Tuesday, October 11, 2016

No. 3 seed Smyczek beats Canadian phenom in Fairfield

Tim Smyczek returns serve during his 6-2, 6-4 victory over
17-year-old Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the
$100,000 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   FAIRFIELD, Calif. -- With his shaggy blond hair, 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov looks like a surfer dude from Southern California.
   Actually, he's a Canadian tennis phenom who was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, to Russian parents.
   All Shapovalov did this past summer was win the Wimbledon boys singles title, stun then-No. 19 Nick Kyrgios in the first round in Shapovalov's hometown of Toronto and take the U.S. Open boys doubles crown (with countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime).
   It was easy to see why on Monday in the first round of the $100,000 Fairfield Challenger. Shapovalov, a 6-foot (1.83-meter) left-hander, at times displayed a devastating serve and sensational one-handed backhand against No. 3 seed Tim Smyczek. But Shapovalov made too many errors and lost 6-2, 6-4 at Solano Community College.
   "I went into the match and certainly wasn't taking it lightly," said the 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Smyczek, a 28-year-old Milwaukee native living in Tampa, Fla. "I know he's capable of playing at a really high level, and I think he's going to be really good one day. He didn't play well today, but he had flashes of some really high-level tennis."
Shapovalov won the Wimbledon boys singles title,
stunned then-No. 19 Nick Kyrgios in Shapovalov's
hometown of Toronto and took the U.S. Open boys
doubles crown (with countryman Felix Auger-Alia-
simme) this past summer. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Smyczek, who shocked 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) John Isner to reach the third round in Miami as a qualifier in the spring, will play Joris De Loore of Belgium on Wednesday for a quarterfinal berth.
   De Loore beat 6-foot-5 (1.96 meter) Keegan Smith, an 18-year-old wild card from San Diego who's headed for UCLA, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
   De Loore ousted top-seeded Bjorn Fratangelo of Boca Raton, Fla., in the first round of last week's $100,000 Stockton Challenger before losing to eventual runner-up Noah Rubin of Long Island, N.Y.
   All three Fairfield seeds in action on Monday advanced. Also winning were No. 5 Alessandro Giannessi of Italy and No. 8 Maximilian Marterer of Germany.
   Top-seeded Frances Tiafoe of Boca Raton is scheduled to play Blaz Rola, a 6-foot-4 (1.93-meter) left-hander from Slovenia, in the first round for the second consecutive week today.
   Tiafoe defeated Rola, the 2013 NCAA singles champion from Ohio State, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 en route to the Stockton title.
   Here are the Fairfield singles qualifying, singles main and doubles main draws and today's schedule.

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