Jared Donaldson, Rhode Island’s native son on the ATP World Tour, won his debut match in the main draw of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships Monday evening as the sun slid toward the western horizon.
The 18-year-old from Chepachet defeated fellow American Austin Krajicek, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 in the first round at the Newport Casino. Donaldson’s match was the finale on the stadium court of the historic facility.
Donaldson will play Australian John-Patrick Smith in the second round on Wednesday. Smith upset wild card and third-seeded Bernard Tomic of Australia, 6-3, 7-5, earlier on Monday.
Donaldson’s tennis odyssey began in the Ocean State when he was 12 and took him to South America, Europe and Africa as a junior. He turned pro last year at the U.S. Open. This year he played the qualifiers at the Australian and French Opens and at Wimbledon. His victory over Krajicek gives him a 2-2 record in ATP World Tour events. He is ranked No. 166. Earlier this year he was 152, the highest ranking ever attained by the few Rhode Islanders who have attempted the men’s pro tour.
First-round action resumes Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Casino, site of the U.S. championships from the 1881 inaugural to 1914.