By Audraine Jackson
Atlanta, GA USA – The BB&T Atlanta Open may be a new experience moving tennis into an urban environment but it hasnâ€™t fared well for some local favorites as a pair of American wild cards ruled day 3 of tournament play. Nearby collegiate players made hasty exits Sunday leaving two time NCAA singles winner Steve Johnson in a position to shut down hometown favorite Donald Young winning in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Mondayâ€™s tournament activities included a salute to the US Military with a video presentation and appearances by a military Color Guard and a Wounded Warrior.
Young played below his level as his losing streak continued at 14, a serious slide after reaching as high as 38 in 2011. The timing was great for Johnson who admitted to a few nerves winning his first main draw ATP match. â€œThe second set I had a chance to break at 2 all, I missed both returns, then he played a good game to break me. Thatâ€™s kind of the way menâ€™s tennis is. If you donâ€™t capitalize on your break points – he will,â€ said Johnson.
â€œIn the third set I thought I served good except for I guess the one game at 3-1. I think I got broken at love but to come right back and break back and have two strong service games was good for me to kind of settle my nerves down trying to win my first ATP match. In the end it was a great learning experience and Iâ€™m really glad I got the win.â€
An hour and a half rain delay didnâ€™t dampen play for 19-year old Jack Sock who defeated seventh seed Alex Bogomolov 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. â€œI hoped for all 1st serves after the rain delay but didn’t happen.Â Bogomolov returned well,â€ said Sock. â€œIt feels good to be back on tour. I haven’t had a lot of matches but hope to get more.â€ Sock relied on a powerful forehand and drop shots near the net to capitalize on opportunities in a match lasting two hours and 14 minutes. The match included a medical break when Sock required assistance for a finger scraped by a racquet string that drew blood.
Americans Johnson and Sock will face each other in singles but not before being paired as doubles today against Bogomolov and Luxembourgâ€™s Gilles Muller.Â Another key matchup will be between US Olympic team member Ryan Harrison and James Blake who brings an aggressive baseline style to his matches.
Ryan, who turned pro in 2007, talked about what it will be like facing the veteran for only the second time in his career.Â â€œJames is great. James has been a very, very top professional caliber player in all sense of the word.â€ said Harrison. â€œBeing a great guy, a great athlete, competitor all the way through and Iâ€™ve looked up to him for a long time. Itâ€™s my second time playing him. I played him in Houston in 2008 when I was 15 which was pretty young. He put a good beat down on me. But itâ€™s been a long time since then. I know heâ€™s got a lot of game, a lot of skill. Iâ€™m hoping Iâ€™ll play my best tennis and like any match I play, I believe if I play my best tennis I will give myself a chance to win.â€
Audraine Jackson is covering the BB&T Atlanta Open for Tennis Panorama News July 14-22, 2012. Audraine is a sports blogger, digital journalist and tennis addict. Follow her live updates on @tennisnewsTPN and personal twitter account @atlstoryteller.
Monday Singles Rd 1
[W] J Sock d  A Bogomolov Jr 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
 K Anderson d P Lorenzi 6-4, 6-3
G Muller d M Matosevic 7-6(5), 6-4
N Mahut d P Capdeville 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Monday Doubles Rd 1
X Malisse/ M Russell d J Fruttero/ D Tursunov 1-6, 6-1 10-3
 J Delgado/ K Skupski d O Charroin/ A Shamasdin 2-6, 6-4, 11-9
Monday Qualifying Rd 3 Results
 R Bemelmans d  R Hocevar 6-2, 6-2
 S Bubka d  T Smyczek 6-3, 6-4
 R Berankis d  R De Voest 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3
 A Kuznetsov d  R Mello 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
Sunday Qualifying Rd 2 Results
 A Kuznetsov d L Margaroli 6-2, 6-0
 R Mello d [W] M Ndimande 6-4, 6-2
 S Bubka d C Gard 6-4, 7-6(6)
 R De Voest d [W] K King 6-7(3) 7-6(4) 6-4
 T Smyczek d O Sajous 7-5, 6-3
 R Hocevar d O Charroin 6-4, 7-5
 R Bemelmans d [W] L Dlouhy 6-1, 7-5
 R Berankis d [WC] D Bernstein 6-4, 6-1