As the 2018 Delray Beach Open gets underway, we take a look at the matches to watch in the early stages of the tournament.
(1)Jack Sock vs Milos Raonic
One year after Milos Raonic was forced to withdraw from the Delray Beach Open final against Jack Sock, the two will finally meet, this time in the first round. Both players have struggled in the early part of the season, and are in desperate need of a win. Milos Raonic has an 8-3 record against the American, but Sock has won the last three meetings.
(WC)John Isner vs Radu Albot
Three-Time Delray Beach Open semifinalist John Isner was a late addition to the talented field after accepting a wildcard on Thursday. He’ll once again face Radu Albot of Moldova after losing to the #91 ranked player last week at the inaugural New York Open. Isner is also in need of a win as he tries to get into form before heading to Acapulco.
(5)Nick Kyrgios vs Taro Daniel
Anytime Nick Kyrgios takes the court it’s must watch. The talented Australian was supposed to play in Rotterdam last week before pulling out with an elbow injury. He has a favorable draw which should allow him to play his way into form as the week goes on. Taro Daniel hasn’t started the 2018 season the way he’d like with a first-round loss at the Australian Open and a fifth set loss to Fabio Fognini in Davis Cup.
Denis Shapovalov vs Ivo Karlovic
38-year-old Ivo Karlovic going up against 18-year-old NextGen star Denis Shapovalov should be one of the better early round matches. It’s always interesting to see how a player deals with the Karlovic serve in their first meeting. Ivo Karlovic is no stranger to the Delray Beach Open; he first played the event in 2004 and won the title in 2015, defeating Donald Young in the finals.
(4)Sam Querrey vs Taylor Fritz
2016 Delray Beach Open champion Sam Querrey usually plays some of his best tennis this time of the year. Last year, the week after Delray Beach he went on to defeat David Goffin, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios, and Rafael Nadal en route to his Acapulco title. This week the 30-year-old American is making a run at the New York Open before heading to Delray Beach. With Querrey making a run indoors, you’d have to give a little bit of an edge to Taylor Fritz who’s been practicing and getting used to the courts and conditions in Delray Beach. Querrey and Fritz met in Acapulco quarterfinals in 2016 with Querrey winning in three sets.
(2)Juan Martin Del Potro vs Jeremy Chardy
Fan favorite Juan Martin Del Potro started his 2017 season in Delray Beach and reached the semifinals. Now with some matches already under his belt before heading into Delray Beach in 2018 you’d have to think the 2011 Delray Beach Open champion is the man to beat this week. Up first he’ll face Jeremy Chardy who he has a 2-1 H2H record against including a 6-2 6-3 win over the Frenchman at the 2016 Delray Beach Open.