New York Open Scores Coup: Kyrgios, Isner, Opelka Headline Strong Field
By Brent Shearer
New York, New York (February 7, 2020) —Peter Lebedevs, tournament director of the New York Open, has put together a star-studded field for next week’s ATP 250 event to be held at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island.
In addition to last year’s winner, Reilly Opelka, and the No. 1 U.S. player John Isner, Lebedevs has snagged the charismatic Aussie fan favorite, Nick Kyrgios.
“Nick had heard about us and he was eager to compete,” Lebedevs said. “We’re obviously excited to have him.” Kyrgios will compete in singles and doubles.
Kyrgios lost to top seed Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at last month’s Australian Open. He will be trying to add the New York Open to his six previous ATP titles
If the 20th ranked Aussie wants to hoist the trophy next Sunday, he’ll have to beat an impressive field that includes the 2019 winner, the No. 38 ranked American Riley Opelka. In last year’s final, Opelka bombed 43 aces in his win over Brayden Schnur, who also returns.
Joining Young Gun Opelka will be two other massive servers, John Isner No.18 and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic.
Given the NBA-like height of Isner and Opelka, just under seven feet, fans could be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that the patented black courts of the event favor big servers, but Lebedevs describes his courts as only being moderately fast.
“It’s a surface that supports different styles of play. We had Brayden in the final last year and he isn’t a big server.”
Also spicing up Lebedev’s field is Tennys Sandgren. The American’s run to the quarterfinals in Melbourne ended with his five-set loss to Roger Federer. That match was notable for Sandgren’s inability to close out any of the seven match points he held. As he put it on his Twitter, the Tennessee native invoked the double shot of booze for each match point you didn’t win rule.
In any case, Sandgren’s second Slam quarterfinal will put him in a good position to go deep in the New York Open.
Coinciding with the New York Open’s qualifying rounds on Sunday, February 9, will be Long Island Tennis magazine’s New York Tennis Expo, which will feature a full day of tennis events and panels with Nick Bollettieri, other coaches and New York Open players in attendance. It will also be at the Coliseum.
Lebedev will also be presenting a College Tennis Night, on February 11, featuring Harvard’s Brian Shi, who played his way into a main draw, first-round berth. When the draw is made this weekend, one sure thing is that he will face a player who has a lot more ATP points than he does.