Fratangelo Avoids Upset
Bjorn Fratangelo, the third seed in 18s, avoided an upset bid by unseeded Christopher Diaz, Columbus, Ohio, on Monday. After dropping the first set, Fratangelo, from Pittsburgh, rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 third-round win. “He was making a lot of balls in the beginning and really throwing no pace at me, so it was hard for me to really get things going,” Fratangelo said. “I got the third set out, so I’m happy. This is my last hurrah. “There’s a little panic (when losing the first set), but the last couple months I’ve been playing really well and my confidence is high and I’ve gutted some tough ones out lately. “I know I can do it and it’s just a matter of staying calm out there, which I think I’m doing a better job of that. To get these matches out of the way early, it’s good for your confidence.” Fratangelo said he had to change his original strategy after the first set. “I was ripping balls at the beginning, just trying to hit winners,” he said. “I thought I could overpower him off the court. Obviously that wasn’t working. “I just tried to relax, make a bit more balls, get myself in a groove out there because he was giving me rhythm. It was a matter of me missing or making balls. “Once I started making balls and moving him around more, I was more patient to wait until I got my opportunity rather than just smack away.” Fratangelo said he didn’t expect the 10-minute break between the second and third sets, a new rule this year. “That was weird,” he said. “I didn’t expect that at all. Usually 18s we just keep playing. I felt like I was a little kid again. “I changed my shirt, drank a little water, I don’t even know why I left the court because I came back on two minutes later. Just kinda gathered my thoughts, tried to stay loose, stay calm. I think I did a good job.” Fratangelo and partner Alexios Halebian, Glendale, Calif., the second seeds, advanced to the doubles round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Californians James Boyd, Rancho Santa Fe, and Brendan McClain, Ventura.
Source: USTA Nationals Staff