The main draw of the New York Open got underway on Monday with a number of Americans taking to the black courts inside NYCB LIVE home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
One of those Americans was Ryan Harrison, who held off a late surge from compatriot Donald Young to notch a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory in the first match of Monday’s night session.
Harrison captured his lone career ATP title last year in Memphis, and got right back on track as opened up his campaign in the tournament’s new home. The 25-year-old broke for a 5-3 lead in the first set against Young, and dialed up a couple of big serves in the next game to take the opener.
After a back-and-forth second set, Young would break to force a tiebreaker. But Harrison would win the final four points from 3-4 down in the breaker to win the set and the match.
“It’s a cool venue," Harrison said of playing inside NYCB LIVE for the first time. "There’s a great staff of people who own the tournament and they’re doing a really great job of making sure this tournament stays at home in the U.S. which is where we want to keep it. I’m really impressed with the leadership from the tournament directors and all the way down. They’re just doing a great job and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
In the second round, the sixth-seeded Harrison will take on Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who powered past American Jared Donaldson 6-4, 7-6(4) earlier in the day. The all-time aces leader fired 20 of them to get past Donaldson in straight sets.
The night session’s second match played host to an exciting battle between young Americans Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda.
Korda was playing in the first ATP main draw match of his career and looked good early as he broke Tiafoe three times to win the opener.
But Tiafoe turned up his level over the next two sets. He would not lose another service game the rest of the way to rally for the 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win.
Tiafoe will meet Israel’s Dudi Sela, who won the first main draw match in New York Open history by beating eighth-seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-4 in less than an hour earlier on Monday.
In doubles action, Treat Huey and Peter Gojowczyk defeated Americans Max Schnur and Mackenzie McDonald 6-2, 6-4.