REIGNING CHAMPION VESELY IN ACTION
On Day two at the men’s week of the ASB Classic there are five singles matches on Centre Court on Tuesday’s schedule.
The 2015 champion Jiri Vesely qualified into the main draw last year ranked number 63 in the world. He won two qualifying matches and five in the main draw to capture his first ATP title. He defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in an all-left-handed final to claim the Auckland crown. After this win he jumped to number 39 in the ATP Rankings and later in the season he reached the final in Bucharest. Vesely will meet Spaniard Roberto BautistsaAgut today in the first round for the very first time. Bautista Agut was a semi-finalist two years ago in Auckland.
In the opening match, Germanys Philipp Kohlschreiber and qualifier Benjamin Becker meet for the second time. Kohlschreiber won the Auckland title in 2008 and reached the final in 2013, won at their previous meeting in Vienna in 2014.
In the next match on centre court, number six seed Fabio Fognini brings a 2 to 1 Head to Head advantage against the Portuguese number one Joao Sousa.
In the third match, British number two Aljaz Bedene looks to level his record against American Sam Querrey, who won when they last met at the Queen’s Club in London in 2013. Querrey was a runner-up here in Auckland in 2009 and a semi-finalist in 2013 while Bedene is making his debut in Auckland.
In addition, the final match on centre court today will delight kiwi fans with local wild card Michael Venus taking on number five seed Benoit Paire of France. Venus and Paire meet for the first time. Venus reached the second round in Auckland in 2015, while Paire is coming off a semi-final appearance in Chennai last week. Paire was also a quarter-finalist here in Auckland in 2012.
New Zealanders can also follow Finn Tearney and Wesley Whitehouse in the men’s doubles around 4:30pm on the Grandstand court where they take on American’s Nicholas Monroe and Donald Young. Tearney and Whitehouse will be looking to move further through the tournament after coming so close in 2015. Tearney and Whitehouse nearly pulled off a huge upset in Auckland pushing Marce- lo Melo and Max Mirnyi to the bitter end. The Kiwis lost their match 6-7 7-5 10-7, but they still produced a performance to be proud of.