Brown Into Newport QFs After Two-Day Battle; Ram Saves 2 M.P.
German downs sixth seed Querrey while American upends fifth seed Mannarino
Dustin Brown set up a quarter-final duel against Ivo Karlovic at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport after defeating Sam Querrey 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 on Thursday. The match started on Wednesday afternoon, but was suspended due to rain at 4-3 in the third set.
Brown made a quick start on the first day of play, breaking Querrey twice to move into a 3-0 lead before holding the rest of the way to capture the opening set 6-2. In the second set, Brown had a break point to go 5-4 up and serve for the match, but saw Querrey roar back to take the set 6-4. Undeterred, Brown converted on the first break point opportunity at 2-2 in the third set, and held his serve the rest of the way to claim the win.
"It wasn't easy coming back today, knowing all I had to do was to hold serve," said Brown. "I definitely hit a lot of serves during my warm-up. Having been on the [ATP World] Tour for a while, I've run into these types of situations before. There no use thinking about whether we could have finished the match last night. All you can do is to stick with it and warm up the serve. I'm happy that I kept it together."
Brown holds a 2-1 edge in the FedEx ATP Head2Head matchup against Karlovic, but the 6’11” Croat won the pair’s last confrontation 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-2 in Delray Beach earlier this year.
Rajeev Ram survived two match points and took out fifth seed Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(2) in two hours and 34 minutes. The American was an early break down in the deciding set, but fought back to force a final set tie-break.
"Mannarino is such a tough opponent because he absorbs pace so well. I could hit through the court a bit here with my forehand, so I tried to find way to break him down," said Ram, whose semi-final opponent will be John-Patrick Smith. The left-handed Aussie saved all three break points faced in defeating Tatsuma Ito 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3 and will be contesting his first ATP World Tour semi-final. He had not won a tour-level match entering this week.