Unseeded Tim Smyczek of Tampa won his first challenger-level event in almost three years on Sunday at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Vir., in the all-American final defeating top-seeded Tennys Sandgren 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3.
“It’s been a couple years since I’ve won one of these,” the 29-year-old Smyczek, who now leads the USTA’s 2018 Australian Open Wild Card Challenge, told the Daily Progress. “So it’s nice to win several matches in a row. I feel like I’m getting on a roll.”
In the third set Smyczek jumped out to a 4-0 lead, capitalizing on unforced errors by the 26-year-old Sandgren, before holding on for the 6-3 victory. Smyczek improved to 5-6 in career ITF/USTA Pro Circuit finals, capturing his first title since Dallas in February of 2015.
Smyczek en route to the final also toppled No. 5-seeded American Bjorn Fratangelo, and No. 2-seeded Swiss Henri Laaksonen. In the all-American semifinals Smyczek defeated No. 6 seed Stefan Kozlov 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, and Sandgren beat No. 7 seed Michael Mmoh 6-4, 6-4.
The hot-handed Sandgren was appearing in his fifth USTA Pro Circuit final of 2017, dropping to 2-3 in finals this year and 14-11 career.
In the doubles final the all-American teaming of Tampa’s Denis Kudla and Danny Thomas won the championship when Mikelis Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin retired after Libietis tore his Achilles tendon leading 7-6(4), 4-1.
For more info go to www.usta.com/en/home/pro/pro-tennis-events/ProCircuit.html.