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By Erik Gudris

Tim Smyczek (December 20, 2012) -- Tim Smyczek has a unique last name (that's SMEE-check) and is probably familiar to some fans because he's been on the tour for a few years. Smyczek famously took a set off Andy Murray at the Countrywide Classic in 2010. This year, he's won two Challenger-level events: in Tallahassee in the spring and last month in Champaign. Smyczek also participated in last week's USTA Australian Open 2013 playoffs, losing to Rhyne Williams in the final.

Here are ten things you may not know about Smyczek:

1. Milwaukee Man: Smyczek was born on December 30, 1987 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He still resides there.

2. Turning Pro: Smyczek turned pro in 2006.

3. Friend of Fish: Smyczek is good friends with fellow American Mardy Fish. Smyczek even stayed at Fish's house for a year during his early years on tour.

4. 2012 Results: Smyczek qualified for this year's U.S. Open and won his first ever main draw match at a Major when he beat Bobby Reynolds in five sets. He later went on to win the ITF event in Champaign, Illinois.

5. Biggest Improvement: When asked what has improved in his game over the last few years, Smyczek said, "My serve has improved a lot. It's not so much a liability anymore. I have a little bit different mentality on court. I'm playing more scrappy and trying to grind out there more."

6. 2013 Goals: "It's been a goal of mine for a long time to get into the Top 100 and I'm getting closer there. I'd certainly like to do that in the first half of next year and play in the main draw of all the Slams."

7. Lucky Mustache? Smyczek grew out a full mustache and beard late in the season and kept it as he kept winning. But was it for good luck? "No it wasn't a lucky mustache. I actually lost a bet. I had it for that week, but you can't change a winning formula. I did like it for a while though I did have to shave it because I couldn't handle it anymore. When I shaved it after Champaign it was a bit of a shock."

8. Best Moment of 2012: "It was pretty cool to win my first five setter at the U.S. Open. That was pretty special and I'll remember that for a long time. That was also my first main draw win for me, so it was really special."

9. Favorite Player: Roger Federer

10. Off the Court: When not playing, Smyczek enjoys playing the violin and one day hopes to be a lawyer.


(Photo Credit: Tennis Now/Gudris)

 

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