SAVANNAH, April 23, 2016
No. 8 seed Jared Donaldson rallied past No. 4 seed Gerald Melzer, 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4, to advance to the semifinals of the $50,000 St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah Challenger.
In the first set, Donaldson came onto the court with confidence serving strong and winning 68% of his first serve points. The 19-year old took an early break and won the opening set 6-4.
In the second set both players continued to play highly competitive tennis. Although Melzer had six break point chances and was only able to convert one of them, Melzer ultimately took the set 7-6(2) in a tie break.
In the final and decisive set, Donaldson played defensive tennis, forcing long baseline rallies. It was Donaldson who prevailed though, taking the match 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-4, in just under three hours.
“I think that throughout the entire match the key was just getting on offense, especially an offensive ball on my forehand. I felt that if I got an offensive ball on my forehand or I was able to take control of the point, then the point would shift in my favor”, said Donaldson.
Donaldson is currently ranked No. 147 in the world and reached a career high ranking of No. 133 late last year. Donaldson holds four USTA Pro Circuit singles and doubles titles overall (three in singles, one in doubles).
Donaldson is competing in the men’s USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, where the American player who earns the most ATP World Tour ranking points at two of the three select USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events receives a main-draw wild cards into the French Open.
Next up Donaldson takes on rising fellow US-American Donald Young. Young defeated Nicolas Kicker, 6-4, 7-5 later in the afternoon. The remainder of the days matches were suspended due to lightning and rain. Play resumes Saturday morning.