SAVANNAH, April 24, 2016
Jared Donaldson and Bjorn Fratangelo advanced to the singles final of the $50,000 St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah Challenger on Sunday, after commanding semifinals wins.
In the first semifinal of the afternoon, No. 8 seed Jared Donaldson took on No. 2 seed and fellow US-American, Donald Young. The 19-year old came out onto the court with confidence and determination, playing decisive tennis. In the first set Donaldson served strong and played a solid baseline game, taking the opening set 6-4. In the second set, Young looked for momentum after games with multiple deuces, but Donaldson had the prize in sight and closed out the final set 6-3.
In the second singles semifinal, Bjorn Fratangelo and Denis Kudla both returned to the court just hours after finishing their quarterfinal matches. Fratangelo was nearly unstoppable taking the first set 6-2 off the No. 1 seed in just under 24 minutes. In the second set, he continued to play strong, converting break points, and powering through Kudla, taking the match 6-2, 6-2.
“I’m really happy. It’s another step in the right direction. You know I’m on a surface that I like a lot, and yeah hopefully the best man will win tomorrow”, said Fratangelo.
Everything is on the line for these Americans as they both battle for valuable points in the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge. In the challenge, 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. Fratangelo is in first place at the end of Week 1 with 35 points.
On the doubles side, the US-American Wild Card duo of Brian Baker and Ryan Harrison defeated Quentin Halys and Calvin Hemery 6-2, 6-2 in the first semifinal match of the day. Later in the afternoon No. 3 seeds Purav Raja and Divij Sharan rallied past Giovanni Lapentti and Roberto Maytin, 4-6, 7-6(3), 11-9. Both teams will now battle it out in the finals on Sunday afternoon, as they look to lift the SJ/C Savannah Challenger doubles trophy for the first time in their career.