SAVANNAH, May 2, 2017
On the first day of main draw action at the $75,000 St. Joseph’s/ Candler Savannah Challenger the US-Americans came out victorious in advancing to the second round.
In the first main draw match of the day on Stadium Court, US-American wild card Christian Harrison took on Alejandro Falla. 22-year old Harrison took an early lead before Falla battled back to take the opening set to a tie break with Harrison coming out on top. In the second set, Falla needed just one break to take the set 6-4, and in the decisive set Harrison was able to close out the match on his third match point for a final score of 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5.
Harrison is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and has played in just a handful of tournaments since July 2013 after suffering a series of injuries. In 2016, he qualified for the 2016 US Open, thus competing in his first-ever Grand Slam main draw. Earlier in the summer he won his first USTA Pro Circuit singles title at the $25,000 Futures in Champaign.
Next up on Stadium Court, another US-American wild card, Tommy Paul, took to the court against Ecuador’s Roberto Quiroz. Paul quickly took the first set 6-2, but in the second set Quiroz reversed that momentum and took the set 6-1. In the final set Paul found his form again and closed out the match 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.
The 19-year old US-American peaked at a career-high ITF World Junior ranking of No. 3 in the world in fall 2015. Earlier in 2015 he won the 2015 French Open junior singles title, becoming the sixth US-American ever to win the boys’ championship in Paris. In 2017 he won the $15,000 Futures in Palm Coast, in February, and reached the final of the $15,000 Futures in Orlando, Fla., this March.
Also advancing to the second round was former No. 2 in the ITF World Junior rankings, Michael Mmoh. He defeated Alejandro Gomez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, in another tough three set match. Current USTA French Open Wild Card Challenge leader, Tennys Sandgren, also advanced after defeating Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Play gets underway Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. local time with -US-Americans Mitchell Krueger, Dennis Novikov, Wil Spencer, Stefan Kozlov, and Ryan Shane all in action.