LOPEZ FIGHTS BACK, MOWS DOWN QUERREY

LOPEZ FIGHTS BACK, MOWS DOWN QUERREY

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LOPEZ FIGHTS BACK, MOWS DOWN QUERREY

Feliciano Lopez dropped the first set Monday but battled back to dispatch SamQuerrey

By STEVE DORSEY

DELRAY BEACH

It was not a good day for Americans in the main draw on the first day of play at the ATP World Tour Delray Beach Open.

Spaniard  Feliciano Lopez rallied from a set down to defeat American Sam Querrey in the final match of the first day of action at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

Lopez, who last played this event in 2002 when he lost in the quarterfinals, ousted Querrey 4-6,  6-2, 6-3. Lopez, who is ranked No. 27 in the world and the No. 6 seed here, next faces Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who defeated American Jack Sock in straight sets Monday afternoon. Those were the only two main draw singles matches contested Monday.

“This is the first match I’ve played outdoors this season, and it’s so different after playing the past month indoors,” said Lopez, who lost in the second round at Memphis last week. “I started to be more aggressive in the second set. I didn’t play my best and (Querrey) didn’t play his best, so I’m happy to win.”

Lopez, who won 88 percent of his first serve points against Querrey, said he anticipates another challenging battle in the second round against Mannarino, who is ranked No. 70 in the world.

[frame align=”left”]sock_story[/frame]“He’s a lefty, so it’s different because there’s not many left-handers on the tour,” Lopez said.

Mannarino was not especially pleased with his play either, but his effort was good enough to beat Sock for the first time this season. Mannarino’s 6-4, 6-2 win is the first in three matches against Sock this season.

“There’s not a lot to say about this match,” Mannarino said of his win against Sock, who was a wild card entry after reaching the quarterfinals in Memphis last week. “It was not a good match, but I’m happy to win.”

Mannarino saved 7-of-8 break points and ousted Sock, ranked No. 82 in the world, in one hour, 12 minutes.

“I just had to concentrate. I just played to win,” Mannarino said.

The other singles results Monday filled out the four qualifying spots in the 32-player field that includes No. 1 seed Tommy Haas of Germany.

Three Americans, including Wayne Odesnik, the No. 1 seed in the qualifying draw, earned spots in the main draw. Odesnik advanced with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win against Mischa Zverev of Germany. Joining him in the main draw are fellow Americans Steve Johnson and Rhyne Williams.

Johnson, whose first-round match in the main draw will be Tuesday against Haas, needed three sets to defeat Aussie Samuel Groth 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Williams easily dispatched Bjorn Phau of Germany 6-0, 6-2.

Gastao Elias of Portugal is the other qualifier after rallying from a set down to defeat American Robby Ginepri 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Despite the qualifying loss, Groth still ended up a double winner Monday. First, the Australian teamed with Max Mirnyi to defeat Marinko Matosevic and Frank Moser 6-1, 6-4 in the only doubles match of the day. Then, world No. 25 Canadian Vasek Pospisil withdrew with a lower back injury, and Groth found himself right back in the singles main draw as the lucky loser.

[frame align=”left”]kids_story[/frame]The top four seeds in the singles draw will be in action for a full slate of matches Tuesday. Haas and No. 4 seed Kevin Anderson each have early matches. The evening schedule will include No. 3 seed Kei Nishikori, who returns to the site where he captured his first title, in the 6:30 p.m. match. The final match of the day will be an all-American pairing between No. 2 seed John Isner and Michael Russell.

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