Saturday, March 20, 2021

Fratangelo beats Brooksby for Cleveland Challenger title

Bjorn Fratangelo won his fourth career Challenger singles title and first since
Fairfield, Calif., in 2018. File photo by Paul Bauman 
   Bjorn "Borg" Fratangelo ended his title drought and Jenson Brooksby "Brothers'" winning streak today.
   Fratangelo, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native based in Orlando, Fla., beat Brooksby, from Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area, 7-5, 6-4 today to win the $52,080 Cleveland Open on the ATP Challenger Tour. Both players were unseeded.
   The 27-year-old Fratangelo, who was named after Bjorn Borg, won his fourth career Challenger singles title and first since Fairfield, Calif., in 2018. He did not play from January to September last year, including the five-month pandemic break. 
   Fratangelo also snapped the 20-year-old Brooksby's winning streak at nine matches. Brooksby turned pro in December and won his first Challenger title last month in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
   Fratangelo, who pocketed $7,200, will soar 53 places in the world rankings to No. 233 on Monday after climbing to a career-high No. 99 in 2016. Brooksby, who earned $4,240, will jump 24 spots to a career-high No. 230.
   The players traded service breaks in the first two games of the match. Brooksby saved a break point for 2-2, three break points for 4-4 and a set point for 5-5. After Fratangelo held for 6-5, he broke Brooksby at love for the set.
   In the second set, Fratangelo served for the match after breaking for 5-3, but Brooksby broke back at love. Brooksby led 40-0 in the next game, but Fratangelo won the next four points to earn a championship point. Brooksby saved it and then earned a game point. Fratangelo reeled off the following three points, converting his second championship point with an inside-out forehand passing shot.
   ATP Tour in Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Wild card Aslan "Forty" Karatsev of Russia defeated qualifier Lloyd "Kamala" Harris 6-3, 6-2 to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Both players were seeking their first ATP title.
   Karatsev, an Australian Open semifinalist as a qualifier last month, collected $149,490. Ranked No. 112 at the beginning of the year, he will rise 15 places to a career-high No. 27.
   Harris, who won the $100,000 Stockton Challenger and advanced to the final of the $100,000 Aptos Challenger in Northern California in 2018, settled for $110,530. He will jump 29 spots to a career-high No. 52.
   College women — No. 26 Stanford, which has won the last two NCAA championships and three of the last four, defeated visiting Arizona 5-2 to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Pacific-12 Conference. The Cardinal beat No. 25 Arizona State 4-1 on Friday at Stanford.
   No. 20 California drubbed visiting Arizona State 6-1 to improve to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12. The Bears routed Arizona 7-0 on Friday in Berkeley, Calif.

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