Three-Peats

August 24, 2021 09:30 PM

Two former Winston-Salem Open finalists and one champion all advanced Tuesday afternoon at the 10th anniversary of the event.

2019 runner up and the No. 12 seed Benoit Paire sent out his friend and countryman Gilles Simon in a straightforward 6-3, 6-3 victory. Simon had taken five of their previous meetings, dating back to 2014, but Paire is finding his form after a rollercoaster 18 months during the pandemic.

“I’m so happy to beat him today. I played a good match off the confidence I gained last week [in Cincinnati], so I’m really happy to be back here. I want to win the tournament,” a visibly happy Paire offered fresh off the court.

The Frenchman will face Emil Ruusuvuori in the next round after the Fin pulled off the upset over No. 5 seed Alexander Bublik, saving all six of the break points he faced. Ruusuvuori reached his second career semifinal earlier this year in Atlanta. He is still looking for his first final.

Pierre-Hughes Herbert made his first final here. The 30-year-old began his 2015 campaign in the first round of qualifying finally losing to Kevin Anderson in two competitive sets 6-4, 7-5. Anderson was ranked 15 in the world at the time.  Tuesday, Herbert dismissed Federico Coria 6-4, 6-2 in their first-ever ATP Tour meeting.

“I’m really happy about today’s win. I have some great memories here. I’m happy to be playing good tennis. I’m still in this tournament as a lucky loser, so I decided to take the chance. Now, I’m in the third round,” says Herbert, who faces American Marcus Giron next.

Next for Pablo Carreno Busta is Domnik Koepfer. Carreno Busta is a player who has also had success in Winston-Salem. The newly minted bronze-medalist of the Toyko Olympic Games defeated Soonwoo Kwon, but it was a complicated afternoon. The 2016 Winston-Salem Open Champion was on court for nearly two hours in a three-set battle.

“It was a tough one. At the beginning of the match, I felt like I was focused on my game and being aggressive. Then, he started to dominate the points. I had to just try to take my chances and continue. I am very happy for the victory and look forward to another round,” said the Spaniard.

Other afternoon winners include Ilya Ivashka who sent the No. 6 seed, Marin Cilic back to the locker room empty handed. Cilic took the first set 6-4, but Ivashka flipped the script taking the final two 7-5, 6-4, breaking the big Croat late in the final set. He next challenge is Jan-Lennard Struff who got through Gianluca Mager.

Lucas Pouille finally saw his Winston-Salem adventures come to an end. Pouille saved a match point in the qualifying rounds and is working his way back through the rankings, but wild card and No. 3 seed Dan Evans was too much for the former top 10 Frenchman. Evans was slow to start going down early in the first and losing that set, but he finished in an emphatic fashion with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win. This sets up a meeting with another French player – Richard Gasquet, the No. 14 seed. Their clash is set for the second match on Stadium Court, with play beginning at 3 p.m.

The remainder of the schedule will come together after the highly anticipated Murray/Tiafoe meeting. Tuesday’s night match is only the second time they have faced off. Murray took their previous meeting in the 2020 Western and Southern Open, played in New York.

Full results for the day session matches are available here.

 

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