It was a highly competitive opening day at the Western & Southern Open, with
18 of the day’s 30 qualifying matches going to a third set. The winners will have
to recover quickly, with main draw spots on the line in the qualifying second
round on Sunday.
Zhizhen Zhang of China saved two match points to defeat American
wild card Maxime Cressy 13-11 in a third set tiebreak. The 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (11)
comeback victory took two hours, 53 minutes, making it the longest of the day.
On Sunday, Zhang will face 19-year-old Frenchman and No. 2 seed Arthur Fils
who won the day’s shortest match, downing American Brandon Holt 6-1, 6-1 in
just over an hour.
Australian Thanassi Kokkinakis needed three sets to record the biggest upset of
the day, knocking out top seed Laslo Djere 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. He’ll next face
Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan, who also won his match 7-5 in the third.
Americans Taylor Townsend, Ann Li and Emma Navarro were all victorious in
three setters Saturday. Townsend upset No. 3 seed Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 4-6, 6-3,
while Li outlasted Ohio-native Lauren Davis 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. Navarro closed out the
day with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win over former US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez.
Their countrywoman, No. 4 seed Alycia Parks, picked up 6-3, 6-1 win over
2006 Western & Southern Open winner Vera Zvonareva.
The final round of qualifying will get underway at 10 a.m. Sunday.