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By Alberto Amalfi | Tuesday, September 20, 2022


Former Ohio Statue Buckeye J.J. Wolf stopped Stefan Kozlov 6-2, 7-6(6) in his San Diego Open opener.

Photo credit: San Diego Open

J.J. Wolf faced altitude adjustment in San Diego.

Playing his first ATP event as a seed, Wolf elevated into the San Diego Open second round with a 6-2, 7-6(6) conquest of compatriot Stefan Kozlov on Monday night.

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The eighth seed advanced via a 6-2, 7-6 (6) dismissal of countryman Stefan Kozlov.

“I’ve never been seeded before at an ATP tournament, so I’ve got to feel good about it,” Wolf told Richard Osborn. “I think I’m still getting used to playing night matches. They’re so special.

"I think I remember everyone I’ve played at night just because of the environment. Everybody is relaxed and having a good time, so I came out in a good mindset.”

Wolf showed bite on his second serve winning a higher percentage of his second-serve points (20 of 29 for 69%) than first-serve points (25 of 39 for 64%) in a one hour, 52-minute win.

“I think we’ve both evolved a lot the past couple of years,” Wolf said of former junior rival Kozlov, who scored his first Grand Slam main-draw win at the Australian Open in January. “He was probably a lot more talented than me coming up. I had to go to college to get that development in. But I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

The former Ohio State standout continues his late summer-surge.

Washington, D.C. quarterfinalist Wolf swept 18th-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut in his US Open opener en route to the Flushing Meadows third round where he earned praised from Nick Kyrgios after a straight-sets loss to the Wimbledon finalist.

The eighth-seeded Wolf will try to enjoy the ride in his new seed status when he faces the winner of the all-Aussie first-round match between Jason Kubler and Christopher O'Connell.  Wolf resides in the bottom half of the draw along with second-seeded compatriot Jenson Brooksby.

Earlier, it was a Sydney showdown in San Diego.

In an all-Aussie clash, James Duckworth defeated Alexei Popyrin 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

Duckworth drilled his 14th ace ending the two-hour, 17-minute match with a bang to prevail in a battle of Sydney residents..

“I know his game, he knows my game,” said Duckworth. “We’re good mates. We actually practiced together earlier this week just before the draw came out and we found out we were playing each other.

"It’s always difficult playing a friend, playing a fellow Aussie. I’m really happy I was able to get through it in the end."

Prize Money: $612,000
SEPTEMBER 19-25th, 2022


First Round

[7] J. Duckworth (AUS) d A. Popyrin (AUS) 75 46 61

[8] J. Wolf (USA) d S. Kozlov (USA) 62 76(6)

C. Lestienne (FRA) d [WC] B. Holt (USA) 57 76(5) 63

T. Etcheverry (ARG) d [Q] F. Mena (ARG) 76(6) 63


BARNES STADIUM start 11:30 am

[Q] C. Eubanks (USA) vs [Q] M. Krueger (USA)

T. Daniel (JPN) vs [Q] E. Nava (USA)

Not Before 5:30 pm

D. Kudla (USA) vs [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP)

[5] B. Nakashima (USA) vs [WC] Z. Svajda (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 2:00 pm

[PR] M. Demoliner (BRA) / M. Melo (BRA) vs M. Schnur (USA) / J. Smith (AUS)

R. Galloway (USA) / A. Lawson (USA) vs M. Huesler (SUI) / H. Reese (USA)


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