Aug. 7, 2011
Another week, another professional title for Tennessee junior Tennys Sandgren.
Sandgren ended his two-week stay in Illinois by capturing back-to-back championships, beating third-seeded Bassam Beidas 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday to hoist the trophy at the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic in Decatur.
Just seven days removed from his first professional singles title in Godfrey, Ill., Sandgren strung together five more victories to win his second career tournament.
"Coming off the win last week, I was just kind of numb through this whole tournament," Sandgren said. "It almost felt like I was sleepwalking. Everything was all happening really quickly, and I just kept winning each match day by day. The next day I'd wake up and do it again. Then I won the tournament. It was great."
In the title match, Sandgren played a steady game from the outset. He broke Beidas early to take the first set 6-3. He got a break again at 1-1 in the second set and cruised the rest of the way as Beidas was plagued by errors.
"A set and a few games into the second set, he waved the white flag mentally," Sandgren said. "He kept playing, but you could tell mentally, he kind of left. Still, I'll take the victory in a final any way I can get it."
This summer, Sandgren has a 13-2 record in Futures level tournaments and has racked up 39 ATP Tour points, a big jump compared to the two points he earned all of last year. Before this two-week tear, he had never advanced beyond the quarterfinals of a professional event.
Sandgren does not have long to enjoy his newfound success. Really, he only has a few hours. He was granted a wild card into this week's Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger, so his one "day off" includes an early-morning flight Monday from Nashville to New York.
His opening-round match against eighth-seeded Wayne Odesnik is scheduled for Tuesday.
After playing - and winning - 10 consecutive matches in two weeks, Sandgren said he honestly does not know how much he has left in the tank for his third consecutive tournament, this one against much stronger competition. He said he felt tired in his semifinal three-set comeback against Kiryl Harbatsiuk on Saturday but bounced back in time for the title match.
While there's some fatigue from playing so many matches, he enters the Binghamton Challenger in healthy condition.
"It's a good fatigue," Sandgren said. "It's much better to feel fatigued because I'm winning and playing a lot of matches than being well-rested because I'm losing early."
More on the Binghamton Challenger: Sandgren isn't the only Vol in the tournament field in New York. Rhyne Williams, who turned pro in July, also accepted a wild card into the event. He plays second-seeded Paul Capdeville in the opening round.
Edwardsville Futures: Former Vols John-Patrick Smith and Ben Rogers are wrapping up their third week in Illinois with the Edwardsville Futures. Smith plays his final singles qualifying match Monday. The Vol duo will also be in the hunt for their third professional doubles title since July.
Slovakia Futures: Former Vol Boris Conkic is scheduled to play singles at a Futures event this week in Tatranska Lomnic, Slovakia.
USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic
Singles Main Draw
Round of 32: Tennys Sandgren (USA) def.  Devin Britton (USA), 6-3, 6-4
Round of 16: Sandgren def. Gregory Andrews (USA), 6-3, 7-5
Quarterfinals: Sandgren def. Carlos Llanes (ARG), 6-0, 6-1
Semifinals: Sandgren def. Kiryl Harbatsiuk (BLR), 1-6, 6-4, 6-0
Final: Sandgren def. Bassam Beidas (LIB), 6-3, 6-1