ATP Tour Official Tournament

Daily Notebook: Friday, Feb. 16

16 February 2024 By Delray Beach Open
Tokyo Take-Off! Shapovalov Serves Past Johnson


Top Things to Know for Friday, Feb. 16

Quarterfinals Day

The quarterfinals feature the top three seeds, a lucky loser, a wild card and three unseeded players. There are five Americans, two Australians and an Italian.

  • Three players who live and train in South Florida - Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul

  • Three players ranked in the world's Top 15 - Fritz (No. 9), Paul (14), Tiafoe (No. 15)

  • Third Lucky Loser to ever reach the quarterfinals here and first since 2013 - Flavio Cobolli

(1) Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. Rinky Hijikata (Australia) - Fritz, based in Miami, is the defending champion, ranked No. 9 in the world, and reached the quarterfinals at the last two Grand Slams. Hijikata had his best year on tour last year, reaching the US Open fourth round and winning the Australian Open doubles title. He took out the sixth seed in his last match.

(2) Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs. (LL) Flavio Cobolli (Italy) - The concept of the "lucky loser" is one of the funnest things in tennis. It goes to a player who lost in the last round of qualifying, but then gets into the main draw when a player withdraws before play begins. Cobolli got called up on Tuesday morning, won his match in a third-set tiebreak, then defeated a qualifier in three sets to become only the third lucky loser in the 32 years of the Delray Beach Open to reach the quarterfinals. The last one was Ricardas Berankis in 2013. No lucky loser has ever reached the semifinals here. He'll try to become the first when he faces second seed Frances Tiafoe, the 2018 champion in Delray Beach on his debut at the event. Last year, Tiafoe won two tournaments and entered the Top 10 for the first time. This is his first time back in the event since 2021 but he is very familiar with the courts, as he lives in Boca and often trains at the Delray Beach Tennis Center where his twin brother, Franklin, was a teaching pro until recently.

(3) Tommy Paul (USA) vs. Jordan Thompson (Australia) - Paul, who lives in West Boca full time, is world-ranked No. 14, won the title last week in Dallas and reached the 2023 Australian Open semifinals. In his match on Thursday he defeated up-and-coming American Alex Michelsen in a third-set tiebreak in a match that lasted over three hours. Just this week, Thompson surpassed his career-high ranking set four years ago and is ranked No. 42. He defeated the seventh seed in the first round here, reached the QF last week in Dallas and won the doubles title there. Last month he upset Rafael Nadal to reach the SF in Brisbane.

Marcos Giron (USA) vs. (WC) Patrick Kypson (USA) - Both of these Americans are in top form. Giron defeated Frances Tiafoe on his way to the final in Dallas last week, where he fell to Tommy Paul in three sets. This week, he upset the fourth seed to reach the quarterfinals. The 2014 NCAA singles champion from UCLA, he underwent double-hip surgery in late 2015 and early 2016. His opponent, Kypson, was also a junior standout who is finally recovering from injuries. He won the USTA boys 18s title in 2017, played a year at Texas A&M and in the last year won the USTA's wild card challenges to earn entry into the French and Australian Opens. He plays well as a wild card - he was granted one here as well, won his first ATP Tour-level match over the fifth seed and is now into his first ATP Tour quarterfinal. He's on a seven-match win streak, having won a Challenger Tour title before coming to Delray Beach.