Korda among those moving into Delray tennis quarterfinals

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Sebastian Korda is back in the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Open, after the tournament’s No. 5 seed fought past Andreas Seppi.

Korda, a Delray finalist last year, needed nearly two hours to beat Seppi 7-5, 6-3 and earn his quarterfinal spot. He’ll next face top-seeded Cameron Norrie, a 6-3, 7-5 winner over Oscar Otte in the last match on the schedule.

Korda downed Norrie in last year’s Delray semifinals.

Fourth-seeded Tommy Paul and unseeded Stefan Kozlov will meet in another quarterfinal, after they combined to lose a total of six games in easy wins. Paul needed only an hour in very windy conditions to beat Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-0, and Kozlov ousted Steve Johnson 6-1, 6-3.

“I’ve trained here for a very long time so I’m kind of used to it,” Paul said about playing in the wind. “I’d say it gave me a slight advantage over him. I don’t know how much he’s training in outdoor, windy conditions.”

Paul and Kozlov have been practice partners in recent years, especially when both were spending time in South Florida earlier in the pandemic.

“We know each other’s game really well,” Paul said. “He’s a very, very tricky player. It should be a good one.”

The bottom half of the draw will play its round-of-16 matches, including an all-U.S. matchup pitting No. 2 seed Reilly Opelka against Jack Sock. Opelka is 8-2 all-time at Delray Beach, including a run to the 2020 championship there and a three-set win over then-No. 1 seeded Sock in the second round of the 2018 event.

Other matches will have John Millman facing Marcus Giron, No. 7 seed Adrian Mannarino against Brandon Nakashima, and No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov meeting Mitchell Krueger.