By: Lauren D'Ambra Special to BB&T Atlanta Open
American Tim Smyczek began his run at the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open with a win over Lucky Loser, Thiago Monteiro of Brazil 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3.
Smyczek took the lead in the first set with a break at 4-4. However, it was Monteiro answered with a break at 5-4 followed by a strong hold and another break to take the set point.
The second set began with both players trading holds until Smyczek hit a series of overheads to break and go ahead 5-4. The momentum changed as Smyczek hit two double faults to give the Brazilian a break and the lead at 6-5. Smyczek forced a tiebreaker and charged the net to take command in the tiebreaker.
The third set was all about confidence as the Milwaukee native received a boost for the final set. Smyczek broke early to go up 2-0 and never gave up that advantage to close out the match. Smyczek even unleashed a 122 mph ace in the deciding set and finished with 10 aces for the match.
“I was struggling a little bit physically early on,” admitted Smyczek. “He served for the match and gave me a couple of loose errors, and I kind of got the feeling he’s a little nervous closing out the match. That was kind of what I needed. Just to have him give me an inch gave me a little more energy to carry through.”
Temperatures topped 120 degrees on the court during Smyczek's match.
“It’s pretty much the same weather in Tampa right now. It’s good to train in it and get used to it, but it’s not quite the same as playing matches in it. Hopefully I got over some sort of a hurdle today and it’ll get a little easier.”
Atlanta resident, Donald Young ended a drought at the BB&T Atlanta Open with a hard fought 3-6, 7-6 (10), 7-5 win over Austin Krajicek on Monday in first round action. Young saved two match points in the second set and came back from being down a break in the third to advance to second round play. The match between the two Americans lasted 2 hours and 33 minutes.