Fratangelo dealt three-set loss in Wimbledon main-draw debut
Bjorn Fratangelo’s fourth straight appearance at a tennis grand slam tournament didn’t turn out the way he had hoped.
The 22-year-old Plum native suffered a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 loss to former world top-10 player Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria in the first round of the Wimbledon tennis championship Monday in London.
It was Fratangelo’s first main-draw appearance at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
He entered the tournament ranked 113th in the world, and he earned a spot in the main draw by winning a qualifier last Friday.
Fratangelo went four sets in a rain-delayed final qualifier match with fellow American Austin Krajicek.
He took the first two sets before Krajicek responded with a set-three victory.
Fratangelo closed the book on Krajicek, 6-3, to punch his ticket to the main draw.
“It was definitely the goal, and I prepared well for it,” Fratangelo said.
Fratangelo, who won his first grand-slam match at the French Open last month, won a total of three qualifier matches last week.
He said surviving the (qualifier) experience, with the delays and everything that went on throughout the week, was an incredible feeling.
Fratangelo said it was an important step for his career to crack the top 100 in the world rankings. He found himself at No. 99 before dipping back above 100.
Despite the tough go of it at Wimbledon, Fratangelo is looking forward to what is coming up, including a second straight shot at the U.S. Open in September.
Fratangelo earned a wild card into the main draw of last year’s U.S. Open, and he lost to No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the first round.
He qualified for the Australian Open earlier this year but was dealt a first-round defeat at the hands of France’s Stephane Robert.
Business picked up for Fratangelo as 2016 progressed.
He took the first set (6-2) from world No. 1 Novak Djokovic during a match at Indian Wells in March and then won the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge to land a spot in the French Open.
The challenger win was his ninth professional victory and his fifth in the United States.
He returned to the scene of his 2011 French Open boys title and picked up his first grand slam victory, a first-round triumph over fellow American Sam Querrey.
His top-100 ranking came out on June 6, which coincided with the 60th birthday of the tennis legend his father named him after, Bjorn Borg.
Tribune-Review staff writer Alaina Getzenberg contributed to this report.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.