Former Vol Rhyne Williams returned to action Tuesday for the first time since narrowly missing his first win at the Australian Open, cruising through his first round at the $50,000 Maui Challenger.
Williams defeated 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton of Ole Miss 6-0, 6-1 to move on to the second round, where he will face a very familiar opponent: Tim Smyczek. The two played a memorable four-setter in December at the USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoff, with Williams winning to earn straight entry into the Australian Open. Smyczek went on to qualify for the main draw in Melbourne and won a match in the main draw.
Tennys Sandgren will be back on the courts Wednesday. He plays his first-round match against Blaz Rola, the current No. 1 for Ohio State who could well be in the top 300 professionally while competing in his junior year for the Buckeyes. Sandgren and Williams will also play doubles together.
John-Patrick Smith wrapped up his Australian Open stay last week by reaching the second round of doubles and losing a close one in the opening round of mixed doubles. He will start play next week at the $50,000 Burnie Challenger.