17 Feb TOP SEEDS FRATANGELO, NORRIE ON PACE TO REACH MAIN DRAW
The first day of qualifying matches for the ATP World Tour’s main draw saw the top two seeds winning in straight sets, but included a surprising early exit by American Tim Smyczek.
Smyczek’s string of six consecutive main draw appearances in Delray Beach was snapped when Darian King of Barbados upset the American 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the day’s opening match on Court 1.
Bjorn Fratangelo, the No. 1 seed in the singles qualifying draw, held off fellow American Mitchell Krueger 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to advance to Sunday’s final day of the qualifying matches that will fill out the main draw.
Also advancing was No. 2 seed Cameron Norrie, the No. 3-ranked Brit who ousted fellow countryman Liam Broady 6-3, 6-1.
American brothers Boris and Stefan Kozlov from nearby Pembroke Pines – competing in the same ATP-level draw for the first time – each lost their qualifying matches to Alexander Bublik and Ramkumar Ramanathan, respectively.
The other winners in the qualies on Saturday were Aussie John-Patrick Smith, Canadian Peter Polansky, and Croatian Franko Skugor. A Polansky win Sunday would put three Canadians in the Delray Beach Open main draw. The top two Canadians—Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov—are already playing in a Tuesday afternoon “Canada Day.”
Sunday’s final four qualifying matches will begin at 11 a.m.