American Jared Donaldson was the player guest at the Draw Ceremony Friday night. (Photo: Alex Smith / Memphis Open)
Tennis is about generations and the sport is going through some fascinating times right now as some of the greatest names to ever play the game begin to witness the emergence of the “Next Gen.”
The 41st Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster is playing host to many of these exciting prospects and over the next week they will be on show at The Racquet Club of Memphis.
One of the highlights of the opening round sees two of these Next Gen players, both from the United States and awarded main draw wild cards, squaring off. In a first-time meeting 20-year-old Jared Donaldson from Irvine, California will take on 19-year-old Reilly Opelka of Palm Coast, Florida.
Donaldson broke into the world’s top 100, at #95, for the first time this week and while Opelka at #182 has a bit of catching up to do, he is regarded as an exciting prospect with his 6’11” frame certainly very imposing on the court.
The top two seeds at the Memphis Open are no strangers to height; No. 1 Ivo Karlovic and No. 2 John Isner book-end the singles draw and each have first round byes. Joining them as the third and fourth seeds are Americans Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson.
Last year’s finalist and another one of the exciting young Americans, Taylor Fritz will take on eighth seed Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei. Aussie Bernie Tomic, the fifth seed, has a qualifier first-up while Tomic’s countryman Jordan Thompson who has enjoyed and outstanding rise up the rankings in the last ten months, plays Nikoloz Basilashvili with the winner to face top seed Karkovic.
Kevin Anderson, a finalist in Memphis in 2015 will begin his 2017 campaign against Damir Dzumhur; whoever advances will play seventh seeded Belgian Steve Darcis: 2008 Memphis champion and Davis Cup hero.
Should the seedings fall into place the full quarterfinal line-up would be:
(1) Ivo Karlovic v (8) Rendy Lu
(4) Steve Johnson v (5) Bernard Tomic
(3) Sam Querrey v (7) Steve Darcis
(2) John Isner v (6) Adrian Mannarino
For the full Memphis Open singles draw click here.