LEXINGTON, August 1, 2015
In a day at the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships that was full of close, long and hot matches, two American men find themselves moving on to play in the semifinals. Bjorn Fratangelo of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and Mitchell Krueger of Fort Worth, Texas both beat their opponents in the US-$ 50,000 Lexington Challenger event to move on to the semifinals.
Fratangelo, who came into the tournament the number 4 seed, beat Yuki Bhambri of India in three sets, 6-2 6-7(3) 6-4. In this close match that lasted well over two hours in blistering heat, Fratangelo edged away to victory by winning 4 out of 8 break points, with the most significant break coming late in the third set. He moves on to play Yasutaka Uchiyama who is making an incredible run through this tournament.
“I’m ready to go. I’ve made it to the semifinals a lot recently in these challenger events, the last couple weeks I’ve made a pretty good run. Hopefully I can feed off my momentum and keep moving forward,” said Fratangelo after the match.
Krueger also had to play an exhausting three set match, losing the first set quickly. He regained his composure in the second set for a come-from-behind to win and advances to the semifinals. He beat Omar Jasika from Australia, 1-6 6-2 6-0.
“Even though I lost the first set 6-1 and it looked really bad, I still thought I had a lot of chances. I was playing the way I wanted to play but was just making too many errors and not really executing the shots the way I wanted to. I knew I just had to get my serve going and eliminate some of those errors,” said Krueger.
Krueger has a tough match in front of him, having to play the tournaments number 2 seeded player John Millman.
When asked about his upcoming match Krueger said, “The way I feel right now, I think I can beat anyone.”
This will make the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge a bit more interesting for the two men. While Fratangelo leads the pack with 48 points, Krueger is not far behind him and is currently in third. Depending on if either advance to the finals, an important wild card spot may be up for grabs.