New York Open’s Black Courts No Fun For Defending Champ
By Brent Shearer
(February 14, 2020) UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Seeds continued to fall at the New York Open as third-seeded Reilly Opelka, last year’s winner, lost to qualifier Jason Jung in quarterfinal action at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum Friday.
Jung, who beat Kevin Anderson previously, dethroned the defending champ 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. Jung hung on against the 6’ 11’’ Opelka and his booming serve despite the failure of the electronic line calling system. Although in post-match comments, Jung graciously said that both players had to deal with the lack of call review, in truth, it was more of a disadvantage for him in the face of Opelka’s 130 mph serves.
One seed who held on to win was No. 8 Kyle Edmund. The British player, ranked 64 at the start of the week, beat Soonwoo Kwon of Korea 3-6, 6-2, 7-6. The tightly contested three setter came down to a third set tiebreaker in which Edmund’s forehand, his go-to groundstroke, brought him to match point. In an anticlimactic finish, Kwon double faulted on the last point.
Perhaps the best match of the tournament so far in singles was the Young Guns match-up of France’s Ugo Hubert and Miomir Kecmanovic. In this battle of the Serbian sixth seed and Hubert, the fourth seed, fans got an early glimpse of a match-up likely to be repeated in the later rounds of Grand Slams to come.
Kecmanovic out steadied his opponent 3-6. 6-2, 6-4, but during stretches when Hubert’s shots were going in he showed the pace and placement that have impressed fans and coaches during his rise to his current ranking of 43.
In the last quarterfinal, Italy’s Andreas Seppi continued his winning ways with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 win over Australia’s Jordan Thompson, The Aussie previously knocked out number one seed John Isner. This match was characterized by long rallies since neither player possesses the killer serve of an Opelka or an Isner.
Friday’s results set the stage for Saturday’s matches, which will see Edmund square off against Kecmanovic and Seppi take on Jung in the evening showdown.
In doubles action, Nielsen – Jebavy lost to Qureshi – Inglot 4-6, 6-1, 10-5