The first three matches of the St. Petersburg Open kicked off the post-US Open swing on the ATP World Tour on Friday. The day was highlighted by a battle of young guns while a pair of veterans set up clashes with top-seeded opponents. Here’s what happened on day one in St. Petersburg.
Teen sensation Alexander Zverev got his campaign underway in St. Petersburg by winning a tight two-set battle with fellow young gun Karen Khachanov. There was little between the two men from the start as they matched each other shot for shot through the early stages. There was little between them in the opening set, as there was only one break point in the opening set, with Khachanov saved. The tiebreak was the opposite of the set itself, as both men struggled to hang on to their serves. Only four points went with serve in the breaker, as Zverev reeled off five straight points after losing the first two, eventually taking the breaker 7-3.
The second set was the opposite of the first, reflecting the tiebreak more than the set itself. Khachanov broke immediately to lead 2-0 after saving multiple break points in the first game. After saving a break point in the seventh game, Zverev turned the match around. From 1-4 down, the German reeled off five straight games, breaking Khachanov twice, to book his spot in the second round with a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory.
Lukas Rosol set a second round clash with top seed Stan Wawrinka by defeating Diego Schwartzman in a wild first round battle. Considering Rosol’s reputation for his strong serving, the Czech was strangely vulnerable in the opening set, dropping serve twice and being pushed to deuce in all but one of his service games. Rosol fell behind immediately as he was broken in his first service game of the match, however he managed to break right back. He claimed the lead after breaking in a six-deuce fifth game, only to give the break right back in the following game. After breaking to lead 5-4, Rosol threw down his best service game of the match, holding to 30 to seal the opening set.
The second set was far calmer. After both men struggled to hold in the opening set, neither was particularly threatened on their serve in the second. There was only one break point in the entire set, and it came at the worst possible moment for Schwartzman. The Argentine found himself down 30-40 at 4-4 and was broken, which allowed Rosol to serve out the match for a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Ricardas Berankis held off Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in a hard-fought first round match. The Lithuanian won an epic first set tiebreak 9-7 to take the early lead, only for Mannarino to bounce back and claim the second set. Berankis regained control in the third set, hanging on to take it and win the match 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3. Check out our full recap here. Berankis will play fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round.
The first round continues tomorrow, with action being led by sixth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.