TALLAHASSEE, April 30, 2015
The quarterfinals are set at the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, with five Americans headlining Thursday play at 11am at Forestmeadows Tennis Complex. First up on Center Court it’s an all-American battle between Tennys Sandgren and Bjorn Fratangelo.
Sandgren, a 23-year-old who played two years at the University of Tennessee, defeated No.3 seed Frank Dancevic in the first round in three sets. His second round match against Argentina’s Renzo Olivo proved quite a challenge as well. The 2013 doubles champion was able to overcome the scrappy Olivo 7-6(9), 6-2.
Fratangelo, who is the tournament’s No.6 seed, won an all-American meeting with Alex Kuznetsov in his first round match. Wednesday afternoon he fought off 21-year-old Brit Liam Broady 7-5, 6-2. The former French Open junior champion is through to his second consecutive Challenger quarterfinal, after making a run to the semifinals in Savannah just last week.
Both men are vying to reach their first singles semifinal in Tallahassee. Fratangelo is still in the run for the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge, “I just gotta keep chugging along. Obviously I’m still in second for the wild card and I’m still trying to win for that.”
“Whoever wins wins,” Fratangelo said. “I can’t control anybody else, I can just control myself.”
No.5 seed Facundo Arguello and American Mitchell Krueger will meet for the first time on Thursday.
Arguello, who was a quarterfinalist in Tallahassee in 2013, beat two 17-year-old American en route to the quarters, first Stefan Kozlov and then Tommy Paul. The Argentine, who has qualified for three ATP main draw events this year, got off to a low start against Paul, losing the first set 6-0, but was able to rally back to get the win and a second quarterfinal berth.
Rising American Mitchell Krueger knocked out No.2 seed Austin Krajicek in his first round and defeated fellow American Dennis Novikov in the second. The former top ranked American junior is making his second consecutive Challenger quarterfinal after reaching the same round in Savannah just last week.
The 21-year-old is also still in the French Open wild card running. “This tournament is wide open,” Krueger said.
“Whoever wins the tournament gets the wild card pretty much. Just take it one match at a time. If it happens, it happens. “
18-year-old American Jared Donaldson continues his run for a maiden Tallahassee Tennis Challenger title as he takes on France’s Vincent Millot in the quarterfinals.
Donaldson, who won his first Challenger tour title earlier this year in Maui, won two three setters en route to the quarters, defeating FSU’s No.1 Benjamin Lock in the first round and No.8 seed James McGee in the second.
Millot, who is through to his second Challenger quarterfinal of the year, defeated American qualifier Mico Santiago in the first round then upsetNo.4 seed Jason Kubler in a three set battle Wednesday afternoon.
In the final match of the night, 17-year-old American Frances Tiafoe meets Ecuador’s Emilio Gomez.
Tiafoe, who turned professional earlier this April, upset No.1 seed Facundo Bagnis on Tuesday night in a three set battle. In his second round match the American faced a tough opponent in former FSU No.1 Jean-Yves Aubone. Tiafoe once again came out on top in three sets. He is through to his third consecutive Challenger quarterfinal and currently leads the Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge for a Roland Garros wild card.
Gomez, who had a successful college tennis career at the University of Southern California, defeated fellow countryman Gonzalo Escobar in the first round and upset No.7 seed and two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman in three sets in the second round. Gomez is looking to reach his first Challenger semifinal since June 2014.
The pair met at a futures event earlier this year with Tiafoe winning in straight sets.
On the doubles side of things, the first semifinal will be played Thursday, featuring Argentina’s Facundo Arguello and Andrea Collarini versus India’s Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh.
The second semifinal, featuring Dennis Novikov and Julio Peralta versus Alex Kuznetsov and Tennys Sandgren will be played Friday.