Raonic Falls to Nakashima
ATLANTA, July 28, 2021 – Second round matches on tap for Wednesday at the Truist Atlanta Open presented by Fiserv, in Midtown, Atlanta. No. 1 seed Milos Raonic, the featured match in the night session.
Starting singles play on for the day would be an all American affair between the finalist from the last edition of this tournament, Taylor Fritz, and former USC Trojan Steve Johnson. On a hot day here in Atlantic Station the ball was traveling quick through the courts which would explain the very few break opportunities that were seen throughout the first set. Neither player was able to apply enough pressure to gain a break advantage so it would have to be decided in a tiebreaker. Similar to his first round against Popyrin, Johnson would battle to win a few tight points in the to gain the edge to win 7-5 in the tiebreaker over fritz.
The dominance on serve would continue for both players to begin the second. Johnson began to apply some pressure onto the serve of Fritz in the 2 all and 3 all games but was unable to convert on any of those opportunities. After standing in and producing some exceptional returns off the Johnson serve it would be Ftiz who would earn the first break of the match at 4 all to set up serving out the set to win 6-4. The third would look like an entirely different contest than the first two with Johnson being broken in the opening game. Not looking back Fritz would continue to ride that momentum to race off to a 5-0 lead. The young American would then serve out the set 6-1 to earn him a spot in the quarterfinals. He will await the winner of Bjorn Fratangelo and John Isner for an all American quarters.
Peter Gojowcyk and Jordan Thompson’s match Tuesday afternoon started with 12 consecutive holds of serve. Gojowcyk had a close call while serving at 3-2 when the German Qualifier missed two forehands, handing Thompson a break point. He saved the break point with a big serve and held for 3-3. They stayed on serve till 5-6 where the Australian had two set points on Gojowcyk. The server then won the next four points to earn the advantage and game point. At a completely inopportune time for everyone in Atlantic Station, a Georgia July shower soaked the courts and forced a 30-minute delay. After great work by the ball kids and tournament staff, Gojowcyk held and forced a set tie break. After losing the first three points on a few close calls, Thompson appeared to spit towards the court out of frustration. Despite more negative energy like bouncing his racket off the court a few times, he outplayed the German and won the tiebreak 7-5. First set Thompson 7-6 (5).
After neither player dropped serve in the opening set, both were broken in the opening two games of the second. They then both held for a 2-2 tie with Gojowcyk serving. After a missed volley from Gojowcyk, Thompson earned 2 break points. He would convert the second and seize the momentum for a 3-2 lead. Gojowcyk fought off a match point in his 3-5 service game to force Thompson to serve for the match. Thompson, who just recently made it to the third round of Wimbledon, calmly held and clinched the second set. After a weird match including a somewhat rowdy crowd (see the Kim Crawford’s Wine Down Wednesday promotion) and an inopportune stoppage, Jordan Thompson wins with a score of 7-6 (5), 6-4. He moves on to the third round where he awaits the winner of top-seeded Milos Raonic and 19-year-old Brandon Nakashima.
The fourth match of the day on stadium court was played by rising star Brandon Nakashima and Milos Raonic. At age 19, Nakashima reached the finals of the Los Cabos open proving his skills. His opponent Milos Raonic is a proven veteran reaching the Wimbledon finals in 2016. Although he has been battling injury and has not played a tournament since the Miami open in March, he looks to show his abilities and prove he can still compete.
The match starts off hot as Nakashima was able to serve a few aces and smack a forehand winner. It was back and forth in the beginning of the set with the first break for Raonic 3-2. Nakashima was not able to get back in the set allowing Raonic to take the set 7-5. In the second set a series of holds followed by a very important break by Nakashima at 4-2 gave him the upper hand to take the set 6-3. With the third and final set up in the air, Nakashima starts by taking an early hold and break making the score 2-0. He lost the break late in the final set, losing two straight games making the score 6-5. With all pressure on Nakashima, he was able to prosper through with a nail biting ending 7-6 making the final score 5-7 6-3 7-6. This added another big win under his belt moving him along to the quarterfinals.
Atlanta loves doubles play, and a great doubles match took place on Grandstand Court, during the day session.
Atlanta’s humid heat has set in as the match begins. The Finnish duo served first, and they held to win the first game. The set was dictated by who had the ability to get their first serve in without faulting. Although each pair held their serve, the Finland duo seemed to struggle while Huey/Paire comfortably held their service games. An intense tiebreak began with Finnish pair winning the first point and they only won one other point during tiebreak. Benoit Paire dominated with multiple aces to help win tiebreak 7-2 and the set 7-6.
