Remarkably, eight Americans reached the Round of 16 at this year’s Memphis Open – the most since 2003. So far, three have advanced to the Quarterfinals.
American qualifier Austin Krajicek delivered Day-3’s most potent win, defeating the #5-seed Ivo Karlovic. It was Austin’s first win over a top-25 player. Friday, he’ll try his luck against World #5 Kei Nishikori in Austin’s first ever Quarterfinal appearance on the ATP World Tour. The two are actually close friends after years of training together as juniors in Florida.
Sam Querrey – who also advanced on Wednesday with a win over 18-year-old Jared Donaldson – trained with Austin in Los Angeles over the off-season and had this to say about Krajicek’s potential: “He’s got a different game. He’s lefty, which makes it tough. He has a big serve, a great backhand slice and has the all-court game that we don’t see too often anymore. It makes it difficult to come into net against him, so he’s tricky to play against.”
Next up for Sam? John Isner. John defeated Ivan Dodig in Day-3’s first night session match on Stadium Court. Oddly enough, Sam and John have only played each other three times on the tour level, all in 2010. Sam won two of those matches, including the 2010 Memphis Open Final – the same year he and John teamed for the Memphis doubles title. This year, Sam teamed with Steve Johnson in the doubles draw. The two fell to Artem Sitak and Donald Young Wednesday night on Grandstand.
Kei Nishikori was an absolute mess in the first-set against Ryan Harrison on Wednesday. The two-time Memphis Open champ had six different rackets restrung while trying to find his rhythm. Harrison played with nothing to lose, and easily took the first set 6-3. Kei dug-in for set-2 and jumped out to a 4-0 lead, eventually earning it 6-3. In the decider, Kei broke Ryan in game-1, and that was all he needed to earn the win 6-4 in the third.
Nishikori after the match: “He played at a good level, but I wasn’t ready for the match in the first set. I started playing a little bit better and stepping in more in the second set. Getting the break in the first game of the third set helped mentally as well. Sometimes it’s important to win matches like this, but I will have to raise my level a little more for the quarterfinals.”
Congratulations are in order for Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez. Both accomplished doubles specialists, they own a combined 25 career doubles titles; but before Wednesday, they hadn’t won a single match together. It’s a new partnership for 2015 and they’ve been ironing out the wrinkles since early January. After falling in the First Rounds of Brisbane, Sydney and the Australian Open – they finally picked up their first win together in Memphis over Yen-Hsun Lu and Mikhail Kukushkin, and will face Germans Becker and Meffert in the Quarterfinals.
DAY-3 RESULTS: Stadium Court
1R: John-Patrick Smith and Michael Venus def. Stefan Kozlov and Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-1
R16: [Q] Austin Krajicek def.  Ivo Karlovic 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4
R16: Sam Querrey def. [WC] Jared Donaldson 6-4, 6-1
R16: Kei Nishikori def. [Q] Ryan Harrison 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
R16:  John Isner def. Ivan Dodig 6-4, 7-6(5)
1R:  Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez def. Yen-Hsun Lu and Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-1
DAY-3 RESULTS: Grandstand
Treat Huey and Scott Lipsky def. Sam Groth and Chris Guccione 7-6, 6-4
Artem Sitak and Donald Young def. Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey 6-1, 6-4
Benjamin Becker and Dominik Meffert def. Teymuraz Gabashvili and Bernard Tomic (walkover)
DAY-4 SCHEDULE: Stadium Court (11:00a start)
QF: Ryan Harrison and Austin Krajicek vs. Treat Huey and Scott Lipsky
R16:  Alexandr Dolgopolov def. Bernard Tomic
R16: Donald Young vs. [Q] Denis Kudla
R16:  Steve Johnson vs. Dustin Brown
R16: Sam Groth vs.  Kevin Anderson
QF:  Ivan Dodig and Max Mirnyi vs. John-Patrick Smith and Michael Venus