Locals enjoy Delray Beach opening wins

·2-min read

Tommy Paul got his new year off to a strong start, using home-court advantage to sweep aside South Korean Ji Sung Nam in the first round at the Delray Beach Open.

Paul, who lives in Delray Beach and came into the tournament ranked a career-high 52, encountered little turbulence on the way to claiming the first set 6-1 before holding off a late fightback to take the second 6-4.

The fifth seed fired five aces and converted four of the six break points on offer to see off Nam in just under 68 minutes.

"I think in the end I just stayed pretty positive, even though I was up a double break and he got it back to 4-3 and had a couple of break points," Paul said.

"But I played a great match and I'm super happy to be through."

American Sebastian Korda also progressed, handing Kwon Soon Woo of South Korea a 6-4 6-4 defeat, and next plays Paul - one of 13 Americans in the draw.

"Not only my dad (Petr Korda) but my whole team, we put in a lot of work during the break and I'm super happy with how everything is going right now," Korda said in his on-court interview.

No.6 seeded Sam Querrey, the 2016 champion, hit 13 aces and saved six of seven break points to beat compatriot Mackenzie McDonald 6-3 6-4.

"This is my first win as a dad, so that's kind of nice," Querrey, who won 83 per cent of points behind his big first serve, said.

Elsewhere, Gianluca Mager of Italy rallied past American wildcard Ryan Harrison 3-6 6-1 6-4. Thiago Monteiro beat fellow Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3 7-5 and next faces No.2 seed John Isner.

The hard-court tournament was moved up to early January as part of a shuffling of the professional tennis tour schedules during the coronavirus pandemic.