Americans through to semis in Launceston
Three Americans are through to the semifinals at the Launceston ATP Challenger after Aussies Andrew Whittington and Alex Bolt failed to advance.
Three Americans have booked their place in the semifinals at the Neville Smith Forest Products Launceston International after the last remaining Australians Alex Bolt and Andrew Whittington fell on Friday.
World No.196 Noah Rubin upset Whittington in a three-set tussle lasting over two hours. After dropping the first, Rubin upped his level significantly to strike back, and from that point, never lost his momentum.
Whittington struggled on serve throughout the match, with Rubin having 18 break points, of which he converted six.
“He’s been playing well lately, so he’s definitely one to reckon with,” Rubin said of the Australian fourth seed.
“I rushed a bit and didn’t feel like myself in the first set, but after that, I got a lot smoother and more relaxed and waited for my opportunities. That’s when I really started to play my game.”
Rubin, 20, shot to prominence after qualifying for the Australian Open last month before facing Roger Federer in a second round encounter at Rod Laver Arena.
“To be playing Federer and to be out there in that atmosphere was exhilarating,” he recalled. “It was an exciting moment and he had some nice words to say about me after the match which was great.
“To lose to the eventual champion, to be a part of that whole story, is just amazing.”
Rubin, seeded seventh in Launceston, will now face countryman Daniel Nguyen, a winner over Italian Riccardo Bellotti 6-4 4-6 6-0.
“It should be a good match,” Rubin said. “I’m excited just to stay out there.”
Mitchell Krueger makes up the last of the American contingent, after he cruised to victory over qualifier Tsung-Hua Yang. The 23-year-old has enjoyed an impressive tournament thus far, disposing of last week’s Burnie champion Omar Jasika in the opening round.
He will play Mohamed Safwat in a semifinal after the Egyptian No.6 seed pushed past wildcard Bolt 7-6(3) 6-3.