ATP Firsts: Tim Smyczek
Just one week ago, Tim Smyczek lost in the first round of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Winnetka Illinois, relinquishing a 6-1, 3-1 lead and failing to convert three match points against Tommy Paul. But how quickly things can change.
Now, after defeating Jason Jung at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open, Smyczek is into his first ATP World Tour semi-final. ATPWorldTour.com caught up with the American after the match to provide some insight into more firsts in his career.
First pinch-me moment on the ATP World Tour
Probably when I was playing at the US Open in 2013. I was in a fifth set against Marcel Granollers, and the crowd was on its feet chanting ‘U-S-A’. That was pretty cool. I definitely paused and tried to soak that in.
First coach and most important lesson she taught me
My very first tennis coach was a guy named Gene Loughrin up in Milwaukee. He really tried to teach me just to have fun with tennis. Every lesson that we ever had was just so much fun. That’s really the most important thing I was able to take away from him. He really helped me love the game.
First time I was recognised
I don’t know about the first time, but the last time was at a grocery store. It was really odd, because it wasn’t at a tournament or anything, so I really wasn’t expecting it. I think it was in Tampa, Florida.
First time I travelled abroad
It was to Italy for Under 16 tournaments a long time ago.
First concert I visited
Dave Matthews in Madison, Wisconsin. I would have been 16.
First prize money purchase
My first prize money was like $100, so I couldn’t really get far with it.
First autograph I signed
When I was 14 I did a clinic with some even younger kids, and their parents told them to ask for my autograph. I don’t really know why.
First autograph I asked for
My parents used to take me to the RCA Championships in Indianapolis. I couldn’t tell you who it was, but it was there.
I had a hamster when I was little named Buckbeak.