09 Jan Quarterfinal Berths At Stake in Sunday Play
After opening round byes, both No. 3 seed Adrian Mannarino and No. 4 seed Hubert Hurkacz will get their 2021 seasons underway while Americans Frances Tiafoe and Bjorn Fratangelo also clash to headline Sunday at the Delray Beach Open presented by VITACOST.com.
Polish 23-year-old Hurkacz will look to book his place in the quarterfinals against Columbian Daniel Elahi Galan. Galan reached the round of 16 after beating Andrej Martin 6-4 6-4 in the first round.
In his Delray Beach debut, Hurkacz will be looking to make his first ATP quarterfinal since October of last year. In the shortened 2020 season, the Pole reached only one ATP Tour semifinal way back in January in Auckland. Hurkacz does enjoy playing in America, however, with his lone ATP Tour singles title coming on the outdoor hard at Winston-Salem in 2019.
Galan appears to have started 2021 where he left off 2020 having won the ATP Challenger title in Lima in November. It was a productive year for the 24-year-old as he qualified at the Australian Open and made the third-round at Roland Garros before falling to eventual finalist Novak Djokovic.
This will be the pair’s first meeting on the ATP Tour, they did play one professional match back in 2016 which Hurkacz won 6-4 6-1. Galan and Hurkacz will be the second match on Stadium Court not before 12:30 p.m.
An all-American match will follow Hurkacz and Galan on Stadium Court, as No. 8 seed and 2018 Delray Beach champion Frances Tiafoe plays Bjorn Fratangelo for a spot in the last eight.
Heavy hitting Tiafoe reached the second round after breezing past Donald Young on Friday in straight sets. Fratangelo also made light work of his opening round defeating qualifier Kevin King 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour.
Fratangelo is coming back from a right foot injury that has plagued him since Wimbledon in 2019 and only allowed him to play four tournaments last year. Fratangelo said he was just happy to be able to play here in Delray as he is missing the Australian Open.
“I feel good, I’m happy to be back, and just hope I can get back to my good level,” Fratangelo said after his opening round win.
The two Americans have never met on the ATP tour but Fratangelo has won three of the four professional matches the pair have played, the last coming in 2016.
French No. 3 seed, Mannarino begins his Delray campaign against a traditional British rival Cameron Norrie in the nightcap on Sunday. Norrie reached the second round after a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win over wildcard JC Aragone.
Norrie was born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand and now calls England home. Norrie is making his third appearance here in Delray after qualifying and making this stage last year.
While 34-year-old Mannarino is making his eighth appearance at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, with his best result being a semifinal run in 2015 where he lost to eventual winner Ivo Karlovic. The French veteran is the owner of one ATP Tour singles title coming in 2019 at ‘S-Hertogenbosch.
Norrie leads the pair’s head-to0-head 2-1, however, Mannarino won their last match in 2020 in Acapulco. Fans in Delray can expect a scrappy affair between the two left-handers who are known for their counter-attacking tennis and guile around the court. This match will be not before 8 p.m. on stadium court.
Karlovic, the 2015 Delray Beach Open champion, will also attempt to make the quarterfinals on Sunday as he takes on Ecuadorian qualifier Roberto Quiroz in the first night session match on stadium court not before 6 p.m.
With his opening round victory, the 41-year-old Karlovic became the oldest player to win an ATP match since 42-year-old Jimmy Connors did so in 1995. Karlovic fired 27 aces in his opening round win over No. 7 seed Pablo Andujar.
Action gets underway Sunday at 11 a.m.