Pro Circuit Round-Up:
Krueger wins first Challenger
Sally Milano | February 11, 2019
The script couldn't have been written any more perfectly for Mitchell Krueger Sunday, as the 25-year-old captured the first ATP Challenger Tour title of his career at his hometown tournament—the RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas.
In front of his family and friends, Krueger battled back from a set and a break down to defeat fellow American and top-seeded Mackenzie McDonald, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, in the two-hour, three-minute final.
"I'm coming here since I was 10 years old," said the 14th-seeded Krueger, who grew up training at the T Bar M Racquet Club, site of the Challenger 110 event. "I was a ball kid here for so many years and then moved on to playing qualies and then main draw. I've always had a soft spot for this tournament. You couldn't have written it up any better than to win my first Challenger here."
Krueger's road to the championship included three-set wins over Roberto Cid Subervi of the Dominican Republic in the first round and American Marcos Giron in the quarterfinals. ADVERTISEMENT He didn't play in the semifinals, as his scheduled opponent, No. 6 seed Bjorn Fratangelo, was forced to withdraw before the match with a leg injury.
With his win over McDonald in the final, Krueger improves his career record over the 2016 NCAA singles and doubles champion to 2-4. The finalists also squared off two weeks ago at the Newport Beach Challenger, with McDonald winning their second-round encounter, 6-3, 6-4.
Krueger's ranking jumped 49 spots to a career-high No. 160 in the world following his win in Dallas, and from here, he hopes to continue the momentum he has seen in his game over the last year, which includes qualifying into the last two Grand Slam tournaments—the US Open last August and the Australian Open last month.
"I think that I'm late to winning my first Challenger," the 25-year-old said in an interview on ATPTour.com. "I'm one of the few guys that people are thinking, 'How has he not won a Challenger yet?' So I'm excited for what's next. I hope I get into Delray Beach qualies next and then, obviously, the Indian Wells Challenger and the Masters 1000 event there. I've always done well in bigger tournaments against bigger players. I'm excited going into hopefully an ATP Tour event and then another big Challenger and another ATP event."
Other Americans posted notable results on the ITF Circuit last week, as well, including:
- Marcos Giron and Dennis Novikov, who took home the doubles title in Dallas. Reilly Opelka also reached the singles semifinals at the tournament.
- Joe Van Meter, who captured the doubles title at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 in Monastir, Tunisia.
- Jordi Arconada and Henry Craig, who were singles semifinalists at the ITF World Tennis Tour M15 in Claremont, Calif., and Jenson Brooksby and George Goldhoff, who reached the singles quarterfinals at the event. Goldhoff also teamed with Austin Rapp to win the doubles title, and Michael Zhu advanced to the doubles final.