Notes & Quotes from the First Day of the BB&T Atlanta Open


By  Audraine Jackson

Atlanta, GA USA – Collegiate rivals and even a high school student dominated the first day of qualifying in the BB&T Atlanta Open. Here are some notable quotes and events from the first day of qualifying.


Kevin King photo by Audraine Jackson

Georgia Tech’s Kevin King talked about how he was able to finally defeat rival University of Georgia’s Wil Spencer 6-4, 6-3 after losing in three previous collegiate matches:


“I was able to be a little more patient and wait for my opportunities to attack and just take advantage of some of those close games. It could have gone either way. Today I was fortunate enough for it to go my way”, said King. He admitted the atmosphere was a bit different from college play with the absence of fans rooting for a particular team. He broke a string but appeared to play better despite the temporary setback. It happened right after the first set but appeared to help him loosen up and play better. “It was bad luck. I mean it could have happened at anytime. There’s nothing I could do about it so I just kind of moved on past it.”


King talked about the heat, indicating it was a bit different from other heat he’s played in before. “It was hot but the past couple of weeks have been hot here, you know, over 100 a lot of days so that’s been great to get me prepared for the heat today. It’s very humid here as well. It’s just a different environment.”


Nathan Pasha photo by Audraine Jackson

University of Georgia’s rising sophomore and Atlanta native Nathan Pasha who experienced a successful freshman year talked about the difference between collegiate tournaments and the BB&T Atlanta Open and factors that may have led to his 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-5 defeat to 5th seeded Rik De Voest of South Africa:


“It was a long, physical match. I won a long first set. The second set was a bit shorter, he won. Third set I was doing pretty well and ended up cramping. I sweat a lot. I’m a heavy sweater so I’m guessing it was from that. It was little bit from nerves too. It’s unfortunate, I couldn’t pull it out even if I wasn’t cramping.”


Pasha talked about the difference playing collegiate tournaments and with the pros:  “It depends where you play. If you play high in the lineup at Georgia in a good conference, there are a lot of good guys who can play these tournaments and do well. So it’s not a huge difference. The only difference that I would say is pros are a lot more emotionally leveled and college people are a little bit more up and down emotionally and that could give you games here and there.”


Pasha talked about playing in an urban environment for the first time: “The venue’s really cool. It’s really unique, you know. It’s not often that I get to play and I get to see downtown buildings you know, right above the stadium. It’s a really urban area. You look up and people are on bridges, just random people walking by watching matches. It’s unique and cool.”


Tim Smyczek photo by Audraine Jackson

Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Tim Smyczek talked about how his experience over his opponent helped him in his defeat of Judd Motz, a nationally ranked high school player from metro Atlanta, winning 6-0, 6-1:


“With these tournaments especially in this heat the less time you spend on the court, the better. I didn’t know a whole lot about him going into it but I gathered that he was a younger guy and this might have been one of his first events. So I wanted to go out there and work on some things and take care of business. I don’t want to say get out of there quickly because he is a good player and I know he didn’t play his best today. I was happy with the way I took care of business.”


About playing in a very urban venue, Smyczek found it quite interesting:


“I had heard earlier in the year that they were going to build it on top of one of the parking structures and it didn’t work out. I think it’s a really neat idea. I think depending on what kind of turn out they have this week they might start doing more stuff like this cause I think it’s pretty interesting. It was a little uncanny watching up from the court and see skyscrapers in the back.”


Audraine Jackson is covering the BB&T Atlanta Open for Tennis Panorama News July 14-22, 2012. Audraine is a sports blogger, digital journalist and tennis addict. Follow her live updates on @tennisnewsTPN and personal twitter account @atlstoryteller.


