ATP roundup: Taylor Fritz repeats as Delray Beach Open champion

League: Tennis

Posted on: 20 Feb, 2024 at 07:17 AM

Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Fritz won an inclement weather-delayed final on Monday at the Delray Beach Open, defeating fellow American Tommy Paul to successfully defend his title in Florida.

No. 1 seed Fritz beat No. 3 Paul 6-2, 6-3 to become the second player in tournament history to go back-to-back, joining Jason Stoltenberg (1996-97). Fritz has won six consecutive finals matches dating back to the start of the 2022 season.

Fritz converted three of five break-point opportunities and saved all seven break points he faced. He lost just one set over the course of eight matches during his title runs in 2023 and 2024.

Paul had momentum after winning the Dallas Open the previous week.

Qatar ExxonMobil Open

China's Zhizhen Zhang made quick work of No. 7 seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, winning 6-2, 6-0 in 61 minutes to advance out of the Round of 32 in Doha.

Zhang, ranked No. 48 in the world, recorded seven aces and won 76.7 percent of first-serve points (23 of 30), to 41.4 percent (12 of 29) for Musetti, ranked 26th. Zhang converted six of nine break-point opportunities, saved three of four break points and had more winners, 19-10.

In other matches featuring unseeded players, Australia's Alexei Popyrin outlasted Jordan's Abdullah Shelbayh 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Hungary's Marton Fucsovics cruised past Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3; Russia's Pavel Kotov downed Italy's Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 7-5; and Hungary's Fabian Marozsan edged qualifier Vit Kopriva of Czech Republic 7-5, 7-6 (6).

Rio Open

Spain's Jaume Munar converted five of nine break points to cruise to a 6-3, 6-1 upset of No. 8 seed Sebastian Ofner of Austria in first-round action in Rio de Janeiro.

Meanwhile, No. 2 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain, fourth-seeded Argentine Francisco Cerundolo and Serbian sixth seed Laslo Djere were able to fend off lesser opponents. Norrie downed Bolivia's Hugo Dellien 6-3, 6-2, Cerundolo ousted countryman -- and qualifier -- Francisco Comesana 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 and Djere beat Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-3, 6-1.

Brazil's Thiago Seyboth Wild, Chilean Tomas Barrios Vera and Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain also won first-round matches.

Mifel Tennis Open

Englishman Daniel Evans had little trouble getting past Russian fifth seed Roman Safiullin, picking up a 6-2, 6-4 straight-set victory in a first-round match in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Evans had just nine winners to the 11 from Safiullin, but the latter finished with 17 unforced errors. Alex Michelsen of the United States also earned a sweep, defeating France's Constant Lestienne 6-3, 7-6 (3).

In night action, seventh-seeded Australian Max Purcell got past Italy's Matteo Arnaldi 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Aleksandar Kovacevic beat Brandon Holt 6-1, 6-4 in a matchup of U.S. qualifiers; and Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis rallied past Great Britain's Jack Draper 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

--Field Level Media