Sebastian Korda back in Delray Beach Open quarterfinals; Tommy Paul cruises

Sebastian Korda is back in the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Open after fighting past Andreas Seppi on Wednesday night.

Korda, a Delray finalist last year and the No. 5 seed this year, needed nearly two hours to defeat Seppi 7-5, 6-3 and earn his quarterfinal spot. He’ll next face either top-seeded Cameron Norrie or Oscar Otte, who were listed to play later Wednesday.

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 Wednesday. Paul needed only an hour in very windy conditions to defeat Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-0, and Kozlov ousted Steve Johnson 6-1, 6-3.

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“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 on Thursday, counting an all-U.S. matchup pitting No. 2 seed Reilly Opelka versus Jack Sock.

Opelka is 8-2 all time at Delray Beach, including a run to the 2020 championship there and a three-set victory over then-No. 1 seeded Sock in the second round of the 2018 event.

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

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