CINCINNATI, Ohio — Ohio State junior JJ Wolf notched one of the biggest wins of his career late Saturday night as he bested world No. 85 Jozef Kovalik in the first round of qualifying for the ATP’s Western & Southern Open.
19-year-old Cincinnati local JJ Wolf wins late night battle over Jozef Kovalik to notch his *FIRST* qualifying match win at an ATP event. He’ll be back in action Sunday evening for a spot in the main draw. #CincyTennis https://t.co/sNHgmzLK7i
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 12, 2018
Playing in his hometown in front of friends and family, Wolf received a wildcard entry into the event and he made the most of his opportunity. He fell behind an early break in the first set but rallied to win it 8-6 in a first-set tiebreak. Wolf also won the second set in a tiebreak, this time 7-5 to advance to the second round.
Wolf had 16 aces in the match compared to just two for Kovalik and the Cincinnati won 70 percent of his first serve points.
In the second round of qualifying on Sunday, Wolf dropped the opening set 6-4 to No. 91 Marius Copil and then held serve through the second set to force another tiebreak. But this time, his run ended as he fell in the breaker.