STOCKTON, October 8, 2016
Representatives from only two different countries remain in the last two days of the $100,000 Stockton ATP Challenger. The singles semi-finals will feature four young US-Americans, which include Frances Tiafoe, Mackenzie McDonald, Michael Mmoh, and Noah Rubin.
Despite being down 5-2 in the first set to Alessandro Giannessi, Tiafoe won three straight games to knot things at five games apiece before forcing a tiebreaker, which he eventually won 7-6(5). In the second set Tiafoe never trailed and ultimately won 6-2 to advance to the semi-finals. Tiafoe and McDonald will take battle yet again after being in a similar situation in Tiburon last week in which McDonald was victorious. McDonald knocked out fifth seed Denis Kudla, winning 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 12 minutes.
Noah Rubin prevailed over the Canadian Frank Dancevic after losing the first set 4-6. Rubin would edge out Dancevic 6-2, 6-3 in the final two sets to take himself to the sem-finals after one hour and 31 minutes. Rubin has lost five times to before Friday and has never defeated Dancevic.
“I didn’t think I played that poorly in the first set and knew I would have my opportunity so I just kept in it and kept going and really played well in the second and third,” stated Rubin. He will have the first match on Saturday against Michael Mmoh. The 18-year-old from Bradenton defeated Tiburon Challenger champion Darian King 6-4, 6-4 in 69 minutes.
The second country to be represented this weekend will be in doubles play as the team of Matt Reid and John-Patrick Smith from Australia defeated Sem Verbeek and Jose Chamba Gomez, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to their fourth doubles challenger final this year. They will face the duo of fellow Australian Sam Groth and US-American Olympian, Brian Baker on Sunday.
Singles Main Draw – Day 4
Michael Mmoh, United States, def. Darian King, Barbados, 6-4, 6-4
Noah Rubin, United States, def. Frank Dancevic, Canada, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Mackenzie McDonald, United States, def. Denis Kudla(5), United States, 3-6, 7-6(1), 6-4
Frances Tiafoe(3), United States, def. Alessandro Giannessi, Italy, 7-6(5), 6-3
Doubles Main Draw – Day 4
Matt Reid and John-Patrick Smith, Australia, def. Jose Chamba Gomez, Ecuador, and Sem Verbeek, Netherlands, 6-4, 6-3
Sam Groth, Australia, and Brian Baker, United States, def. Miguel Angel ReyesVarela, Mexico, and Max Schnur, United States, 6-2, 6-4