The biggest story heading into the 2019 Delray Beach Open is the return of Juan Martin del Potro. Del Potro will be making his season debut after fracturing his kneecap at the end of the 2018 season in Shanghai. LWOT will take you through the matches worth keeping your eye on in the early stages of the tournament.
(1)Juan Martin Del Potro vs Yoshihito Nishioka
All eyes will be on Del Potro as he makes his long-awaited comeback. Nishioka isn’t an ideal opponent for a player like Del Potro that missed an extended period of time, but it should be an entertaining match between two players that have contrasting styles of play.
Reilly Opelka vs Tennys Sandgren
Opelka had his first breakthrough at a tour-level event last year in Delray Beach, defeating Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock en route to the quarterfinals. He’ll have a chance to knock out another American in the first round as he’ll face the Auckland Open champion, Tennys Sandgren. Sandgren holds a 2-0 H2H record over Opelka with both matches taking place in 2017 at the Challenger level.
Taylor Fritz vs Mackenzie Mcdonald
Frances Tiafoe has probably had the best start to the 2019 season on the American side, but Taylor Fritz has to be a close second. Fritz upset veteran Frenchman Gael Monfils in the second round of the Australian Open before falling to Roger Federer in straight sets. Fritz also won the Newport Beach challenger a week later defeating Brayden Schnur in the final. Fritz will face fellow California native Mackenzie Mcdonald who’s also had a successful start to the season reaching the finals of the Dallas Challenger.
Nick Kyrgios vs John Millman
There can’t be a more significant disparity in terms of on-court attitude between these two Australians. Most Australians would love to see the same level of effort from Kyrgios as you see from Millman, but Kyrgios manages to get by as he’s arguably the most talented player on tour. He’s fallen to #66 in the world right now and hasn’t been able to find form early in the year, but don’t be surprised if he gets things going this week and makes a run.
(8)Adrian Mannarino vs (SE)Brayden Schnur
It’ll be interesting to see how Canadian Brayden Schnur follows up his breakthrough run at the New York Open. He’ll face veteran Adrian Mannarino and will have to make a quick transition from the indoor courts in New York to the tricky conditions in Delray Beach. I wouldn’t expect much from the Canadian after the run in New York, but he doesn’t have anything to lose.