Popyrin is the breakout player that everyone hopes breaks out in their tournament. The 19-year-old Australian is at a career high of 123, and he faces Canadian Brayden Schnur, who’s also moving within reach of the top 100, at #153. There’s no head to head matchups on these two, so pick a winner.
Tennys Sandgren takes on 37-year-old Paolo Lorenzi in the tournament’s first main draw match on stadium court. It’s hard to expect anything less than a victory for Sandgren, as Lorenzi is only 1-12 versus top 100 players in the last year. The winner will be rewarded with a second round match against either Peter Polansky or Ryan Harrison.
Around the same time as the Sandgren/Lorenzi showdown, Bernard Tomic will try to continue to resurrect his tennis career in a first round match against Lukas Lacko. Though the pair each have a victory against the other, they haven’t faced each other in seven years, so this really is the rubber match. A focused and in-form Tomic should easily prevail in this one.
What did they bring Noah Rubin to his homecoming on opening night in his hometown? They brought him his biggest test of the year to date: Jordan Thompson, the world #60. Rubin will have to do everything right tonight to win this match and move things in his direction in 2019, where he’s already lost to the likes of Mikael Ymer and Kamil Majchrzak.
NEW YORK OPEN – UNIONDALE, USA
11-17 FEBRUARY 2019
RESULTS – FEBRUARY 10, 2019
Qualifying Singles – First Round
Qualifying –  A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) d [Alt] T. Puetz (GER) 63 62
Qualifying –  A. Popyrin (AUS) d J. Ward (GBR) 75 64
Qualifying –  R. Ramanathan (IND) d [Alt] R. Smith (USA) 46 62 64
Qualifying –  C. Eubanks (USA) d [WC] A. El Mihdawy (USA) 63 62
Qualifying –  B. Schnur (CAN) d [WC] C. Kingsley (USA) 76(3) 63
Qualifying – E. Escobedo (USA) d  Y. Uchiyama (JPN) 46 63 76(5)
Qualifying – T. Smyczek (USA) d  R. Quiroz (ECU) 67(6) 63 75
Qualifying –  A. Arnaboldi (ITA) d Y. Watanuki (JPN) 75 46 63
ORDER OF PLAY – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019
STADIUM COURT start 11:00 am
Qualifying –  C. Eubanks (USA) vs E. Escobedo (USA)
Qualifying –  R. Ramanathan (IND) vs T. Smyczek (USA)
 T. Sandgren (USA) vs P. Lorenzi (ITA)
Not Before 7:30 pm
[WC] N. Rubin (USA) vs  J. Thompson (AUS)
[WC] B. Evans (USA) / J. Isner (USA) vs S. Gonzalez (MEX) / A. Qureshi (PAK)
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
Qualifying –  A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) vs  A. Arnaboldi (ITA)
Qualifying –  A. Popyrin (AUS) vs  B. Schnur (CAN)
L. Lacko (SVK) vs B. Tomic (AUS)