By Steve Dorsey

Delray Beach, FL: Top seed American Jack Sock will begin defending his Delray Beach Open title on Monday evening (Feb. 19) against qualifier John-Patrick Smith of Australia in the first round of the 2018 Delray Beach Open. Sock, the Kansas City resident, is ranked No. 8 in the world.

No. 2 seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina is matched against veteran Frenchman Jeremy Chardy for his first-round match, which will highlight the Tuesday evening session at 8:00 pm.

On Sunday, No. 5 seed Nick Kyrgios withdrew with an elbow injury, which moved Canadian Milos Raonic into the No. 8 seed and a first-round matchup Daniel Taro of Japan.

The Raonic-Daniel first-round match is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 12:30 pm as part of “Canada Day” at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. Raonic was the tournament’s top seed a year ago, and the highest ranked player (No. 4) to play in the Delray Beach Open in its 25-year history.

2017 US Open finalist Kevin Anderson, the No. 3 seed, plays Russian Evgeny Donskoy, while No. 4 seed American Sam Querrey will meet countryman Taylor Fritz in his Delray Beach opener and No. 5 seed Nick Kyrgios drew Japan’s Taro Daniel. Anderson won the 2012 Delray Beach Open and Querrey was the 2016 champion.

Nol. 6 seed John Isner, the three-time Delray semifinalist who accepted a wild card Thursday, opens with Radu Albot of Moldavia while No. 7 seed Adrian Mannarino of France plays young American Jared Donaldson. Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung of South Korea is seeded No. 8 and drew a qualifier. Chung is into the Delray Beach main draw for the first time after he did not move on from Delray’s qualifying draw a year ago.

Young up-and-coming 20-year-old Americans Francis Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka accepted wild cards on Friday, giving the USA at least 10 players in the main draw. Tiafoe will play his first round match against Australian Matthew Ebden while Opelka drew fellow countryman Ryan Harrison.

Four qualifiers will be determined on Saturday and Sunday from the 16-player qualifying draw.