Tennys Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith were college teammates at the University of Tennessee a decade ago, and on Tuesday they were across the net from one another in the first round of the Great Ocean Road Open.
It was a tough battle at Melbourne Park for the former Tennessee Volunteers, but it was ninth seed Sandgren who prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 after two hours and 15 minutes. This was the first ATP Head2Head meeting for the pair, who had previously split four professional meetings.
Sandgren, a two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist, saved 11 of the 15 break points he faced and won 71 per cent of his second-serve return points to advance. The American will next play Italian Salvatore Caruso.
#NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz also advanced Tuesday. The 17-year-old was tied at 2-2 against Attila Balazs when the Hungarian retired due to left heel pain. Alcaraz will next play top seed David Goffin.
Carlos Alcaraz will next play David Goffin. Photo Credit: Tennis Australia
Uruguayan shotmaker Pablo Cuevas moved into the second round with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against 14th seed Pablo Andujar. This was the pair’s first meeting since the 2011 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
Cuevas broke serve four times and won 50 per cent of his return points to triumph after one hour and 26 minutes. The World No. 70 is pursuing his seventh ATP Tour singles title.