Wednesday at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport saw several exciting firsts as Americans Jenson Brooksby and Maxime Cressy moved into their first ATP quarterfinals and Alexander Bublik picked up his first win as a top seed.
Bublik had a challenging opener against veteran Ivo Karlovic but outlasted the Croatian 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1. Being the No. 1 seed isn’t fazing Bublik.
“You’ve got to treat the players carefully because everybody can play good tennis,” the World No. 37 said. “And No. 1, No. 2, or No. 52 seed won't give you any benefit on court.”
A big fan of grass for the “low bounces and short rallies,” Bublik was a finalist in Newport in 2019. He’ll next face Jason Jung after the World No. 163 dismissed No. 5 seed Tennys Sandgren 6-2, 6-2. This week marks Jung’s first ATP-level win since reaching the semifinals of the New York Open in February 2020.
Cressy upset No. 2 seed Sam Querrey for the biggest win of his career. The World No. 155 graduated from UCLA in 2019 and is playing his third tour-level main draw.
“I obviously had to play my best tennis today and I’m very, very proud of myself for all the progress I made throughout the [last two] years on the tour,” the 24-year-old said. “I feel so fortunate to be on a stadium as amazing as this one.”
In just his second tour-level event, 20-year-old Brooksby beat compatriot Denis Kudla 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. The American is six months into his pro career after a stint at Baylor and is already ranked No. 152.
“Now I've had a couple of matches, and I'm feeling more confident on the surface,” Brooksby said. “I know I have this level to get these results, but I'm definitely happy to prove it right away from the start here.”
Kevin Anderson hit 18 aces and didn’t face a break point against qualifier Sebastian Ofner in a 7-5, 7-6(3) win to reach his second quarterfinal of the season. Anderson, returning from knee surgery in 2020 and a few minor injuries in 2021, is seeking his first title on grass.
“Sometimes little things crop up, and that's unfortunate,” Anderson said. “But we do as much as we can each day to try and prevent that. I feel like I’m dealing with things really well and hopefully looking forward to some consistency where I’m just able to give myself that opportunity to keep playing.”
He’ll take on Jack Sock next after the American eased past No. 3 seed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 6-3. The 28-year-old wild card is into his first quarterfinal since the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris in 2018.
A former World No. 8, Sock is thrilled to be back in front of a 100 percent capacity crowd.
“It's the best ever. I missed it a lot,” Sock said. “I'm not very good at playing in silence; I think I realized that the last 18 months. Even if I lose, I'd rather put on a little bit of a show and engage with the crowd.”
In other completed second-round matches, No. 7 seed Jordan Thompson shut out Yuichi Sugita 6-0, 6-2 and Peter Gojowczyk topped No. 4 seed Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.
Thursday will see two quarterfinals take to Stadium Court: Bublik vs. Jung and Sock vs. Anderson, along with two doubles quarterfinals. Friday will feature Cressy vs. Thompson and Brooksby vs. Gojowczyk.
Written by Nina Pantic