Nadal, Medvedev, Mmoh advance, Konta suffers upset
Rafael Nadal commenced his bid for a 20th Grand Slam title with a 6/2; 6/3; 6/0 victory over Hugo Dellien of Bolivia, after mother nature sent down waters dampening the hazardous air which had caused anxiety. With a victory over Daniel Tiafoe, Russia’s dogged player and fourth seed Daniil Medvedev completed the march of the top four men into the second round.
Nadal held serve to open the match and broke Hugo to lead 2-0. After holding serve to lead 3-0, Nadal powered on and conceded only two games for the set. In the second set, games were level at 2-all. Hugo lost the sixth game at love but broke Nadal to reduce tally. Nadal converted the first break to lead 5-3 and served out the set.
In the third set, Hugo lost the second game on his serve and his opponent held for 3-0. A deft backhand volley gave Nadal the fourth game. Hugo conceded a break in the fifth game and Nadal served out the set, sealing the victory with a forehand winner behind the Bolivian.
It was not a display of hard-serving, with Nadal hitting just five aces and Hugo none. Although Nadal made 5 double faults, he won 70% of points behind his first serve. The score would have been worse for Hugo had Nadal won more than 8 of 18 break points Hugo, however, had only five break opportunities and converted only two. At the finish line, the number one seed amassed 18 games from 96 points while Hugo tallied 64 points for five games.
Daniil Medvedev won the first set 6/4 and Tiafoe rallied to take the second by the same score. From the beginning of the third set, the Russian was all over the court, retrieving Tiafoe’s placements and hitting winners at the first opportunities. Daniil hammered 13 aces and made 12 double faults. He converted nine out of 14 break opportunities while the American sealed only five of 11.
Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur achieved an upset victory over Britain’s number one female player Johanna Konta in a match played on the 1573 Arena. In their career, the two women had won 11 titles in the ITF Women’s Circuit. However, while 28-year old Konta rose to number 4 in WTA rankings in July 2017, the 25-year old Jabeur reached WTA 54 in February 2019.
In their match this time, Konta had only two break opportunities while the Tunisian converted 4 of 6; and that made the difference at the end.
Kevin Anderson of South Africa, unseeded, defeated Ilya Ivashka from Belarus, 6/4; 2/6; 4/6; 6/4; 7/6(8) while Tony Mmoh’s American son, Michael defeated Pablo Andujar of Spain, 6/1; 6/4; 6/4.
In his career, the younger Mmoh had won two ATP Challenger tournaments after winning the USTA National Junior Championships in 2016 and four titles in the ITF Futures events. However, Michael will have his hands full in the second round when he takes on the ninth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, the strongman from Spain.