Monday, May 28, 2018

Querrey tops Tiafoe to end clay-court skids

   Sam Querrey ended two clay-court skids today with his victory in the French Open. 
   In an all-American matchup, the 12th-seeded Querrey dispatched 20-year-old prospect Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (6) in Paris.
   It was Querrey's first triumph of the year on clay after three losses and his first win at Roland Garros since 2014 after three consecutive first-round losses. 
   Tiafoe reached his second ATP World Tour final of the year last month, losing to Joao Sousa of Portugal on clay in Estoril, Portugal. Tiafoe won his first ATP title in Delray Beach on hard courts in February.
   Querrie, a 30-year-old San Francisco native, will try to match his best French Open showing (2013) when he meets 33-year-old Frenchman Gilles Simon, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-4, 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-4. 
   Simon, the runner-up to Dominic Thiem on Saturday in Lyon, has reached the fourth round of the French Open three times (2011, 2013 and 2015) for his best showings in 12 appearances.
   The 15th-ranked Querrey is 3-4 against Simon, who's ranked 65th after climbing to a career-high No. 6 in 2009. They are 1-1 on clay, including Simon's five-set victory in the third round of the 2013 French Open.
   Meanwhile, 34-year-old Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain eliminated 23rd-seeded Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 champion and 2017 runner-up who's rebounding from knee surgery, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3. 
   Garcia-Lopez also beat Wawrinka in the opening round of the 2014 French Open. Wawrinka was bidding for his second consecutive Grand Slam title after breaking through in the Australian Open.
   In all-Spanish battle, 21-year-old Jaume Munar outlasted 36-year-old David Ferrer, the 2013 runner-up to -- surprise! -- Rafael Nadal, 3-6, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5 in 4 hours, 15 minutes. 
   The top-seeded Nadal, seeking his 11th French Open crown, led lucky loser Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-4, 6-3, 0-3 when rain suspended play.
   No. 20 seed Novak Djokovic, the 2016 champion and a three-time runner-up at Roland Garros, dismissed 34-year-old Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Djokovic said he has been pain-free for the past two weeks after struggling with a right elbow injury for more than two years.
   On the women's side, No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki, No. 13 Madison Keys and No. 15 CoCo Vandeweghe triumphed in straight sets.
   Keys defeated Vandeweghe to win the Bank of West Classic at Stanford last August. The tournament will be replaced by the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, July 30-Aug. 5 at San Jose State.

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