Huey/Paire open the second set by holding serve and were able to break the Finnish players to go up 2-0 in the set. Benoit Paire continued to show dominant serving. The set continues with each team holding service for next 6 games. The set reached 5-3 when the Finnish duo were able to grind out the next game and break Huey/Paire serve. The match became very intense as a couple rallies brought out exceptional winning shots. This set also went into tiebreak and again Paire showed great serving and Huey quick reflexes near the net as duo won the tie break 7-2 and the set 7-6 to win the match to move on to quarter-final round.
RESULTS - JULY 28, 2021
[SE] B. Nakashima (USA) d  [WC] M. Raonic (CAN) 57 63 76(4)
 R. Opelka (USA) d [Q] B. Fratangelo (USA) 76(3) 76(4)
 T. Fritz (USA) d S. Johnson (USA) 67(5) 64 61
J. Thompson (AUS) d [Q] P. Gojowczyk (GER) 76(6) 64
 L. Bambridge (GBR) / K. Skupski (GBR) d L. Glasspool (GBR) / N. Monroe (USA) 63 67(6) 10-6
 M. Ebden (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS) d T. Fritz (USA) / C. Norrie (GBR) 62 76(1)
A. Popyrin (AUS) / M. Reid (AUS) d A. Goransson (SWE) / F. Nielsen (DEN) 76(4) 26 11-9
T. Huey (PHI) / B. Paire (FRA) d H. Heliovaara (FIN) / E. Ruusuvuori (FIN) 76(2) 76(2)
ORDER OF PLAY - THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2021
STADIUM COURT start 12:00 noon
 L. Bambridge (GBR) / K. Skupski (GBR) vs A. Popyrin (AUS) / M. Reid (AUS)
Not Before 1:30 pm
[Q] C. O'Connell (AUS) vs  J. Sinner (ITA)
E. Ruusuvuori (FIN) vs  B. Paire (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
Evening Session -  J. Isner (USA) vs [WC] J. Sock (USA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
 C. Norrie (GBR) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)
GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm
M. Arevalo (ESA) / M. Reyes-Varela (MEX) vs  M. Ebden (AUS) / J. Smith (AUS)
Not Before 5:00 pm
Evening Session- After rest - T. Huey (PHI) / B. Paire (FRA) vs R. Opelka (USA) / J. Sinner (ITA)
Limited tickets remain available for days of tennis action which will run at Atlantic Station, July 24 – August 1, 2021.
About the Truist Atlanta Open
The Truist Atlanta Open presented by Fiserv is held each year in July in Atlantic Station and is one of the summer tournaments in the US Open Series. The tournament features men’s top world tennis players in singles and doubles competition. Approximately 40,000 fans attend the tournament and bring an estimated economic impact of $10.3 million to Atlanta. Alex de Minaur won the 2019 title and Amerian John Isner won the 2018 singles championship as well as the 2017, 2015, 2014 and 2013 titles. Andy Roddick won his last ATP World Tour title when he defeated Gilles Muller at the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open. Mardy Fish holds the title for 2011 and 2010. With 275 years of combined BB&T and SunTrust history, Truist is one of the nation's largest financial services holding companies offering a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending and wealth management.
About the US Open Series
The US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of summer tennis in North America, linking nine summer WTA and ATP Tour tournaments to the US Open. Featuring a cohesive weekly schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today's top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow's emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.
About GF Sports and Entertainment
GF Sports & Entertainment is a global events and operations company that elevates the experience of live sports, entertainment and interactive events. The company owns two of the ATP Tour’s longest running American tennis tournaments, the Dallas Open and the Truist Atlanta Open presented by Fiserv, as well as the National Lacrosse League New York Riptide. In partnership with the American Kennel Club (AKC), the leading registry and governing body of canine events in the United States, they operate the AKC Meet the Breedstouring show. GF Sports & Entertainment also incubates new and emerging sport concepts, this includes Wolf Pack Ninjas, which operates ninja-focused events globally.
GF Sports & Entertainment was founded in July 2015 by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital. For additional information, please visit http://www.gfsportsandentertainment.com/.
About The ATP
As the global governing body of men’s professional tennis, the ATP’s mission is to serve tennis. We entertain a billion global fans, showcase the world’s greatest players at the most prestigious tournaments, and inspire the next generation of fans and players. From the ATP Cup in Australia, to Europe, the Americas and Asia, the stars of the game battle for titles and FedEx ATP Rankings points at ATP Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, and Grand Slams. All roads lead towards the Nitto ATP Finals, the prestigious season finale held in Turin, Italy. Featuring only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams, the tournament also sees the official crowning of the year-end ATP World No. 1, the ultimate achievement in tennis. For more information, please visit www.ATPTour.com.
# # #