Former Brookfield Academy tennis star wins first round match at the US Open
Qualifier Tim Smyczek defeats fellow American Bobby Reynolds in five sets Monday
Day 1 of the US Open featured the usual suspects like World No. 1 Roger Federer and Olympic Gold Medalist Andy Murray winning first round matches.
Scattered among the winners in the men’s draw, though, is a less recognizable name but one that is quite familiar to those who follow tennis closely in Wisconsin: Tim Smyczek.
Smyczek, a former Brookfield Academy High School tennis star, defeated fellow American Bobby Reynolds in the first round, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, on Monday setting up a second round match with 17th-ranked Kei Nishikori of Japan.
A win over Nishikori could set up a possible third-round match against 12th-ranked Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Regardless of how Smyczek does in Round 2, the Milwaukee native has already accomplished more in New York City than he ever has in his career there.
That’s because the win over Reynolds marked the 24-year-old’s first win at the US Open, one of tennis’ four Grand Slam events that features the top players in the world.
In 2011, Smyczek lost in the first round of the US Open qualifying and did not make it into the main draw. He made the main draw in 2010 but lost in straight sets in the first round. Smyczek failed to make it out of qualifying in 2008 and 2009.
As the 179th-ranked player in the world, Smyczek has to fight his way through qualifying rounds just to earn a berth into the main ATP World tournaments.
He also plays a lot on the Challenger Tour, the second highest level of competition. Smyczek, whose career high ranking was 158 in February 2011, won three qualifying matches last week to earn a spot into this year’s main draw.
Smyczek, who has won $76,993 on tour this year and $322,715 for singles and doubles play in his career, has come a long ways from his days at Brookfield Academy.
As a freshman at Brookfield Academy, Smyczek won the 2002 Division 2 state singles championship without dropping a set en route to the title. He finished that year 19-0.
After that season, he left the high school program to focus solely on a tennis career. In 2006, at the age of 17, Smyczek turned pro and moved to Florida.
He trains at the Saddlebrook resort in Tampa, Fla., with fellow American tennis professionals Mardy Fish, James Blake and John Isner, the top-ranked American, who is also his housemate.
Smyczek comes from a tennis family as his brother, Alec, was the Division 2 state singles runner-up in 2001 at Academy.
And a few years later, their sister, Lauren, also at Brookfield Academy, finished fifth in 2005 and third in 2007 in the girls Division 2 state singles tournament.
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