Sam Querrey made a triumphant start to his first event since stunning top-ranked Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, rallying Tuesday to reach the third round of the ATP and WTA Washington Open.
The 28-year-old American outlasted compatriot Bjorn Fratangelo 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4, avenging a first-round French Open loss in May and spoiling his rival’s 23rd birthday in the first hardcourt event on the road to the US Open.
“Even without the Novak win, it would have been tough,” Querrey said. “It was one of those matches you have to fight through and I’m happy I fought through the way I did.”
Eighth seed Querrey downed Djokovic in the third round on Wimbledon grass, ending the Serb’s 30-match major win streak on his way to his first career Grand Slam quarter-final after 10 years of trying, where he lost to Canada’s Milos Raonic.
“I feel the same, maybe a little cooler,” Querrey said. “I’m confident. Beating Novak or not, I’m feeling confident.”
On the women’s side, Japan’s Risa Ozaki second-seeded beat defending champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-1. The 136th-ranked Asian standout needed only 56 minutes to rout the 23rd-ranked American.
“I would say (it was) all me. She played a solid match but I helped a lot,” Stephens said. “It just sucks. One of those days. It was really bad. Hopefully I just pull myself together and do better next week.”
It was Querrey’s first hardcourt match in more than three months and his first night match in some time, but the world number 29 did not drop his level after dropping the first set to a foe rated 79 spots below him.
“I was bummed I lost that,” he said. “But it didn’t take a lot of energy out of me.”
Next up for Querrey is Ukraine’s 11th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov, who edged Australian Jordan Thompson 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4).
Stephens found defending her first WTA title a difficult task, but with crowns this year at Auckland, Acapulco and Charleston, she will have more chances.
“A lot of things come with defending a title, which I had never had to do before,” she said. “It was a little debilitating, but I get to defend another one in January.”
Puerto Rican third seed Monica Puig outfought France’s Oceane Dodin 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to advance into the second round. She could face Aussie top seed Samantha Stosur in the semi-finals.
“I don’t like to think that way,” Puig said. “In reality I’m still one of the up and comers. I don’t think I’m one of the favourites.”
Three matches were halted by rain and will be finished yesterday. Rain and hail were so severe that people on the grounds were evacuated from tents and taken inside the main stadium to wait until the storm passed.
Riske rallies to advance at Stanford
Alison Riske overcame some third-set jitters to beat Varvara Lepchenko 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) and advance to the second round Tuesday at the WTA Tour’s Stanford tournament.
Riske had to rally twice in the match against the eighth-seeded Lepchenko, dropping the first set and then letting a 4-2 lead slip away in the third before winning in a tie-breaker.
She jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the tie-breaker before clinching the all-American encounter after two hours and five minutes.
Riske, ranked 78th in the world, improved to 11-12 on the year. She next plays Romanian qualifier Ana Bogdan.
Riske now has a 3-2 edge over Lepchenko in career meetings, having won the last three after dropping the first two matches.
She is trying to improve on her quarter-final showing in her debut in this event last year.
Riske reached the final in her first tournament of 2016 in Shenzhen, where she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska. But she struggled to find her form since, losing in the first round of the Australian Open and at Indian Wells.
In the night session 17-year-old American Catherine Bellis posted her first main draw win of the season outlasting fellow teen Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
Bellis, who burst onto the scene in 2014 when she became the youngest at age 15 to win a main draw match at the US Open, benefitted from the sixth seeded Ostapenko’s nine double faults.
“In the end, I was just a little bit more consistent than she was,” Bellis said.
“I had a couple of heart attacks, but it’s all good.”
In other matches Tuesday, Poland’s Magda Linette beat Czech Kristyna Pliskova 2-6, 6-2, 7-5; American wildcard Julia Boserup beat Japan’s Naomi Osaka 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and Urszula Radwanska of Poland toppled Kateryna Bondarenko 6-4, 7-5.
Boserup, who reached the third round of Wimbledon this year in her Grand Slam debut, managed to win Tuesday despite making eight double faults and posting just one ace. Osaka blasted seven aces and had two double faults in the two hour, nine minute match. Boserup will square off against third seed Johanna Konta in the second round.
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