Donaldson Faces Meister Today in Royal Lāhainā Challenger
By Maui Now Staff
Players in today’s Royal Lāhainā Challenger finals are competing for $ 50,000 in prize money.
The quarterfinals were held on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Quarterfinal winners going on to the semifinals included 18-year-old Jared Donaldson (US), who defeated fellow American Dennis Novikov 6-3, 7-6(5).
Donaldson, who is playing for his second time in the challenger, was down a break in the second set 4-5, but was able to eventually take Novikov to a tiebreak and take the match.
“It was a weird second set in general,” Donaldson said. “Novikov was up and early break, I broke back and then got broken again. No one was holding serve. In tennis, one or two points make a big difference. I just converted at 3-5, which really gave me confidence to tie it up and take it to a tiebreak.”
Donaldson turned pro last year, deciding not to play collegiate tennis. He went the unconditional route, training in Argentina for two years on red clay. The typical path for American players is to go through the United States Tennis Association’s Player Development program.
Donaldson faced a tough semi-final match against Bradley Klahn (2) (US) on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Klahn, the 2014 Royal Lāhainā Challenger winner, played solid tennis his his quarterfinal match against Sandro Ehrat (SUI), winning 7-5, 6-4.
“He’s a talented, young guy that has move up quickly in the ranks,” Klahn said about the upcoming match against Donaldson. “It’s going to be a tough match, but I’ll be ready for everything and anything. I expect him to play well. I think the key for me is to find my range and stay tough out there.”
Donaldson went on to defeat Klahn in the semifinals 7-5, 7-6(4), and will face Nicolas Meister in today’s final match.
Meister (US) defeated Takanyi Garanganga (ZIM) in the quarterfinals 6-3 6-7(3) 6-2, and James Mcgee (IRL) in the semifinals 7-6(5), 6-2.