Washington - Sam Querrey made a triumphant start to his first event since stunning top-ranked Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, rallying Tuesday to reach the third round of the ATP and WTA Washington Open.
The 28-year-old American outlasted compatriot Bjorn Fratangelo 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4, avenging a first-round French Open loss in May and spoiling his rival's 23rd birthday in the first hardcourt event on the road to the US Open.
"Even without the Novak win, it would have been tough," Querrey said. "It was one of those matches you have to fight through and I'm happy I fought through the way I did."
Eighth seed Querrey downed Djokovic in the third round on Wimbledon grass, ending the Serb's 30-match major win streak on his way to his first career Grand Slam quarter-final after 10 years of trying, where he lost to Canada's Milos Raonic.
"I feel the same, maybe a little cooler," Querrey said. "I'm confident. Beating Novak or not, I'm feeling confident."
On the women's side, Japan's Risa Ozaki second-seeded defending champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-1. The 136th-ranked Asian standout needed only 56 minutes to rout the 23rd-ranked American.
"I would say (it was) all me. She played a solid match but I helped a lot," Stephens said. "It just sucks. One of those days. It was really bad. Hopefully I just pull myself together and do better next week."
It was Querrey's first hardcourt match in more than three months and his first night match in some time, but the world number 29 did not drop his level after dropping the first set to a foe rated 79 spots below him.
"I was bummed I lost that," he said. "But it didn't take a lot of energy out of me."
Next up for Querrey is Ukraine's 11th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov, who edged Australian Jordan Thompson 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4).
Stephens found defending her first WTA title a difficult task, but with crowns this year at Auckland, Acapulco and Charleston, she will have more chances.
"A lot of things come with defending a title, which I had never had to do before," she said. "It was a little debilitating, but I get to defend another one in January."
Puerto Rican third seed Monica Puig outfought France's Oceane Dodin 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to advance into the second round. She could face Aussie top seed Samantha Stosur in the semi-finals.
"I don't like to think that way," Puig said. "In reality I'm still one of the up and comers. I don't think I'm one of the favorites."
Three matches were halted by rain and will be finished on Wednesday. Rain and hail were so severe that people on the grounds were evacuated from tents and taken inside the main stadium to wait until the storm passed.
Results on Tuesday from the second day of the ATP and WTA Washington Open (x denotes seed):
Daniel Evans (GBR) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x12) 6-4, 6-4
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x11) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4)
Benoit Paire (FRA x4) bt Jared Donaldson (USA) 6-0, 7-5
Sam Querrey (USA x8) bt Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt Ivan Dodig (CRO) 6-4, 4-2, retired
Ryan Harrison (USA) bt Stephane Robert (FRA) 7-6 (7/1), 6-3
Lu Yen-hsun (TPE) bt Austin Krajicek (USA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/3)
Brian Baker (USA) bt Sam Groth (AUS) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5)
Donald Young (USA) bt Ernesto Escobedo (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Lukas Lacko (SVK) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-4
Malek Jaziri (TUN) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3)
Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN x5) 7-5, 6-4
Christina McHale (USA) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM x8) 6-3, 6-4
Tamira Paszek (AUT) bt Lauren Albanese (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Sabine Lisicki (GER) bt Kristina Kucova (SVK) 6-3, 7-5
Naomi Broady (GBR) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Risa Ozaki (JPN) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x2) 6-2, 6-1
Monica Puig (PUR x3) bt Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3