Marcos Baghdatis made a perfect start to his campaign at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, dismissing Diego Schwartzman 6-0, 6-0 in 48 minutes on Tuesday afternoon in Houston.
It marked the first double bagel on the ATP World Tour since last April, when Sergiy Stakhovsky defeated Mikhail Ledovskikh in the Munich first round, and the first at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament since 1986 (Diego Perez d. Bruno Oresar).
Baghdatis capitalised on six of his 12 break point chances and won 77 per cent of his service points en route to his most decisive tour-level victory. In 2011, he dropped one game against Denis Gremelmayr in the ‘s-Hertogenbosch quarter-finals.
The 30-year-old Cypriot will meet the winner between Fernando Verdasco and qualifier Carlos Berlocq as he looks to reach the Houston quarter-finals for the first time.
Donald Young avenged last year’s first-round loss in Houston, defeating fellow American Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-3. It was his first win over his countryman in three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings.
American Tommy Paul, the 2015 Roland Garros junior champion, upset eighth-seeded Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-3 for his first tour-level victory. The 18 year old is currently at a career-high No. 200 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, and next meets 19-year-old Next Generation star Hyeon Chung.
Two-time runner-up (2010, 15) and fifth seed Sam Querrey advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 7-6(4) win over fellow American Reilly Opelka. The 28-year-old California native beat the teen, who was making his ATP World Tour main draw debut after gaining entry as a lucky loser when Dustin Brown withdrew.
Querrey withstood 13 aces from his opponent and saved three of the four break points he faced in the 87-minute match. “He’s tough. His serve is consistently faster than (John) Isner and (Ivo) Karlovic,” Querrey, a 10-year tour veteran, said of Opelka. “He’s still so young and can improve on so many things but he’s going to be a tough player in the years to come. He already is tough.”
Querrey will next face German Benjamin Becker, who advanced with a 7-6(6), 6-0 win over compatriot Michael Berrer.
Australian qualifier Matthew Barton ended NextGen wild card Frances Tiafoe’s campaign at the first hurdle, 6-3, 6-4. The 24 year old sent down nine aces and dropped just four points on his first serve to set up a second-round clash with defending champion Jack Sock.
Lukas Lacko had a convincing 6-1, 7-5 result over Russia’s Dimitry Tursunov. The Slovak needed an hour and 23 minutes to advance, hitting seven aces and saving two of three break points. He will next meet third seed Feliciano Lopez.
Source: Sports News