For Tim Smyczek, beating one of his country’s top players and upsetting the tournament’s No. 1 seed meant a lot.
He defeated fellow American Sam Querrey in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) on Tuesday on Newport’s grass courts.
“I think it’s the first time I’ve ever beaten a No. 1 seed at a tournament. It’s definitely a big deal for me,” Smyczek said. “It was pretty neat to play Sam, who’s been one of the top Americans for a long time, somebody I’ve just tried to catch up to.”
Querrey, a 2009 Newport finalist ranked 21st in the world, was broken in the seventh game by the 120th-ranked Smyczek.
“I couldn’t really find a flow out there. I was a little off the whole time,” Querrey said.
In the tiebreaker, Querrey saved match point twice — both with aces — but hit a backhand return into the net on the final point.
It was the second match this year between the two. Querrey won in straight sets at Indian Wells in March.
“I knew he plays aggressive and has a big game,” Smyczek said. “I was just trying to keep him from taking it to me.”
Querrey seemed frustrated with his game from the start, at one point uttering “ridiculous” to himself after hitting a forehand shot wide in the eighth game in humid conditions, with breaks of sun peeking through mostly cloudy skies.
In the tie breaker, Smyczek jumped ahead 3-1, before Querrey battled back, grabbing a 5-4 lead. Trailing 6-5, Querrey had the first of his two match-saving aces.
Querrey had 16 aces to Smyczek’s two.
Fourth-seeded Lleyton Hewitt, a runner-up in Newport last year, beat fellow Australian Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-1.
Third-seeded Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands beat Italy’s Matteo Viola 6-4, 6-1; Ivo Karlovic of Croatia defeated fifth-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 7-6 (7/5), 6-4; Canadian Vasek Pospisil beat American Denis Kudla 1-6, 6-3, 6-3; and wild card Prakash Amritraj of India beat Italy’s Flavio Cipolla 6-2, 6-3.
Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic won a match of qualifiers, defeating Ante Pavic of Croatia 7-6 (8/6), 6-3. Eighth-seeded American Rajeev Ram beat Adrien Bossel of Switzerland 6-2, 6-2, and American Jack Sock advanced when sixth-seeded Marinko Matosevic of Australia retired because of food poisoning after losing the first set 6-2.
AP, STUTTGART, Germany
Gael Monfils of France defeated compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6 (7/0), 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Mercedes Cup on Tuesday.
Monfils served 16 aces to set up a clash with sixth-seeded Florian Mayer, who defeated another German, Andreas Beck, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Victor Hanescu rallied to beat Dmitry Tursunov of Russia 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) in 2 hours, 25 minutes.
The Romanian will next face Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, who defeated seventh-seeded Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. It was Rosol’s third consecutive loss.
Nikolay Davydenko of Russia came from behind to beat Spain’s Daniel Munoz-De La Nava 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 6-4 and set up a match with fourth-seeded Benoit Paire of France, who received a bye into the second round.
Leonardo Mayer of Argentina rallied to beat Spain’s Pablo Andujar 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) in a match lasting 2 hours, 55 minutes.
Fifth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy bounced back from his first-round exit at Wimbledon by defeating Britain’s Alexander Ward 6-3, 7-6 (7/5). Germany’s Nils Langer defeated fellow countryman Robin Kern 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.