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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Easter Bowl Slideshow; Tiafoe, Donaldson Advance to Savannah Challenger Quarterfinals

Below is the slideshow from the Easter Bowl, with the singles semifinalists in all eight divisions and the doubles finalists.  (For viewing on a mobile device, go to this link: https://picasaweb.google.com/100541051847349613453/EasterBowl2015?authuser=0&feat=directlink)

On the Pro Circuit today, Frances Tiafoe reached his second straight Challenger quarterfinal, defeating No. 6 seed Frank Dancevic of Canada 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the $50,000 tournament in Savannah. Tiafoe has made a habit of coming from a set down--he mentioned his knack for problem-solving in an interview with the USTA's livestream's Mike Cation--and his ability to come up with an unexpectedly great shot when he needs it has served him well the past two weeks. Tiafoe's quarterfinal opponent will be Mitchell Krueger, who pulled off a stirring comeback of his own tonight against Liam Broady of Great Britain, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. Krueger was thoroughly outplayed by Broady in the first set, and trailed 4-2 in the final set, but he stayed in every point, kept his emotions in check and was rewarded with his first berth in a Challenger quarterfinal.

Broady and Krueger played in the final of the Eddie Herr 12s back in 2006, with Krueger winning that match 6-0, 6-1. The photo of the two them with former Eddie Herr tournament director Rick Workman, which I tweeted before their match tonight, is below.

Jared Donaldson also came from a set down to advance to the quarterfinals in Savannah, defeating Facundo Arguello of Argentina 1-6, 6-1, 6-4. Donaldson served for the match at 5-2 and had some anxious moments in the final game, but held on for the win. He will play Bjorn Fratangelo, who had no difficulty with qualifier Tommy Paul, winning 6-2, 6-1 in less than an hour.

Those two all-American quarterfinals will be played on Friday. Top seed Tim Smyczek and Tennys Sandgren will play thir second round match on Thursday.

The first round is now complete at the $50,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Dothan, Alabama, with six US players advancing. Top seed Grace Min was defeated by wild card Alexandra Stevenson 6-1, 7-6(8), and No. 3 seed Sachia Vickery also lost her first match 6-4, 7-6(4) to Gabriela Ce of Brazil. Samantha Crawford and No. 4 seed Louisa Chirico won Tuesday, with Bernarda Pera, Jessica Pegula and wild card Katerina Stewart picking up wins today.