By Herman Wood
(July 21, 2014) ATLANTA- Qualifying wrapped up on Monday in Atlanta at the BB&T Open, with the weather finally cooperating. Qualifying dodged rain all weekend, with the second round ending up under the lights last night. Unfortunately, the qualifying matches today were almost an afterthought with the main draw withdrawals.
Radek Stepanek withdrew due to an injury over the weekend. He posted on his twitter account “Sad to pull out of the @BBTatlantaopen this week but had fun talking to the media here and signing some autographs :)” along with a picture of a young fan. Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet also withdrew, leaving the tournament in a bad spot. Of the 24 players entered in qualifying, seven will make the main draw, apparently with one directly advancing to the second round.
There was some other ball played this afternoon, with Wimbledon doubles champ Jack Sock getting some basketball tips from Atlanta Hawk Demarre Carroll at a hoop set up by the team just off the USTA YouthTennis court. Turned out Carroll got schooled in a game of HORSE. Sock returned the favor with a tennis lesson for Carroll on the court afterwards and then had a press conference with his Wimbledon partner, Vasek Pospisil. The two will be the top seed in the doubles draw.
Young Americans have quite an opportunity with the withdrawals. Scheduled matches today feature world number 61 Sam Querrey playing number 64 Steve Johnson. Official opening ceremonies will follow and lead into local Donald Young playing Dudi Sela. Another local, Robby Ginepri, will team up with Rhyne Harrison to take on the British duo of Ken and Neal Skupski in the opening round of doubles once the singles match concludes.