Top Seeds Tsonga, Berdych and Isner Star at Winston-Salem Open
Aug. 21, 2012
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Media Relations (@SIDeacons)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The top four seeds, including No. 1 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, each claimed victories during Tuesday's action at the 2012 Winston-Salem Open. Not all seeded players had the same luck, though, as four of the top 16 players, including 2011 runner-up Julien Benneteau, were knocked out in the second round action.
Following is a recap of Tuesday's sessions at the Winston-Salem Open.
Isner Avoids Disaster, Defeats Klizan 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Klizan stole the 6'9" Greensboro native's first service game, putting Isner in a hole that he was unable to recover from in the first set. The world's No. 10 player did not come close to challenging the Slovak for the remainder of the set, as Klizan did not face a break point until midway through the second set.
After the challenging start, however, Isner came alive. Buoyed by cheers from the crowd, he won 22 of his 31 service points in the second set and wore Klizan down with his powerful forehand and surprisingly nimble footwork.
With the crowd almost fully behind him, Isner stormed into the third set with authority, trading service games with Klizan before finally breaking him to go up 6-5. With the opportunity to serve out the match, the No. 3 seed took full advantage with four straight points to seal the victory. Following the win, Isner is set to face 13th-seeded Jurgen Melzer in the third round.
Marathon Man: Kubot Outlasts Benneteau in Afternoon Thriller
After easily taking the first set, the eighth-seeded Benneteau was stymied by Kubot's play in the second. Kubot won just a single second-serve point in the first set, but dramatically improved that mark with 10 in the second set and 12 in the third, numbers which helped him take control of the match.
Benneteau joined 11th-seeded Denis Istomin (defeated 6-2, 6-2 by Steve Darcis) and 15th-seeded Pablo Andujar (lost 6-2, 6-3 to Sergiy Stakhovsky) as seeded players who fell during the afternoon session. Jurgen Melzer, the 13th seed, narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of Michael McClune by saving four match points in the third set to pull out a 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (12-10) victory.
Roddick Autograph Session Draws Big Crowd
Roddick greeted the fans with a quick "thank you" each time he received an item and took the time to pose for a few pictures as well. The impromptu session was part of a day off for Roddick after he defeated James Blake 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6) on Monday night. The five-time Grand Slam finalist will face Steve Darcis in the third round.
Qualifiers Still Making Noise
Gulbis wore down Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) in Court 2's late-afternoon matchup, serving up 11 aces and being broken just once on six attempts. The Latvian faces a favorable third-round match against sixth-seeded Marcel Granollers.
Stakhovsky posted a very similar result against Pablo Andujar, earning a 6-2, 6-3 win. The stat of the match was the Ukrainian's fantastic mark of winning 84 percent (16-of-19) of his first-serve points, while Andujar converted just 55 percent of his opportunities. Stakhovsky will now face No. 1 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.
Tournament Goers "Relax Responsibly" at Corona Tennis Tailgate
The Winston-Salem Open's mascot, Bo the Ball, also came by to play games with the fans. The tailgate bridged the day's afternoon and evening sessions, allowing the crowd to relax prior to the prime-time clash between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Thomaz Bellucci.