July 24, 2011
Former Tennessee All-American John-Patrick Smith swept the singles and doubles titles this weekend at the Tulsa USTA Pro Circuit Event at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
After winning two qualifying matches to enter the tournament's main draw, Smith did not drop a set on his way his his first pro singles title. He easily defeated Chris Wettengel 6-1, 6-0 in the final Sunday.
On Friday, Smith and former UT All-American Ben Rogers captured their second consecutive Futures doubles title together, beating Nick Papac and Rudolph Siwy 6-2, 6-3 in the championship round.
"It was a great tournament, and a good way to start off on the road," Smith said. "I dealt with the heat really well out on the courts and made sure I was prepared for every match in singles and doubles."
Smith became the first player to clinch the singles and doubles titles in same year at the 11-year USTA event, which is normally held in Joplin, Mo. The tournament was moved to Tulsa because of extensive tornado damage in Joplin earlier this year.
Playing on the Tulsa courts was hardly a problem for Smith, who enjoyed some of his greatest collegiate success at the facility. He reached the 2008 NCAA singles championship match there as a freshman and teamed up with Boris Conkic to win the singles and doubles titles at the 2009 ITA All-American Championships as a junior.
"There is something about Tulsa that has made me play well here -- maybe it's the water," Smith joked. "But seriously, I do enjoy playing on the courts here, that's for sure."
When the tour points for singles and doubles get added to Smith's total, he should move into the top 800 in singles and 900 in doubles. Rogers, who has now won three Futures doubles titles this year, will crack the top 600 for the first time in his career.
Smith and Rogers continue their three-tournament trip with a stop at the Lewis and Clark Community College USTA Men's Futures Tennis Tournament beginning Tuesday.
Williams Competes in Lexington
Rhyne Williams, who turned professional earlier this month, advanced a round in both the singles and doubles draw in the Lexington Challenger in Kentucky.
The Knoxville native received a wild card into the event, and his singles victory will likely move him into the top 600 in the ATP world rankings for the first time. Williams is currently ranked No. 626 in singles.
Tulsa USTA Pro Circuit Event
Singles Main Draw
Round of 32: John-Patrick Smith (AUS) def. Josh Zavala (USA), 6-2, 6-1
Round of 16: Smith def. Cliff Nguyen (USA), 6-0, 6-1
Quarterfinals: Smith def.  Robbye Poole (USA), 6-2, 6-0
Semifinals: Smith def.  Mitchell Frank (USA), 6-3, 6-1
Final: Smith def. Chris Wettengel (USA), 6-1, 6-0
Doubles Main Draw
Round of 16: John-Patrick Smith (AUS)/Ben Rogers (USA) def. Lawrence Formentera (USA)/Cale Hammond (USA), 6-7 (4), 6-3, [10-8]
Quarterfinals: Smith/Rogers def. Marvin Barker (NZL)/Keith-Patrick Crowley (RSA), 6-4, 6-2
Semifinals: Smith/Rogers def.  Jean Andersen (RSA)/Josh Zavala (USA), 3-6, 6-4, [10-4]
Final: Smith/Rogers def. Nick Papac (USA)/Rudolph Siwy (CZE), 6-2, 6-3