What a week it has been thus far in Winnetka, Ill., for former Vol John-Patrick Smith.
Smith had to qualify for the main draw field at the Winnetka Challenger earlier this week and advanced to his first career Challenger-level semifinal Thursday with a 6-2, 1-0 ret. win over Mikhail Ledovskikh of Russia.
The 2011 SEC Athlete of the Year takes on sixth-seeded Sergei Bubka today with a spot in the finals on the line.
Smith is also vying for his fourth Challenger title of the year with former Baylor standout John Peers. The Aussie duo has had a quick week of work thanks to their opponents withdrawing from competition. They defeated Roman Borvanov and Laurynas Grigelis 6-2, 6-1 in Thursday's quarterfinals and then automatically advanced to the finals when Mitchell Frank and Bradley Klahn withdrew.
Tennys Sandgren played in his first Challenger quarterfinal Thursday, losing to Bubka 6-4, 6-4 in the evening session.
Sandgren and Rhyne Williams are still alive in doubles where they'll face former Ole Miss Rebel Devin Britton and former Texas A&M standout Jeff Dadamo.