Fratangelo Leads US-Americans Into Aptos Quarterfinals

Bjorn Fratangelo (photo: Joyce Tarter Rideout)

APTOS, August 12, 2016

With four US-Americans and three qualifiers remaining in the 29th $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger quarterfinals anything is possible. On Thursday, the 2010 Aptos Challenger Champion, Marinko Matosevic eliminated fellow Australian No. 239 Benjamin Mitchell 6-2, 6-1. US-American Evan King, 24, defeated Erik Crepaldi of Italy 6-3, 7-5.

Coming in as a qualifier to this tournament, Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie upset the highest ranked player in the lower half of the draw, No. 250 US-American Sekou Bangoura in straight sets. With each player only breaking serve once, both sets were forced to a tiebreaker. Dominating the first set tiebreaker, Norrie began to lose momentum in the second set. Norrie gathered up the strength to combat Bangoura’s aggressive tactics, force the second set to another tiebreak and secure his well-deserved victory and place in Friday’s quarterfinals.

US-American and No. 3 seed Bjorn Fratangelo defeated wildcard Clay Thompson 6-3, 7-5 to reach his first quarterfinal in three months. No. 115 Fratangelo remained steady, focused and calm throughout Thursday’s feature match. The 23-year-old Pittsburgh-native posted a career high ranking right inside the top hundred this year and in the past year has competed in four consecutive grand slam main draws.

The Nordic Naturals Challenger quarterfinal matchups are set for Friday with four US-Americans remaining, all of which are competing for the opportunity to earn a U.S. Open wildcard. If an US-American seizes the Aptos title this week, he will automatically take the lead in the U.S. Open Wildcard Challenge, receiving direct entry into the U.S. Open main draw. If not, No. 6 seed Ernesto Escobedo, who fell in the round of 16 earlier this week, will maintain the lead and recieve the wildcard.


Singles – Second Round

[3] B. Fratangelo (USA) d [WC] C. Thompson (USA) 63 75

M. Matosevic (AUS) d B. Mitchell (AUS) 62 61

[Q] C. Norrie (GBR) d S. Bangoura (USA) 76(3) 76(4)

E. King (USA) d E. Crepaldi (ITA) 63 75

Doubles – Quarterfinals

N. Scholtz (RSA) / T. Vorster (RSA) d [1] D. O’Brien (RSA) / R. Roelofse (RSA) 64 62

[3] S. Kozlov (USA) / M. Reid (AUS) d L. Broady (GBR) / R. Ramanathan (IND) 62 62

M. McDonald (USA) / B. Mclachlan (NZL) d A. Halebian (USA) / R. Sarmiento (USA) 75 36 10-1

First Round

M. McDonald (USA) / B. Mclachlan (NZL) d D. Evans (GBR) / L. Glasspool (GBR) 61 64