Saturday’s First-Round Qualifying Scores
(1) Ruben Bemelmans, Belgium, def. (wc) Erik Graves, U.S., 6-2, 6-1
(wc) Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic, def. (wc) Christopher Eubanks, U.S., 7-6 (3), 6-0
Olivier Charroin, France, def. (wc) Luiz Inaimo, Brazil, 6-3, 6-4
(8) Ricardo Hocevar, Brazil, def. Philip Simmonds, U.S., 7-6 (6), 7-5
(2) Ricardas Berankis, Lithuania, def. (wc) Ignacio Taboada, U.S., 6-2, 6-1
(wc) Drake Bernstein, U.S., def. Bradley Cox, U.S., 6-3, 5-0 Ret’d
(wc) Kevin King, U.S., def. (wc) Wil Spencer, U.S., 6-4, 6-3
(5) Rik De Voest, South Africa, def. (wc) Nathan Pasha, U.S., 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5
(3) Sergei Bubka, Ukraine, def. (wc) Jack Anton, U.S., 6-1, 6-0
Catalin-Ionut Gard, Romania, def.  Juan-Carlos Spir, Colombia, 7-6 (4), 6-1
Olivier Sajous, Haiti, def. Pierre- Ludovic Duclos, Canada, 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-3
(6) Tim Smyczek, U.S., def. (wc) Judd Motz, U.S., 6-0, 6-1
(wc) Mbonisi Ndimande, Zimbabwe, def. (wc) David Span, U.S., 6-3, 6-0
(7) Alex Kuznetsov, U.S., d Dean O’Brien, South Africa, 6-2, 6-2
(4) Ricardo Mello, Brazil, def. Mikhail Ledovskikh, Russia, 7-5, 7-5
Luca Margaroli, Switzerland, def. (wc) Eric Sock, U.S., 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
Sunday’s Second-Round Qualifying Schedule
Stadium Court Starting at 11 a.m.
(2) Ricardas Berankis, Lithuania, vs. (wc) Drake Bernstein, U.S.
Followed by
(wc) Kevin King, U.S., vs. (5) Rik De Voest, South Africa
Followed by
Luca Margaroli, Switzerland, vs. (7) Alex Kuznetsov, U.S.
Grandstand Court, Starting at 11 a.m.
(1) Ruben Bemelmans, Belgium, vs. (wc) Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic
Followed by
Olivier Sajous, Haiti, vs. (6) Tim Smyczek, U.S.
Followed by
(4) Ricardo Mello, Brazil, vs. (wc) Mbonisi Ndimande, Zimbabwe
Court 3, Starting at 11 a.m.
Olivier Charroin, France, vs. (8) Ricardo Hocevar, Brazil
(3) Sergei Bubka, Ukraine, vs. Olivier Sajous, Haiti
Main Draw Singles
First Round
[1] John Isner (U.S.) d. Bye
[SE] Rajeev Ram (U.S.) vs. Qualifier
[WC] Steve Johnson (U.S.) vs. Donald Young (U.S.)
[WC] Jack Sock (U.S.) vs. [7] Alex Bogomolov Jr. (RUS)
[4] Andy Roddick (U.S.) d Bye
Paul Capdeville (CHI) vs. Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
Michael Russell (U.S.) vs. Qualifier
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) vs. [5] Kevin Anderson (RSA)
[8] Go Soeda (JPN) vs. Xavier Malisse (BEL)
Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) vs. [WC] Brian Baker (U.S.)
Qualifier vs. Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
[3] Kei Nishikori (JPN) d Bye
[6] Ryan Harrison (U.S.) vs. James Blake (U.S.)
Qualifier vs. Matt Ebden (AUS)
Gilles Muller (LUX) vs. Marinko Matosevic (AUS)
[2] Mardy Fish (U.S.) d Bye

Main Draw Doubles

First Round
[1] Colin Fleming (GBR) / Ross Hutchins (GBR) vs. Lukas Dlouhy (CZE) / Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
Alex Bogomolov Jr. (RUS) / Gilles Muller (LUX) vs. Steve Johnson (U.S.) / Jack Sock (U.S.)
[3] Treat Huey (PHI) / Dominic Inglot (GBR) vs. Matt Ebden (AUS) / Ryan Harrison (U.S.)
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) / R Ram (U.S.) vs. Kevin Anderson (RSA) / Rik De Voest (RSA)
Xavier Malisse (BEL) / M Russell (U.S.) vs. John Paul Fruttero (U.S.) / Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
Olivier Charroin (FRA) / Adil Shamasdin (CAN) vs. [4] Jamie Delgado (GBR) / Ken Skupski (GBR)
Colin Ebelthite (AUS) / Marinko Matosevic (AUS) vs. [WC] Kevin King (U.S.) / Ignacio Taboada (U.S.)
Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Donald Young (U.S.) vs. [2] Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) / Scott Lipsky (U.S.)