Five US-Americans Headline Quarterfinals In Tallahassee

Stefan Kozlov (photo: Tallahassee Challenger)

TALLAHASSEE, April 28, 2016

Five US-Americans will be in the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger for the second consecutive year. All five will be in action Thursday at Forestmeadows Tennis Complex.

It’ll be a battle of the qualifiers as James McGee and Stefan Kozlov take the court for their quarterfinal match.

Former semifinalist McGee is back in the quarterfinals here for the second time in his career after defeating Nicolas Jarry and No.5 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili. He leads the pair’s head-to-head 1-0, having defeated Kozlov in Maui last year.

The 18-year-old US-American will be making his quarterfinal debut here after two tough three set wins over Jose Hernandez-Fernandez and No.2 seed Gerald Melzer.

Great Britain’s James Ward is back in the quarterfinals here for a second time and he sets up a first time meeting with French young gun Quentin Halys.

Ward, a former Top 100 payer, has won four Challenger titles in his career. A member of Great Britain’s Davis Cup team, he has played in 19 ties and defeated USA’s No.1 John Isner last year. Ward defeated two Frenchman en route to the quarterfinals, Axel Michon and Calvin Hemery.

Halys, who is making his Tallahassee debut, is through to his fourth quarterfinal of the year after defeating No.4 seed Bjorn Fratangelo and qualifier Sekou Bangoura.

Top seed Donald Young returns to the Tallahassee Challenger quarterfinals for the fifth time in his career after two straight sets wins, defeating Ernesto Escobedo and Daniil Medvedev. The former champion sets up a first time meeting with fellow US-American Frances Tiafoe, who reached the finals here last year.

The 18-year-old, who won the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge last year, is playing in his fifth quarterfinal of the year after defeating defending champion Facundo Arguello and fellow US-American young gun Mitchell Krueger.

USA’s Brian Baker and Noah Rubin will take the court Thursday to finish their second round match. The pair was tied at 2-2 in the opening set prior to lightening in the area. They will kick off Center Court play at 11am.

The winner of this match will face off with fellow US-American Ryan Harrison Thursday afternoon for a spot in the semifinals. Harrison defeated Giovanni Lapentti on Wednesday to book his spot in the Tallahassee Challenger quarterfinals for a second time. It will be a first time professional meeting for Harrison and either Baker or Rubin.

Defending doubles champions, Dennis Novikov and Julio Peralta, will continue their campaign for a second consecutive Tallahassee Challenger title Thursday afternoon. The duo will meet Chile’s Nicolas Jarry and Ecuador’s Giovanni Lapentti.

FSU’s No.1 doubles team of Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez will be back in action Thursday night as they face off with No.3 seed Purav Raja and Divij Sharan.

RESULT – Wednesday, April 27

Singles Second Round

[1] Donald Young (USA) d. Daniil Medvedev (Russia) 6-4 7-6(5)

[Q] Stefan Kozlov (USA) d. [2] Gerald Melzer (Austria) 6-2 3-6 6-2

[Q] James McGee (Ireland) d. [5] Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia) 6-3 6-0

Frances Tiafoe (USA) d. Mitchell Krueger (USA) 6-4 3-6 6-1

Ryan Harrison (USA) d. Giovanni Lapentti (Ecuador) 6-3 6-4

James Ward (Great Britain) d. Calvin Hemery (France) 6-4 6-0

Quentin Halys (France) d. [Q] Sekou Bangoura (USA) 6-3 6-2

[WC] Brian Baker (USA) vs. Noah Rubin (USA) 2-2 suspended (rain)

Doubles Quarterfinal

Peter Luczak (Australia) / Marc Polmans (Australia) d. [4] Philip Bester (Canada) / Peter

Polansky (Canada) 4-6 6-2 10-7

[2] Dean O’Brien (South Africa) / Donald Young (USA) d. [WC] Morgan Phillips (Great Britain) / James Ward (Great Britain) 4-6 6-1 16-14

Doubles First Round

[1] Dennis Novikov (USA) / Julio Peralta (Chile) d. Facundo Arguello (Argentina) / Tomas Lipovsek Puches (Argentina) walkover