Roddick, McClune Headline Monday's Action at Winston-Salem Open
Sam Querrey held a 6-3 lead over Santiago Giraldo before play was called on Monday night.
Sam Querrey held a 6-3 lead over Santiago Giraldo before play was called on Monday night.

Aug. 20, 2012

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By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Media Relations (@SIDeacons)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Monday night's all-American clash between Andy Roddick and James Blake provided just a small taste of the day's first- and second-round action at the Winston-Salem Open, which saw three top-30 players take the court.

Following is a brief recap of the highlights from Monday at the Winston-Salem Open.

Heavy Hitter: McClune Upsets Falla 6-1, 6-4
Facing the toughest competitor of his career, Michael McClune stunned No. 52 Alejandro Falla in a late-afternoon clash on Court 5, claiming a 6-1, 6-4 victory. The former top-ranked U.S. junior, playing in the Winston-Salem Open for the second straight year, showed off his powerful serve and fantastic backhand throughout the match en route to the first triumph over a top-100 opponent of his career.

McClune pressured Falla, who is perhaps best known for defeating John Isner in a five-set, first-round epic at Wimbledon earlier this year, from the very beginning of the match. He served up seven aces and won nearly 80 percent of his first-serve points while facing break point just once during the match.

"I tried not to think about who I was playing. I tried to just focus on my game and serve well, that helps me a lot," McClune said after the win. "I knew if I started thinking that he took Roger Federer to five sets and that he beat John Isner that I was just going to psych myself out and lose before I even stepped on the court."

With the win, the Long Beach, Calif., native advances to the second round to face 13th-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria, who received a first-round bye by virtue of his No. 36 world ranking.

Isner and Andujar Headline Chick-Fil-A Kids Day
Before Monday's matches got underway, the Winston-Salem Open hosted its traditional Kids Day sponsored by Chick-Fil-A and the North Carolina branch of the USTA. Approximately 260 kids gathered inside the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center for a meet-and-greet with Winston-Salem Open competitors John Isner and Pablo Andujar, who signed autographs and posed for pictures with their young fans.

The aim of the USTA's QuickStart program is to promote tennis among local youth by introducing them to the game at a young age without the pressure of competition. Many of the kids who attended were playing for the first time, and Winston-Salem Open director Bill Oakes labeled the event a resounding success for both the tournament and the community.

Top Americans Ace Opening Tests
No. 5 seed Andy Roddick and No. 7 Sam Querrey served up ace after ace in their marquee matchups on Monday night against James Blake and Santiago Giraldo, respectively.

Roddick and Blake took the court first in a clash of former top-five players and the match did not disappoint, with Roddick posting a hard-earned 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6) win. The 2003 U.S. Open champion was outplayed for nearly the entire first set before finally claiming it in a closely-contested tiebreaker. The second set also featured a tiebreaker in which Blake captured the early momentum before double-faulting to give Roddick a 5-4 lead, after which he never relinquished the lead. Roddick finished the match with 11 aces and won 41 of his 49 first-serve points.

Sam Querrey, the No. 7 seed, took the first set, 6-3, from his opponent Santiago Giraldo just before heavy rain began to fall on Center Court. The No. 28-ranked American served up nine aces, including three in a row to close out one game. Due to the inclement weather, the match was ultimately postponed until Tuesday.

Qualifiers Star in First-Round Matches
Michael McClune was not the only qualifier to prevail in his first-round match on Monday. In fact, all four players who advanced through qualifying this weekend earned victories.

Sergiy Stakhovsky claimed a 7-6, 6-4 win over Gilles Muller on Court 2, Ernests Gulbis defeated Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 7-5 and Benjamin Becker downed Tatsuma Ito 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. With these wins, qualifiers are now 7-1 in their opening-round matches at the Winston-Salem Open dating back to last year.

In 2011, Julien Benneteau advanced through the qualifying tournament and stormed into the Winston-Salem Open final against John Isner before finally falling, setting the bar high for future qualifiers in the process.

Bellucci Trumps Baghdatis in Injury-Shortened Match
In the opening afternoon match on Center Court, Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil downed Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 3-1 in a match cut short by Baghdatis's retirement in the second set.

The duo put on a show in the first set, trading service games back and forth. Baghdatis (No. 39) had several opportunities to seize control, but Bellucci (No. 40) claimed all eight break points that he faced to avoid dropping his serve. With the set tied 5-5, the Brazilian finally managed to break Baghdatis and used the swing in momentum to take the set, 7-5.

Bellucci took charge early in the second set, saving yet another break point and breaking Baghdatis to go up 2-1. The Cypriot struggled through a fourth game, but still could not solve Bellucci's game and fell into a 3-1 hole. Immediately following the game, however, Baghdatis began to favor his back during a medical timeout and ultimately decided to retire from the match due to the injury.

 

 

 

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