For the second year in a row, Tony Mule has captured the Wild Card Event for the Savannah Challenger championships at The Landings on Skidaway Island, GA. The 30-year old Greensboro, NC, resident thrilled the supportive crowd by coming back from a deep deficit in the final to defeat Alexandru Pasareanu, 17, Blufton, SC, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 on February 28.
Mule and Pasareanu, along with the two losing semifinalists, all advanced to the main draw of the 2011 Savannah Challenger tournament which will take place at The Landings April 30- May 8. A total of 19 players from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Pennsylvania had traveled to The Landings to compete for the right to play in the Challenger event.
A Tight Final
Mule and Pasareanu clearly stood above the crowd with Mule losing only 13 games in three matches en route to the final and Pasareanu dropped only seven.
The final was a close match, pitting the power and speed of the younger Pasareanu against the grit and experience of Mule. Pasasreanu took a quick early lead and maintained it for the entire match, winning the first set 6-3 and leading 5-3 in the second.
However, when serving for the match at 5-4, Pasasreanu's game deserted him and Mule ran off six straight games to take the second set 7-5 and go up a service break at 2-0 in the third. Pasasreanu then steadied his game and from that point on it was evenly contested with both players having multiple chances to go ahead. In the end Pasareanu saved a total of nine match points, but Mule held serve to win the match.
The Landings Well Represented
The Landings had two members in the draw, Grayson Lowenthal, 15 and Alex Gold, 21. Both lost in the first round, but gained valuable experience in competing against other top players. The final was refereed by Landings Club member John Remmert. Club members served as ball people.
The Savannah Challenger will bring some of the finest tennis players in the world--with rankings from 40 to 200--to The Landings as they try to gain ranking points and advance to Grand Slam events such as the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Additional special events, including Kid’s Day (April 30), a Pro-Am to benefit Special Pops Tennis-Savannah (May 1), Player Party (May 2), and Ladies’ Day (May3) will also be a part of the Challenger week. Tickets are on sale now at The Landings Club Pro Shop. For information, call 912-598-3500 or visit www.SavannahChallenger.com