Smyczek Opens Tiburon Challenger Qualifying With Win

Tim Smyczek

TIBURON, September 24, 2017

“After months of anticipation, we were really excited to see the pros get out on the courts and do what they do so well—play tennis at the highest of levels—and they certainly did not disappoint,” said tournament director Brendan Curry at the end of the first day of play at the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger presented by Wells Fargo. 

“Our number one seed in qualifying is no stranger to the Tiburon Challenger, having hoisted the Champions trophy in 2015,” said Curry, referring to Tim Smyczek, who was a late entry. Aussie Chris O’Connell, who entered as a wildcard, found Smyczek a formidable opponent, and the match between the two went the distance, with Smyczek taking it 6-2 in the third set. The World No. 189 from the United States finished the encounter after one hour and 56 minutes.

A notable experience on the opening day of the Tiburon Challenger held at the local Peninsula Tennis Club was Stevie Gould, a tournament wildcard  and NorCal No. 1 in the U18s, who drew second seed Marcelo Arevalo. “Stevie grew up playing in the junior tennis program at the Tiburon Peninsula Club and was a ball boy at the Tiburon Challenger on numerous occasions,” said Curry, adding that this was his day to play on stadium court in front of his home crowd, and he certainly was impressive. He lost the match in straight sets 6-3 6-0, but gained valuable experience and many new fans.

Cal Berkeley’s Florian Lakat, also a tournament wildcard, came up just short against Deighton Baughman in three sets, while his friend and doubles partner Andre Goransson got a win against Bernado Saraiva in straight sets.

All in all, five of the top eight seeds in the first qualifying round made it through to Sunday’s second round. The include USA’s Evan King, Raymond Sarmiento and wildcard Spencer Papa.

Japan’s Kaichi Uchida delivered the upset of the day in the second match on stadium court with his smooth and immensely powerful groundstrokes proving too much for third seed Daniel Elahi Galan.

The stage is set for a great day two,” said Curry

Men’s Qualifying Singles First Round

[1] T. Smyczek (USA) d C. O’Connell (AUS) 64 57 62

[2] M. Arevalo (ESA) d [WC) S. Gould 63 60

K. Uchida (JPN) d [3] D. Galan (COL) 64 26 62

[4] E. King (USA) d D. Cukierman (ISR) 36 62 62

[5] F. Peliwo (CAN) d M. Libietis (LAT) 63 62

L. Gomez (MEX) d. [6] R. Quiroz (ECU) 64 16 62

[7] R. Sarmiento (USA) d [WC] A. Carter (US) 76(3) 62

S. Bangoura (USA) d [8] E. Leshem (ISR) 26 64 64

G. Jones (AUS) d N. Chappell (USA) 75 76(1)

A. Goransson (SWE) d B. Saraiva (POR) 64 63

D. Baughman (USA) d [WC] F. Lakat (FRA) 36 75 75

A. Halebian (USA) d [WC] A. Ayeni (USA) 64 61

[WC] S. Papa (USA) d E. Gomez (ECU) 76(5) 36 75

J. Choinski (GER) d S. Fanselow (GER) 63 64

J. Hernandez-Fernandez (DOM) d J. Montero (CHI) 63 62

M. Barton (AUS) d [WC] J. Lamble (USA) 63 64