19-year-old Taylor Fritz improved his score in 2017 to 12-12, winning at least a match in his 4th consecutive ATP event following a 7-5 6-1 triumph against Di Wu, a home player with a wild card. Taylor made all the difference with his serve, losing 14 points in 9 service games and saving both break points he faced to keep his games intact. Wu was far away from these numbers, losing more than 40% of the points on serve and having to play against 9 break points, dropping serve 4 times.
Fritz saved those 2 break points in his opening service games, sailing through the rest of the match and keeping the pressure on his rival. Wu found a nice rhythm and he played well in his games until 5-5, overpowering Fritz fro the baseline and staying away from break points.
Still, Fritz pushed a little bit more on the return in game 11, converting his 3rd break chance to move in front and closing the set with a commanding hold in game 12. That gave him the energy to play even stronger in set number 2, and at the same time, Di had troubles to find his first serve, which could mean only troubles for him.
American rattled off the last 6 games of the match, wrapping up a win with his 4th break in game 7, converting 3rd match point to make a winning start here in Chengdu, where he won the Junior Masters back in 2015. In a super exciting battle of the U21 stars, Jared Donaldson earned his 19th win of the season after a grueling 6-7 7-5 7-5 win over the qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Stefanos gave his best in order to score his first ATP win but he just fell short in the end, despite winning 3 points more than his rival. Both players had 6 break points and Jared scored 3 breaks to edge his opponent, playing well in the second and third set to overcome a deficit. Tsitsipas was firing on all cylinders in the opening set, losing 5 points on serve and creating 4 break points, only to be denied on all of them, as Jared sent the set into a tie break.
Greek was the more determined to grab the set and he scored 2 mini-breaks for a 7-2, looking good to break the spell and notch his first success on the ATP Tour. Jared started to defend his second serve better in the second set, placing it well and using his solid groundstrokes to gain the advantage in the rallies, and this time he was the one who didn't have to play against break opportunities.
Stefanos was still on a high level too, saving a break point in the 8th game and serving for another tie break in game 12. This time he crumbled under the pressure, giving 3 break chances to the American and Jared seized the last one to score the first break of the match, taking the set by 7-5 and sending the match into a decider.
With the impulse on his side, Donaldson opened the second set with a break, moving 5-2 in front after 4 commanding holds. Instead of closing the match in game 9, he played a loose service game to get broken and help Tsitsipas climbing back to the scoreboard, in the very last moment.
Nonetheless, Greek lost his serve in the 12th game, just like in the previous set, for a heartbreaking loss in what has been a high-quality match between the future tennis stars. Yibing Wu, US Open junior champion and the biggest prospect in China, made his ATP debut today against Thiago Monteiro and he was close to making it a successful one, winning the first in style and being 2 points away from the win in the second set tie break.
Like most of the juniors, Wu had troubles to find his first serve but outside of that, he played a really good match in the opening two sets, finding it easy to stay on the level terms with a player from the Top 130. Youngster faced 5 break points (just 2 before the 3rd set) and got broken 3 times while Monteiro fends off 4 out of 7 break chances, having to work hard to send the match into a decider, where he finally got some breathing space, breaking the resistance of his opponent.
Yibing showed what he is capable of right from the start, saving a break point in the opening game of the match and rolling through the rest of the set to win the final 5 games and the set by 6-1. His groundstrokes worked great and return was also a top-notch, leaving Monteiro with no chances and breaking him twice in a row.
Brazilian had to change something, and a rather quick, if he wanted to shake off the pressure from his back and play with more comfort, at least on own serve. He managed to do that in set number 2, building a 5-2 lead with 4 dominant holds and a break of serve in game 6, his first of the match.
Yibing also played well besides that one game when he lost his serve, and he broke back in game 9 to get back on the level terms and secure a tie break. The first 10 points went with serve and they scored mini-breaks in the 11th and 12th points, with Wu saving a match point to come 2 points away from the win.
Nonetheless, he couldn't make that one last push, dropping a point on serve again in the 14th point to lose the tie break 8-6, forced to play a decider. The strings of the match were now in Monteiro's hand and he rushed into a 4-0 lead with a double break under his belt, overpowering the young rival who ran out of steam.
Brazilian saved a break point in the 6th game and he wrapped up a win on own serve next time around, in just under 2 hours. First round results:
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