CARY, September 17, 2016
Frances Tiafoe outlasted Tennys Sandgren in the longest match of the day with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (5) victory on Friday in two hours and five minutes. All of Tiafoe’s singles matches in the Atlantic Tire Championships have gone the full three sets. The $50,000 ATP Challenger event is being held at Cary Tennis Park through September 18th.
Tiafoe will face the eight seed US-American Ernesto Escobedo in Saturday’s second semi-final. Escobedo, who won his first round match at the US Open, defeated the tournament’s four seed Stefan Kozlov 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. Escobedo and Tiafoe last met in the Lexington Challenger finals where Escobedo defeated Tiafoe to win his first USTA Pro Circuit title.
Top seed Dennis Novikov also had to go the distance, winning 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 over Peter Polansky. The world number 126 from the United States fired 14 aces and converte two of his four break point chances to seal victory in one hour and 25 minutes. Novikov will next take on James McGee. The qualifier from Ireland edged past Braydan Schnur 6-2, 6-4 in 71 minutes.
In doubles action, the American team of Stefan Kozlov and Austin Krajicek defeated Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan to reach the finals. Kozlov and Krajicek won their 88 minutes match 6-7, 6-4, 11-9.