15 Feb VETERANS ERNEST GULBIS & BERNARD TOMIC TO BATTLE
Both Needing a Win Sunday to Advance to the 2020 Main Draw
By STEVE DORSEY
Two former top-20 ranked players – Ernests Gulbis of Latvia and Aussie Bernard Tomic – will meet Sunday with a berth in the main draw on the line in the final qualifying round of the ATP Tour’s Delray Beach Open by Vitacost.
Both players breezed to straight-set wins Saturday to set up Sunday’s showdown at 11 a.m. on Court 1 at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center. Gulbis, who rose to a career-best No. 10 ranking in 2014 but arrived here ranked No. 190, defeated Daniel Elahi Galan 6-2, 6-4 following a lengthy rain delay Saturday afternoon. Tomic, who is ranked No. 191 but was ranked No. 17 four years ago, ousted Pol Toledo Bague 6-1, 6-3 in his first-round qualifier.
Also advancing to Sunday’s second round of qualifying was No. 1 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain. The 24-year-old Norrie, who is ranked No. 59 in the world, beat Peter Torebko 6-2, 6-2. Norrie will face American Mitchell Krueger on Sunday following the match between Gulbis and Tomic on Court 1. Krueger also won in straight sets Saturday.
The other first-round qualifying winners Saturday were Noah Rubin, Denis Istomin, Emilio Gomez – each of whom also won in straight sets. Rubin will face Istomin on Sunday, while Gomez will meet wild card entry Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines, who rallied to defeat Alex Bolt 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Sunday’s matches begin at 11 a.m., with the four winners earning spots in the main draw.