Qualifier American Bjorn Fratangelo eased his way past Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-1 in one hour 19 minutes at the inaugural Hungarian Open. The Frenchman has managed to win only one match since February and seven matches all year with seven losses while the American earned only his second ATP win of the year.
Fratangelo grabs early break, stay ahead to win set
Immediately from the off, the American began to dominate the Frenchman dictating the rallies early on, including at love-30 which resulted in triple break points following an unforced error. Simon managed to cut the deficit to one point but the qualifier broke when the Frenchman sent a simple backhand shot into the net.
The 23-year-old consolidated the break but was made to work for it with a lot of rallies during the game as he went up 2-0 early on. The third game of the match saw the 32-year-old get on the board quite comfortably, losing just the one point, 2-1.
For most of the set, the young American had a grip on the match by continuing to dictate rallies and make his experienced opponent chase ball after ball. The Frenchman did have a hint of a chance in the eighth game when he took Fratangelo to deuce but the American impressively denied Simon and went on to hold serve for 5-3.
Now serving to stay in the opening set, the fifth seed held his serve for 5-4 but once again didn't look too comfortable during the points, hitting simple unforced errors and allowing to once again be on the back foot during baseline rallies. For the world number 150, he was making it look easy, going on to earn a set point at 40-15. He then closed the set out with an overhead winner to wrap up the set, 6-4.
Fratangelo runs away with the match, hands Simon a breadstick
Things began to go from bad to worse for the Frenchman Simon. In the opening game of the second set, he was made to work for it, saving two break points in a lengthy game. But Fratangelo would grab a third and take his chance eventually, being patient in a baseline rally with Simon sending a backhand long as the American broke in the opening game, just like in the first set. He then consolidated impressively to love for a 2-0 lead.
The 32-year-old would once again be put under pressure by being forced to save double break points en route to getting on the board in the set at 2-1. However, Fratangelo would go from strength to strength for the rest of the set.
He held a tough game in the fourth game then ran away to a 40-15 lead, grabbing double break point opportunities after attacking a poor Simon forehand and tucking away the point neatly at the net. Making the Frenchman run around once more, the 23-year-old forced his opponent into a unforced error which saw a double break lead go the American's was as he led 4-1.
He would once again hold serve impressively to love as a huge gap opened up, 5-1. Serving to stay in the match, Simon allowed Fratangelo to take the game to deuce before a match point appeared after venturing to the net to which his opponent saw a gap and placed a perfect passing shot, advantage. Simon then struck a backhand wide as Fratangelo knocked out the fifth seed.