Jul/17

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Atlanta Showdown: The Smyczek vs Young Rivarly

120814073354-donald-young-1-single-image-cutTim Smyczek vs Donald Young will play first round in Atlanta. Just out of curiosity I checked the head to head and was surprised to learn these two have played against each other sixteen times already!

That’s right – 16. The first thirteen meetings were in ATP qualifying, Challengers and one Futures back in 2007. The most recent three all were contested last year on the ATP Main Tour.

Young won the first four meetings in straight sets. Then Smyczek finally got on the board in 2009 at the Winnetka Challenger, winning 62 76. Young regained the mental edge by winning the next two meetings in three sets in 2010 and then Smyczek regained the edge winning the next two. Overall, Young leads the sub ATP Tour matches head to head 8-5.

Young and Smyczek battled three times last year in Delray Beach, Houston and Atlanta. Smyczek won the first two matches – 16 76 62 in Delray and 62 64 in Houston and then Young won a thriller in Atlanta one year ago 46 76 63.

The all time overall head to head (not counting any junior duels) stands at 9-7 for Young.

Today’s contest, the seventeenth overall over the last decade, will be more important for the 29 year old Smyczek who has dropped down to 194 in the world. Young, 28, has had a pretty good season, beating John Isner for the first time in Memphis and reaching the Roland Garros doubles final, to sustain his singles ranking at typical 51.

Donald Young vs Tim Smyczek may not get the fanfare or media glory but it’s one of the best little-known rivalries in professional tennis.

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119 comments

  • Hartt · July 28, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Andrew, Bester gave a lovely speech on court because he felt the Granby fans had always supported him, even though he is not local. He thanked many people, including his father and all the people who stuck by him through the years. He is ranked outside the top 400, with no real chance of improving that. I never watched much of his play, but he did play Davis Cup and I respect him for that.

    As far as Canadian players and DC goes, I think Daniel Nestor deserves a lot of credit. He is passionate about DC, has played countless matches over the years and has been a terrific example to other Canuck players. Pospisil is also a DC stalwart. He even played doubles when he was recovering from mono. Also, the Davis Cup coach, Martin Laurendeau, has been in that position for many years and seems to have the players’ respect. Right now he is also coaching Denis.

    The other thing about DC is often the Canadian team was the underdog, and they were determined to do their best. I still remember one tie against Spain. Spain did not have their top players but they were still the heavy favourites. Dancevic played out of his mind, was totally in the zone, and set the stage for a Canadian upset over Spain. Now that Canada has 2 top 100 players and the up-and-coming youngsters along with the perennial Nestor, things are looking good.

  • jg · July 28, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I think Blumberg lost to the UVA player in the NCAA singles final.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Donaldson played better than Fritz against Eubanks – Donaldson is a better player than Fritz.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Eubanks’ warrior approach is very welcome! He showed great fire out there in taking out two of the best young American peers. That said Opelka terrorized the field last year until he came up against a bigger and better version of his game. And Opelka has been a shell of that version ever since in his very very young career.
    All in all, I like Eubanks’ game. He’s really worked on it and simplified it – hit huge serve, move opponents off court, close in and finish. It’s about time we see a player that doesn’t mess around out there or play small.
    I don’t think this bodes poorly for Donaldson either, he’ll have to accept he was outplayed by a better strategy and next time they play turn the tables.
    One aspect not given enough play in discussions:
    Players don’t want to lose twice to the same player in a row, nor do they want to lose after they beat them once already.
    It’s called rivalries and one of the things that makes tennis such a fantastic sport.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Hartt, take it you’re no fan of Diez. Maybe he’s the Smyczek of the ever improving Canadian squad.

  • Hartt · July 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Andrew, have not seen a lot of Diez’s play. Even though he officially plays for Canada, he is based in Spain and spends so much time in Europe that I don’t think of him as a Canuck. But you make him sound interesting and I will try to see his next match.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 28, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Just one tournament for Eubanks. We all went nuts when Escobedo beat Isner in Houston. Then he got his butt kicked every week since.

    These guys have plenty of work to do just in consistently reaching semis at Challenger level.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Harrison beats Eubanks 1 & 2. And Muller beats Tommy Paul 3 & 1. Of course can’t base anything on one tournament and especially a USA summer non masters hardcourt. But, it was fun to see Eubanks play.
    To be fair:
    Escobedo, Donaldson, Tiafoe, they’ve all had a pretty good run since last year. But much as I enjoyed seeing Isner make a run to his first ATP final some years back, I enjoyed seeing Eubanks

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Scoop was right, outside of Germany’s Alex Zverev most next Gen players in top fifty are indeed Russian! Pete Bodo just pulled up the rankings for ESPN tennis. USA future isn’t just behind Alex Zverev, but the slew of Russians plus Coric. I guess only three guys, still – totally unexpected.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Gotta mention Sevastova Siniakova match. Two players with some of the most skill in the sport faced off. Quite a match from the scoreline.

  • scoopmalinowski · July 28, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Eubanks is a serious threat. He has two big weapons and a fiery passion. I project a bright future. He stands out from the pack. There are a few US guys im concerned about right now. Theyve been at it a while and are still stuck outside top 100. Eubanks should get a us open wc.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Eubanks played well up to Harrison. Harrison played a smart match with a lot of good strategy and it showed. I think Eubanks had already had a big week, and Harrison took advantage.

  • Andrew Miller · July 28, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Tommy Paul’s game looked pretty good. It is a little unorthodox but otherwise stable. He should keep at it.

  • Chazz · July 29, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Oh man, Sock got crushed by Edmund. Edmund is a decent player but c’mon, Jack should not lose so decisively. The downward spiral continues for Sock.

  • Hartt · July 29, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Denis Shapovalov won over Mackenzie McDonald in 3 sets in their Granby QF. This means 3 Canucks advanced to the SFs – Schnur, Polansky and Denis. Brayden Schnur is now at a career high of 192 in live tennis rankings, Denis is at 132 and Peter No. 122. Peter and Denis play each other in the SF and Brayden is up against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic.

  • Hartt · July 29, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Tomic has withdrawn from the Citi Open, apparently because of illness. A nice break for Stefan Kozlov who will replace him. The last time I looked Tomic was at No. 98 in the live tennis rankings.

  • Andrew Miller · July 29, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Shapovalov and MacDonald are friends. I saw this when they were practicing. Must’ve been a tough loss to stomach for MacDonald, who should be included in next generation discussions. He’s under the radar because he hasn’t made much of a mark despite his very fine backhand. So he’s for better or worse the USA standard for the men’s tour: hype over improvement and results so far, watching his buddies and peers pass him and other NCAA players like Eubanks.

  • Hartt · July 29, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Nice to hear that Mackenzie and Denis are friends. I have not seen much of Mackenzie’s play and last night the ATP stream disappeared, so had to “watch” the match on SB. But he is still fairly young, so could improve.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 29, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Blumberg is emerging. Billy Blumberg sounds cooler though 🙂

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