Smith Stuns Karlovic In First Round At Delray Beach Open

John-Patrick Smith (photo: Delray Beach Open)

DELRAY BEACH, February 16, 2016

The Delray Beach Open with a total financial commitment of $576,900 is the first outdoor North American tournament of the season and highlighted by the top four seeds of Kevin Anderson, Bernard Tomic, defending champion Ivo Karlovic and Grigor Dimitrov.

Grigor Dimitrov and Dudi Sela (photo: Delray Beach Open)

Grigor Dimitrov and Dudi Sela (photo: Delray Beach Open)

Three first round matches took place on the opening day when fourth favourite Grigor Dimitrov extended his head to head record over Dudi Sela to 4-0 through a 6-4, 6-2 victory over the Israeli. The world number 28 from Bulgaria didn’t face a break point and converted three of his own to prevail in 68 minutes. Dimitrov will face the winner of the encounter between Damir Dzumhur and Ricardas Berankis.

Qualifier John-Patrick Smith caused the upset of the day, knocking out defending champion Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The world number 135 from Australia withstood 21 aces, hitting 4 of his own. Smith won 80% of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 33 minutes facing either Juan Del Potro or Denis Kudla next.

The Argentine entered the tournament with a wild card, making his return to the courts after he had to undgo left wrist surgery in January and June 2015. He will compete in his first event since Miami last year and returns to Delray Beach for the first time since 2011.

Eighth seed Adrian Mannarino ousted Malek Jaziri 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, winning 53% of the total points. The world number 49 from France converted four of his five break point chances to advance after one hour and 31 minutes to set a second round meeting with the winner of the match between the qualifiers Tatsuma Ito and Dennis Novikov.