SAVANNAH, May 4, 2017
Wild card Tommy Paul booked a spot in the quarterfinals of the $75,000 St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah Challenger after defeating No. 8 seed Mitchell Krueger on Wednesday evening.
In the first set, Krueger and Paul rallied long points and served well. Paul fired in two early aces, but was broken late in the set with Krueger taking the opener 6-3. In the second set, 23-year old Krueger continued his momentum from the first set, but the 19-year old young-gun wasn’t ready to go down without a fight. Paul forced the tie break, saved one match point and closed out the set 7-6(6). In the final and decisive set, Paul ran away with it, breaking Krueger three times to close out the match 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-0 in two hours and 28 minutes.
This was the third meeting between Krueger and Paul, with the young-gun notching his first win over Krueger and improving his record to 1-2 against the 23-year old.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) 4. Mai 2017
In 2015 Paul won the French Open junior singles title, becoming the sixth US-American ever to win the boys’ championship in Paris after defeated fellow US-American Taylor Fritz in the first-ever all-U.S. boys’ singles final since 1947. Later that year he reached the final of the junior US Open, this time losing to Fritz, and the quarterfinals of junior Wimbledon. He would then peak at a career-high No. 3 in the ITF World Junior Rankings in fall 2015.
Paul captured the first USTA Pro Circuit singles titles of his career in 2016 at the $10,000 Futures events in Plantation, Fla., and Sunrise, Fla. He also holds two ITF Pro Circuit singles titles, in Spain and Italy, both won in 2015. Also in 2016, he upset No. 8 seed and world No. 53 Paolo Lorenzi to advance to the second round of the ATP’s U.S. Clay Court Championship in Houston.
As a pro, Paul won the $15,000 Futures in Palm Coast, Fla., in February 2017, and reached the final of the $15,000 Futures in Orlando, Fla., in March. He is currently ranked No. 393 in the world and will be playing in his first ATP Challenger quarterfinal since October 2016 where he will face Dennis Novikov.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge leader Tennys Sandgren, fellow US-American Dennis Novikov, and No. 2 seed Henri Laaksonen from Switzerland. Play gets underway Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. for the remainder of the second round matches.