Lu sets up meeting with Berankis in Jinan

Yen Hsun Lu (zimbio.com)

Yen-Hsun Lu has made an art form of winning Challenger titles. The Chinese Taipei player has consistently battled with Israel’s Dudi Sela for the all-time lead in Challenger tournament wins.

Lu is once again in a position to add another title to his collection when he faces Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis in the Jinan final. Lu defeated 3rd seed Go Soeda 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. Berankis had easy progress into the final after 2nd seed Evgeny Donskoy was forced to withdraw with injury.

Taylor Fritz won the ATP Star of Tomorrow Award last season after he broke into the Top 100 and reached his first ATP final. After his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child earlier this season Fritz took time off. The young American is into the quarter-finals of the Aptos challenger. Fritz defeated Russia’s Konstantin Kravchuk and Austin Krajicek. Krajicek had defeated top seed Malek Jaziri in the first round. Fritz did not play this event last year so has no points to defend.

Tennys Sandgren has dropped just nine games in his first two matches of the tournament and will provide a tough match for Fritz. Sandgren is ranked at No.106, very close to his career high ranking.

In the bottom half of the draw Dennis Novikov took care of the 5th seed Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round. He faces the unpredictable Alexander Bublik in the quarters. Bublik shocked third seed Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-1 in the second round. Sam Groth and Akira Santillan feature in the bottom half. Santillan had beaten 2nd seed Jordan Thompson in the first round. Thompson had made the final of his last challenger event, losing to Cameron Norrie in Binghampton.

In Floridablanca Argentina has two players in the semi-finals after top seed Guido Pella defeated Evan King 7-5, 6-4. He is joined by compatriot Facundo Arguello who defeated 8th seed Michael Linzer.

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