Qualifier Henri Laaksonen pulled off a first-round upset Tuesday in the U.S. Men’s Clay Championships, beating sixth-seeded Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-4 in Houston.
Laaksonen, a 27-year-old from Finland, had lost three of his four previous top-level matches this year, with the only win coming in the opening round of the Australian Open. Against McDonald, he saved 6 of 6 match points en route to winning in 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Other first-round winners were seventh-seeded Jordan Thompson of Australia, eighth-seeded Sam Querrey of the United States, Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan and Santiago Giraldo.
Grand Prix Hassan II
Top-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany rolled through his first-round match at Marrakesh, Morocco, but second-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy was eliminated.
Zverev got past Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-4, never losing his serve in the 82-minute contest.
The Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely upset Fognini 7-6 (2), 6-4. The match turned in the first-set tiebreaker, when Fognini won the first two points but Vesely reeled of the next seven in a row.
Fifth-seeded Laslo Djere of Serbia fell 6-3, 6-3 to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, and sixth-seeded Fernando Verdasco lost 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 to Spanish countryman Adrian Menendez-Maceiras. Seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany and eighth-seeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France both won their opening matches.
–Field Level Media