Sunday, September 28, 2014

Querrey, Smyczek reach Napa Challenger final

Sam Querrey, shown at Indian Wells in March, and Tim Smyczek
have several similarities. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey and Tim Smyczek wouldn't seem to have much in common.
   After all, Querrey is 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters), and Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-check) is 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters).
   Upon further examination, however, they have several similarities:
   --Querrey and Smyczek are seeded first and second, respectively, in this week's $50,000 Napa Valley Challenger.
   --They're both 26.
   --They're both American, although Querrey grew up in sunny Southern California and Smyczek in frigid Milwaukee.
   --And they both skipped college to turn pro.
   Querrey, ranked 54th in the world after climbing to a career-high No. 17 in early 2011, and Smyczek, ranked 99th, will meet today at 1 in the final at the Napa Valley Country Club after beating unseeded upstarts.
   Querrey, a native of nearby San Francisco, cruised past Alex Bolt, a 21-year-old left-hander from Australia, 6-2, 6-3 in 55 minutes. Bolt reached the Australian Open doubles quarterfinals with countryman Andrew Whittington in January.
   Smyczek overcame 17-year-old Jared Donaldson, perhaps the United States' top prospect, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Smyczek also lost the first set in his second-round victory over American Bjorn Fratangelo.
   Querrey leads the head-to-head series 2-1, but Smyczek won their last meeting 6-4, 7-6 (8) in the first round on grass at Newport, R.I., in 2013. Querrey also was seeded first there.
At Napa Valley Country Club in Napa, Calif.
Singles semifinals
   Sam Querrey (1), United States, def. Alex Bolt, Australia, 6-2, 6-3.
   Tim Smyczek (2), United States, def. Jared Donaldson, United States, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Doubles semifinals
   Bradley Klahn and Tim Smyczek (2), United States, def. Alex Bolt, Australia, and Frank Dancevic, Canada, 6-4, 6-3.
Today's schedule
Center Court
(Starting at 1 p.m.)
   Sam Querrey (1), United States, vs. Tim Smyczek (2), United States.
   Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin (1), Canada, vs. Bradley Klahn and Tim Smyczek (2), United States.

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