Friday, September 22, 2017

Ex-champ Smyczek seeded first in Tiburon qualies

   Two years is an eternity in pro tennis.
   Just ask Tim Smyczek.
   The American veteran, who won the $100,000 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger in 2015, is seeded first in qualifying for this year's tournament.
   Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-check), a 29-year-old Milwaukee native now based in Tampa, Fla., is scheduled to play Christopher O'Connell, a 23-year-old Australian, on Saturday not before 1 p.m. at the Tiburon Peninsula Club. Play begins at 10 a.m.
   The 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Smyczek is ranked No. 189 after reaching a career-high No. 68 in April 2015. O'Connell is No. 311.
   Smyczek, a consummate pro, is best known for his sportsmanlike gesture in a five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the second round of the 2015 Australian Open. With Nadal, suffering from stomach cramps and dizziness, serving for the match at 6-5, 30-0 in the fifth set, Smyczek allowed the Spaniard another first serve after a fan yelled during his toss to cause a fault.
   The Tiburon qualifying draw also features former San Francisco Bay Area college stars Andre Goransson and Florian Lakat (both Cal), Bernardo Saraiva (USF) and John Lamble (Santa Clara), as well as Stevie Gould, ranked No. 1 in the Northern California 18s, of nearby Corte Madera.
   The main draw begins Monday.
   Here are the singles qualifying draw and Saturday's schedule.

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