04 Jan Six American’s featured in Qualifying Draw
The 2021 ATP Tour season gets underway on Tuesday at the Delray Beach Open presented by VITACOST.com with six Americans bidding to make their way through qualifying and into Thursday’s main draw.
Perhaps the most notable name in this year’s qualifying field is American left hander Donald Young. Young is making his 12th appearance here in Delray having made the semi-finals in 2017 and the final in 2015. He will face fourth seeded Brazilian Pedro Sakamoto in the first round. Sakamoto enters Delray with some recent good form having made the semi-finals of the ATP Challenger event in Sao Paulo at the end of 2020. This match will be second on stadium court after 10 a.m.
Last year’s Delray Beach Open “Survivor” pre-qualifying tournament winner Stefan Kozlov is back in this year’s qualifying draw. Kozlov was granted lucky loser status in last year’s event before going down to Ugo Humbert in the main draw. Kozlov, 22, will take on German number eight seed Johannes Haerteis. Haerteis, 24, ended the 2020 season with two Round of 16 appearances on the ATP Challenger Tour in Ortisei and Eckental.
The pick of the opening qualifying matches sees two American’s go head to head. 18-year-old Zane Khan will make his ATP Tour debut against 26-year-old Alexander Ritschard. Khan has been training locally out of Sebastien Grosjean’s academy here in Boca Raton. In 2018 junior action, Khan was runner-up at the Orange Bowl and a quarterfinalist at the Eddie Herr. His opponent, Ritschard, won back-to-back NCAA titles at the University of Virginia. He made the quarterfinals at the ATP Challenger event in Orlando last November, his last event of the season. This match will be third on court one on Tuesday.
Other notables in the qualifying draw include American Christian Harrison and Canada’s Liam Draxl. Harrison is making his second appearance in Delray after making the quarterfinals of the doubles last year. He will take on number one seed Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera in the final match of the day on stadium court. Draxl, 19, was the second recipient of a wildcard into the qualifying draw after winning the Survivor pre-qualifying tournament last November. Draxl is currently a sophomore at the University of Kentucky and was ranked as high as number nine in the world as a junior. Draxl will play number three seed Goncalo Oliviera in the fourth match on court one on Tuesday.
The qualifying draw begins Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. on stadium and court one with eight matches taking place throughout the day. Stefan Kozlov and Johannes Haerteis kick off the action on stadium court, while number two seed Viktor Galovic plays Tunisia’s Aziz Douglaz in the opening match of the day on court one.