Blumberg advances to first ATP Challenger semifinal
On day seven of the 24th annual Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, American Christian Harrison punched his ticket to semifinals with an exciting upset Friday evening. American’s Denis Kudla and Daniel Nguyen will also advance to the doubles final on Sunday. William Blumberg (USA), the highest ranked American teenager in the tournament, advances in bracket play along with Jordan Thompson (AUS) and Cameron Norrie (GBR).
Harrison earned his victory this evening knocking off second-seeded Alexander Bublik in the feature match. Bublik, although playing a tough first set, fell 6-4 in the opening to Harrison. The two battled in the second set, as Bublik led six games to five before Harrison tied it at six to force a tiebreak. Bublik won the second set, 7-6 (2). Going point-for-point, game-for-game in the third set, Bublik tied the score five games all as the match went over the two hour mark. Harrison won his last two games to take a 7-5 set win and claim his spot in the semifinals.
In the first match this morning, Norrie (GBR) bested eighth-seeded Blaz Rola in three sets to clinch his semifinal berth. Rola won his first set over Norrie 6-3 as Norrie struggled to get his points where he needed them. Gaining momentum in the second set, however, Norrie claimed the next two, 6-4, 6-4 knocking Rola out of bracket play. The 21-year old will face Harrison in the semifinal round tomorrow no earlier than 12 p.m.
Wild card selection Blumberg advances to his first-ever ATP Challenger semifinal via Walkover to Ze Zhang (CHN). Zhang withdrew from competition earlier today due to a lower back strain. Also advancing via walkover is doubles fourth-seed Luke Saville (AUS) and Jarryd Chaplin (AUS) who will play in the finals on Championship Sunday.
First-seeded Thompson rolls into semifinals Saturday with his victory over Dominik Koepfer (GER). Koepfer kept Thompson on his toes, but Thompson’s agility and stamina showed as he took a victory in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Thompson will face Blumberg tomorrow in the first match of the day at 11 a.m. on Center Court.
Denis Kudla and Daniel Nguyen are having quite a week in the doubles bracket, also advancing to the finals with their victory Friday afternoon. Norrie, facing a quick turnaround after his match this morning, faced the american duo with partner Alex Rybakov (USA). Kudla and Nguyen wasted no time, defeating Norrie and Rybakov in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 in a quick 45 minute match. Kudla and Nguyen will face Saville and Chaplin in the doubles final on Sunday.
Matches will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday morning with the first semifinal match between Blumberg and Thompson on Center Court. Following, no earlier than 12 p.m., will be the semifinal match between Norrie and Harrison.