June 25, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – After an encouraging marathon win in the first round of US Open qualifying Wednesday, the sequel has been a waiting game for Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

He had to come back 24 hours after a three-hour, 29-minute win over No. 26 seed Pedro Martinez – the final score was 7-6 (9), 6-7 (3), 6-4 – and back it up with a theoretically easier challenge against 20-year-old American Zachary Svajda on Thursday.

But Mother Nature intervened, as she so often has this summer.

The first rain interruption came after Pospisil had just converted an early break of serve to lead 2-0.

Hours later, the two returned to court. Pospisil won the first set. But Svajda broke to lead 3-2 in the second set. And then, the rains came for real, and all matches (including those still scheduled) were cancelled.

Friday morning began with rain. But although there appears to be a window to complete the match, which is second on Court 11, it means a third straight day on court for Pospisil.

If he does win, Pospisil would be looking at a final-round qualifying match, likely on Saturday. Although a lot of the courts around the USTA National Tennis Center are booked up with Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day activities, so they’ll have to juggle all of that.

Pospisil had his moments on Wednesday, but overall kept it together well in his longest best-of-three match in … eons.

Not much tennis in 2023

The 32-year-old Canadian, currently ranked No. 196, has played very little this season, and has yet to have a main-draw win on the ATP Tour.

His only victories came at a Challenger in France in early February.

Pospisil has played just three matches since mid-February: a first-round loss in qualifying at Wimbledon was followed by a first-round loss at the Granby Challenger.

And in Toronto at the National Bank Open, Pospisil also lost in the first round, to No. 66 Matteo Arnaldi of Italy.

So he doesn’t have a lot of tennis in his bones.

Big win over Martinez

The victory over Martinez, a 26-year-old who was at a career-high No. 40 in the rankings a little over a year ago but who came into New York ranked No. 131 with a 4-12 record on the season, was a massive battle.

And the fact that Pospisil was able to pull it out after 3 1/2 hours had to be hugely encouraging on the physical side.

Here’s what it looked like.

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