Rola To Face Ramanathan In Tallahassee Challenger Final

TALLAHASSEE, April 29, 2017

After an action-packed Friday, the finals are set at the $75,000 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger. Blaz Rola of Slovenia and India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan both advanced to Saturday’s singles title match.

In the first singles semifinal, US-American Mitchell Krueger took on qualifier Blaz Rola. Rola quickly broke the 23-year old from Florida and took the first set 6-3. In the second set, the crowd started to get behind Krueger and he has able to rally back and win the set 7-5. In the final and decisive set, Rola got another break and that was all he needed to shut out the US-Americans hopes of a singles final chance and win the match 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 after two hours and 24 minutes.

The 26-year old Slovenian will be playing his eight match in eight days at the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger. Rola is currently ranked No. 271 in the world and will be looking to win his first Challenger title since 2015 in Santos, Brazil.

In the nightcap match, Ramkumar Ramanathan ended Italian qualifier Andrea Arnaboldi’s run in Tallahassee. In the first set, Arnaboldi repeatedly complained about the playing surface. Ramanathan was able to catch two breaks mid-set and capitalize on that to take the opening set 6-2. In the second set, both players held serve until late in the set when both players traded serves. Arnaboldi was able to get the break back and then break Ramanathan to take the second set 7-5. In the final and decisive set, Ramanathan came out victorious, winning the match 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 34 minutes.

Ramanathan was the last player to receive direct acceptance into this years tournament. His last Challenger semifinal was in Binghamton last year and the 22-year old will be looking to claim the Challenger title of his singles career on Saturday.

Rola and Ramanathan have never faced each other. Both are hoping to take home the $10,800 purse and 80 ATP ranking points, but only one can come out on top.

Doubles Final Is Set

Meanwhile in doubles, No. 3 seeds Maximo Gonzalez and Leonard Mayer of Argentina took out Luke Bambridge and Mitchell Krueger 6-4, 6-3. Later in the evening No. 1 seeds and fan favorites, Scott Lipsky and Leander Paes, headed to the court in front of a packed house. They defeated the Ecuadorian duo of Gonzalo Escobar and Roberto Quiroz in a nail-bighting three set match with a final score of 6-1, 6-7(4), 10-3.

Matches get underway on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. local time with the doubles final. After the trophy presentation and Net Generation Tennis Exhibition, the singles final will take to the court not before 3:30 p.m. Tickets are only $20 and include admission to both the singles and doubles matches.

Friday, April 28 – RESULTS

Singles – Semifinals
Q-Blaz Rola, Slovenia, d. Mitchell Krueger, United States, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4,
Ramkumar Ramanathan, India, d. Q-Andrea Arnaboldi, Italy, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Doubles – Semifinals
Maximo Gonzalez and Leonard Mayer (3), Argentina, d. Luke Bambridge, Great Britain, and Mitchell Krueger, United States, 6-4, 6-3,
Scott Lipsky, United States, and Leander Paes (1), India, d. LL-Gonzalo Escobar and Roberto Quiroz, Ecuador, 6-1, 6-7(4), 10-3.