TALLAHASSEE, April 29, 2015
The top two seeds at the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger were sent packing Tuesday, as two American young guns pulled out late night upsets.
Frances Tiafoe, a 17-year-old rising star from Maryland, got off to a slow start against No.1 seed Facundo Bagnis, winning just one game in the first set.
The youngster turned things around in the second, pushing Bagnis to a tiebreak and coming out on top. The third set was all Tiafoe, as he broke the Argentinian twice en route to his 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win in just under two hours.
This marks his first win over an ATP World Tour Top 100 player and he holds on to the lead of the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge for Roland Garros. Tiafoe will now face former FSU stand-out Jean-Yves Aubone. This will be the pairs first meeting.
In an all-American battle, 21-year-old American Mitchell Krueger defeated fellow countryman and No.2 seed Austin Krajicek.
Trailing 1-4 in the first, Krueger put together two big breaks to take the set. The former junior French Open and Wimbledon semifinalist came out firing in the second set, jumping to a quick 3-0 lead. Krueger broke once again to clinch the win 7-5, 6-3 after one hour and 33 minutes.
“I feel great right now,” Krueger said about his win. “Obviously I didn’t have a great start by getting down two breaks but I was able to stay in there and fight back. I definitely served well. That helped take some pressure off my serve games a little bit. Most of all I just competed really well and kept giving myself chances to come back.”
He advances to the second round in Tallahassee for the second consecutive year. Krueger sets up another all-American meeting as he takes on UCLA’s Dennis Novikov, who defeated Ricardo Rodriguez-Pace earlier on Tuesday. The two met a year ago in qualifying at the Savannah Challenger, with Krueger getting the win 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-1.
“Well we’ve played twice I think. Once in like 14’s and once last year in Savannah. We kinda grew up in juniors together so I think we know each other’s game fairly well. I’ll probably focus on the same things as today. Just fighting for every point and taking care of my serve. It should be a pretty good match regardless,” Krueger told about his next Opponent.
Other seeds advancing include No.6 Bjorn Fratangelo, who defeated Alex Kuznetsov winning 7-6,6-4 in one hour and 58 minutes. No.7 James McGee beat Darian King 6-2, 6-4 in 85 minutes, and No.8 Somdev Devvarman emerged victorious in one hour and 48 minutes winning 7-6, 6-2 against Kevin King.