Memphis Open. Day One.

Monday’s play completed the main draw at the 2015 Memphis Open…and sent one young American into the Round-of-16 for the first time on the ATP World Tour. Rhode Island’s Jared Donaldson and Florida’s Stefan Kozlov both felt the weight of opportunity Monday night. Jared (18) and Stefan (17) were each granted wild cards to this year’s tournament; they were equally shocked by the draw: The two wild cards would face each other in the first round.

Just two weeks ago, Jared won his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Maui. In fact, not only did he win the singles title, he captured the doubles title with partner…Stefan Kozlov. Donaldson would capture a competitive first set, then run away with the match. He’ll face either Benjamin Becker or Sam Querrey in the next round. Kozlov will play-on in the doubles-draw with partner Denis Kudla.

Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal
Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal

Speaking of Denis, on Monday, he easily dispatched 32-year-old Robby Ginepri in his final qualifying match. Kudla didn’t drop a single set through three rounds of qualifying, and will face fellow qualifier, Thanasi Kokkinakis in First-round play on Tuesday. 22-year-old Ryan Harrison is also in the main-draw after a win over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic. Ryan gets Malek Jaziri in the First round.

Donald Young is into Memphis’ Round of 16 for the fourth time in his career. On paper, he was the underdog against the 8-seed Adrian Mannarino (Aukland finalist last month), but came out firing from ball-up. He took the first-set 6-3 and broke early in the second. Up 4-3, he completely lost focus…and his serve. The internal head-games began. It felt like the toxic downward spiral of self-punishment would cost him the set, but Young battled through to take the match 11-9 in the set’s tie-break. Next up for Young – either Kudla or Kokkinakis.

Germany’s Dustin Brown is playing both singles and doubles here in Memphis. He and Marinko Matosevic will play their First round doubles match on Tuesday. Monday, they had to play each other in the First round of the singles draw. Dreddy took down his partner 6-4, 6-4.

Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal
Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal

Michael Chang and James Blake took the court for a highly entertaining exhibition Monday night. Chang won this event in ’97, and Memphis is one of the few events on tour he never missed during his career. Blake was a finalist here in 2002, the same year he defeated Chang in the First round. And congratulations are in order for James – it was announced on Monday that he’s the new Chairman of the Board for the USTA Foundation. Always a selfless ambassador of the sport, James will lead the effort to make tennis more accessible for underprivileged youth across the country. A beneficiary of his own NJTL chapter, without question, James is the right man for the job.

DAY-1 RESULTS: Stadium Court

QUALIFYING – Ryan Harrison def. Filip Krajinovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
QUALIFYING – Denis Kudla def. Robby Ginepri 6-3, 6-4
1R – Donald Young def. Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 7-6(9)
EXHIBITION – James Blake def. Michael Chang 8-6
1R – [WC] Jared Donaldson def. [WC] Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-0

DAY-1 RESULTS: Grandstand

QUALIFYING – Austin Krajicek def. Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4
QUALIFYING – Thanasi Kokkinakis def. Victor Hanescu 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4
1R – Ivan Dodig def. Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 6-2
1R – Dustin Brown def. Marinko Matosevic 6-4, 6-4

DAY-2 SCHEDULE: First Round. Stadium Court

Lukas Lacko vs. Ivo Karlovic
[Q] Ryan Harrison vs. Malek Jaziri
[Q] Denis Kudla vs. [Q] Thanasi Kokkinakis
[3] Eric Butorac and Rajeev Ram VS. [WC] Michael Mmoh and Francis Tiafoe
[7] Benjamin Becker vs. Sam Querrey
[6] Steve Johnson vs. Dudi Sela

DAY-2 SCHEDULE: First Round. Grandstand

Igor Sijsling vs. Bernard Tomic
[Q] Austin Krajicek vs. Mikhail Kukushkin
Yen-Hsun Lu vs. Sam Groth
Ryan Harrison and Austin Krajicek vs. Dustin Brown and Marinko Matosevic
[1] Ivan Dodig and Max Mirnyi vs. Johan Brunstrom and Nicholas Monroe