Bjorn Fratangelo took a big step Friday in his quest to earn his first main-draw berth in the U.S. Open.
The third-seeded Fratangelo, a Pittsburgh native based in Boca Raton, Fla., beat Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger at the Seascape Sports Club in Aptos, Calif.
Matosevic, a former top-40 players, had lost only four games in two matches in the tournament.
The American with the most points in two of three tournaments -- $50,000 Binghamton (N.Y.), $50,000 Lexington (Ky.) and Aptos – will win the U.S. Open Wild Card Challenge and earn a spot in the U.S. Open, Aug. 29-Sept. 11 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Ernesto Escobedo, who lost in the second round in Aptos, leads the standings. But Fratangelo or qualifier Eric Quigley can overtake Escobedo for the U.S. Open wild card by capturing the Aptos title. Quigley will face another qualifier, Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.
Fratangelo, ranked No. 115, also is close to gaining direct entry into the year’s last Grand Slam tournament. He won the French Open Wild Card Challenge in the spring and advanced to the second round of a Slam for the first time at Roland Garros.
Fratangelo, who was named after Bjorn Borg, has not lost a set in the Nordic Naturals Challenger. However, the 2011 French Open boys singles champion now faces an even tougher test against top-seeded Daniel Evans of Great Britain.
Evans, ranked No. 80 in the world and second in his country behind No. 2 Andy Murray, dispatched James McGee of Ireland 6-3, 6-4. Evans, only 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters) helped Great Britain win its first Davis Cup title in 79 years in 2015.
Quigley, the 2012 NCAA runner-up to Steve Johnson, turned back qualifier Raymond Sarmiento of Los Angeles 7-5, 6-2. Norrie, an NCAA semifinalist in May as a Texas Christian sophomore, outlasted Evan King of Chicago 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.Here are the Aptos singles and doubles draws and today's schedule.