Winston-Salem Open 2017: Jiri Vesely and Pablo Cuevas Suffer Stunning Defeats

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

WINSTON SALEM, NC - AUGUST 21:  Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus returns a shot from Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic during the third day of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 21, 2017 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

First- and second-round action from the Winston-Salem Open got underway Monday as many top players take advantage of the final tuneup before the U.S. Open.

While the event is only worth 250 points in the ATP World Tour rankings with a relatively small purse, there is still a competitive field that could create some exciting matches throughout the week. This was already apparent with two seeded players going down Monday.

Here is a look at the latest results from North Carolina.

          

Results

First Round

Carlos Berlocq def. Alex Bolt; 6-2, 6-4

Yen-Hsun Lu def. Jonathan Eysseric; 6-2, 6-1

Andrey Rublev def. Steve Darcis; 6-4, 6-4

Andreas Seppi def. Janko Tipsarevic; 6-2, 6-2

Donald Young def. Rogerio Dutra Silva; 6-4, 6-2

Kyle Edmund def. Thomas Fabbiano; 6-2, 6-3

Julien Benneteau def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert; 6-3, 6-2

Damir Dzumhur def. Denis Istomin; 6-4, 6-4

Marton Fucsovics def. Ernests Gulbis; 7-6 (1), 6-2

Horacio Zeballos def. Dominik Koepfer; 6-2, 6-1

Taylor Fritz def. Malek Jaziri; 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

      

Second Round

Marcos Baghdatis def. No. 16 Jiri Vesely; 6-2, 7-6 (3)

Jan-Lennard Struff def. No. 5 Pablo Cuevas; 7-6 (2), 7-5

             

Notable Matches

Jiri Vesely Goes Down

WINSTON SALEM, NC - AUGUST 21:  Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic returns a shot from Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus during the third day of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 21, 2017 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C.
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In one of the few second-round matchups of the day, the No. 16-seeded Jiri Vesely was eliminated in straight sets at the hands of Marco Baghdatis.

Neither player was especially sharp in this one as the two combined for 10 double faults. Even in the win, Baghdatis got only 37 percent of his first serves in play. However, he was extremely successful when he wasn't giving up points, winning 88 percent of first serves and 57 percent of second serves.

Vesely wasn't quite as successful with his serve and couldn't save any of his three breaks in the match.

After Baghdatis defeated Ricardas Berankis Sunday night, the Cyprus national has kept his momentum with an impressive win in the round of 32.

Although he could face top-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut in the next match, he has shown he could be a tough out in Winston-Salem.

                

Taylor Fritz Pulls Out Tough Win

In a day where nearly every battle ended in straight sets, Taylor Fritz and Malek Jaziri became the first match of the day to go to a third set.

Fritz struggled with his control early and was broken twice, earning only a single ace in the 4-6 opening set defeat. However, the American bounced back and tallied 11 aces in the last two sets, saving nine of his 10 breaks to pull out the win.

Although Jaziri was the veteran in this match, it was the 19-year-old who showed more composure to come through with the hard-fought victory after more than two hours of play.

The event's official Instagram account captured the scene:

Considering there are only four Americans in this field in North Carolina, Fritz could be a popular player among fans as long as he stays alive.

             

Jan-Lennard Struff Upsets Pablo Cuevas

WINSTON SALEM, NC - AUGUST 21:  Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay returns a shot from Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany during the third day of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 21, 2017 in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Til
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The highest seed in action Monday certainly didn't look like it in his second-round match.

No. 5 Pablo Cuevas went up against Jan-Lennard Struff, but it was the No. 56 player in the world who looked like the favorite. The German was dominant with his serve, coming through with 13 aces while winning 75 percent of his total service points.

In a competitive match, he was only broken in a single game.

Meanwhile, Cuevas wasn't quite as sharp and, despite causing drama in seemingly every game, couldn't win a set. With a 5-5 tie in the second set, Struff once again broke the serve and effectively ended the match.

Cuevas has now lost five matches in a row, falling in the first round in four straight events. 

Struff will now face the winner of Andreas Seppi and Aljaz Bedene with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line.

            

Tuesday Schedule (Full order of play available at ATPWorldTour.com)

No. 1 Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Dusan Lajovic

No. 6 Steve Johnson vs. Yen-Hsun Lu

No. 3 John Isner vs. Andrey Kuznetsov

Julien Benneteau vs. No. 2 Pablo Carreno Busta

Donald Young vs. Borna Coric

No. 8 Fernando Verdasco vs. Horacio Zeballos

No. 10 Yuichi Sugita vs. Taylor Fritz

No. 15 Daniil Medvedev vs. Kyle Edmund

Damir Dzumhur vs. No. 9 Gilles Simon

No. 13 Hyeon Chung vs. Andrey Rublev 

Carlos Berlocq vs. No. 11 Viktor Troicki

Marton Fucsovics vs. No. 17 Joao Sousa

No. 12 Aljaz Bedene vs. Andreas Seppi

Thiago Monteiro vs. No. 7 Paolo Lorenzi