American Bjorn Fratangelo has begun his past two Grand Slam seasons in Australian Open qualifying, and ended up in the main draw twice — in 2016 as a lucky loser and last season by winning all three matches. The 24-year-old is one match from making the main draw for the third year in a row after beating #NextGenATP Hungarian Zsombor Piros, who won the junior title in Australia last year, 6-3, 6-4, on a rain-logged Friday in Melbourne.
“Conditions were different today – it was a lot more humid, which made things a little bit slower,” Fratangelo said. “I didn’t know his game at all, but I knew that he won juniors here last year. He’s definitely a good little player.”
The World No. 107 next plays an opponent who has also competed in the past two Australian Open main draws, Quentin Halys, who won 85 per cent of first-serve points to overcome Pedja Krstin 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour, 37 minutes. Fratangelo and Halys have split two meetings on the ATP Challenger Tour.
Peter Polansky went eight years between his first (2009) and second (2017) appearances in Melbourne’s main draw, but he put himself within two sets of his second in a row with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over American Christian Harrison in 75 minutes.
The Canadian’s next opponent is the winner of the final completed match of the day, Yuki Bhambri, who blitzed #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Taberner 6-0, 6-2 in 57 minutes. The Indian won the Australian Open as a junior in 2009. Polansky and Bhambri have played two non tour-level matches, with each player triumphing once.
Several matches were postponed for the day due to the rain, with #NextGenATP Duckhee Lee saving one match point in a second set tie-break before his second-round battle against Frank Dancevic was halted at 4-6, 7-6(8). Four other matches were halted in the first set, while Belgian Ruben Bemelmans will resume play against Viktor Galovic with a 5-7, 6-4, 4-3 lead.
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