05 Jan Two All-American clashes highlight last round of qualifying action in Delray
A pair of all-American matches will be featured as four main draw berths are on the line during the final round of qualifying Wednesday at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com.
Those American battles include Zane Kahn facing Christian Harrison and Donald Young playing Stefan Kozlov. A fifth American, Kevin King, will also play for a main draw berth when goes against Goncalo Oliveira on Wednesday.
Khan, an 18-year-old who trains in Boca Raton, was the story of the day Tuesday. Ranked 949, he made his ATP Tour debut on Tuesday defeating fellow American Alexander Ritschard. Khan, who was eight years younger and 652 ranking spots lower than his opponent, raced to a 6-3, 3-1 lead before Ritschard retired hurt with a right ankle injury. Khan will face fan favorite Harrison for a spot in the main draw. Harrison, the younger brother of fellow ATP Tour player Ryan Harrison, caused an upset in the opening qualifying round defeating No. 1 seed Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera 6-4, 6-4. Khan and Harrison will be second on Court 1 after 11:00 a.m.
The other all-American match pits two familiar faces in Young and Kozlov in the only ATP 250 match taking place on Stadium Court on Wednesday. Kozlov, 22, has been on tour for seven years reaching a career high ranking of 115 in 2017, however, since then has seen his ranking drop to 374. Wednesday’s clash provides a massive opportunity for Kozlov to reach the main draw of an ATP Tour event for the first time since this event last year. Kozlov will be well rested to face Young after his opponent Johannes Haerteis retired after only five games on Tuesday, citing a left elbow injury.
Young had to fight a little harder to reach the last round of qualifying coming from a set behind to beat Brazilian Pedro Sakomoto 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Young, ranked as high as No. 39 in the world in 2011, last played an ATP Tour main draw match in July of 2019 in Washington where he lost in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz. Young leads the pairs head-to-head 3-1, with the pairs last meeting coming at the ATP Challenger event in Dallas last year where Young won 6-2, 6-2. Kozlov and Young will be the first match on Stadium Court at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday.
Fellow American King will also play for his first ATP Tour main draw appearance since 2019, after the 29-year-old defeated Zimbabwe’s Benjamin Lock 6-2, 6-3. King will play Goncalo Oliveira in the third match on court one after 11:00 a.m. Oliveira knocked out Canadian wildcard and University of Kentucky sophomore Liam Draxl 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to book his place in the last round. King won the pairs only previous meeting 6-1, 6-2 at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Monterrey last March.
In Wednesday’s other match, Croatian Viktor Galovic plays No. 5 seed Roberto Quiroz in the first match on court one after 11:00 a.m. Second-seeded Galovic defeated Aziz Dougaz 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday, while Quiroz won 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 over fellow Ecuadorian Gonzalo Escobar.