12 Feb ANDERSON REPEATS AS TOP SEED IN 24TH ANNUAL DELRAY BEACH OPEN
ANDERSON REPEATS AS TOP SEED IN 24TH ANNUAL DELRAY BEACH OPEN
Fellow Top 20 Bernard Tomic Seeded No. 2
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Top 20 players Kevin Anderson (No. 14) and Bernard Tomic (No. 20) are the top two seeds in the 24th annual Delray Beach Open’s ATP World Tour singles draw. The tournament starts Monday, Feb. 15, at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center.
Anderson, the top seed for the second year in a row, has been training on the Delray Beach courts since moving to the Delray Beach area nearly three years ago. Anderson was the tournament’s 2012 champion and a finalist in 2014. Tomic, an Australian who has put down roots down the road in Miami, was a Delray Beach semifinalist in 2015.
Anderson drew American Austin Krajicek in the opening round while Tomic plays American Rajeev Ram.
Former world No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, who is playing his first tournament in nearly a year following wrist surgery, also drew an American in Denis Kudla, who enjoyed his career-best ranking of No. 69 in 2015. Del Potro is playing in Delray Beach for the second time—in 2011 he won the tournament.
Croatian and world No. 26 Ivo Karlovic, the Delray Beach defending champion and No. 3 seed, drew a qualifier in the first round, and won’t know his opponent until Sunday. World No. 27 Grigor Dimitrov was slotted in at the No. 4 seed and plays Dudi Sela of Israel in his first round match.
The top two Americans in the draw, world No. 29 Steve Johnson and No. 48 Donald Young, are also returning to Delray Beach. Johnson, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, drew Australian John Millman while the No. 7 seeded Young is scheduled to meet Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in his first-round match. Young was the Delray Beach runner-up to Karlovic last year.
In all, nine Americans are in the 32-player draw that still has four slots open for qualifiers. The 16-player two-round qualifying tournament will be contested on Saturday and Sunday in Delray Beach.
The tournament’s wildcards went to del Potro, American teen Noah Rubin and Tim Smyczek, another American who is making his fifth straight appearance in Delray Beach.
American teen Taylor Fritz was initially given a tournament wild card but instead received a special exemption into the event late Saturday. That came after Fritz beat German Benjamin Becker to reach the Memphis semifinal in only his third ATP-level tournament. Fritz, 18, is ranked No. 145 in the world and should move up in the rankings that are released on Monday by the ATP.
The Delray Beach doubles draw, which will be released on Saturday afternoon, has the ATP’s all-time doubles record-holding Bryan Brothers playing their first round match on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 8:00 pm.
ATP World Tour Singles First Round: K. Anderson (RSA) vs. A. Krajicek (USA) S. Querrey (USA) vs. T. de Bakker (NED) [SE] T. Fritz (USA) vs. [WC] T. Smyczek (USA) M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs.  D. Young (USA)  I. Karlovic (CRO) vs. Qualifier [WC] J. Del Potro (ARG) vs. D. Kudla (USA) [WC] N. Rubin (USA) vs. S. Groth (AUS) M. Ebden (AUS) vs.  J. Chardy (FRA)  A. Mannarino (FRA) vs. M. Jaziri (TUN) Qualifier vs. Qualifier D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs. R. Berankis (LTU) D. Sela (ISR) vs.  G. Dimitrov (BUL)  S. Johnson (USA) vs. J. Millman (AUS) Qualifier vs. B. Becker (GER) M. Granollers (ESP) vs. I. Marchenko (UKR) R. Ram (USA) vs.  B. Tomic (AUS)