On Monday, American #8 Tim Smyczek posted a 6-4 6-4 win over talented-but-mercurial British player Dan Evans at the Charlottesville Pro Tennis Challenger. Following the match, the man known as Smee went back out on the practice court with his coach, Billy Heister, to debrief about the match and work on his forehand. After that session, I caught up with the 27-year-old Milwaukee native to discuss the match, his up-and-down year, his upcoming nuptials, and being nominated for the ATP's Sportsmanship award.
Smee is a soft-spoken, thoughtful guy who has built a solid pro career for himself in the past few years, appearing in the main draw of 7 of the last 10 grand slams. He first broke into the Top 200 in 2010 - when he was already 22 years old - and into the Top 100 in the fall of 2013 at age 25. Since then he has bounced in and out of the Top 100, reaching a career high of #68 in April. Currently he sits at #102 - right on the cusp of the Australian Open main draw cut-off. A solid run in Charlottesville or next week in Knoxville should secure things for him.
And right after that, he'll get married.