By Erik Gudris/ Monday, October 14, 2013
While many ATP pros were focused on Asia, Americans like Tim Smyczek found rankings success on the "NorCal" challenger swing that just ended.
Photo Credit: Getty
While some American pros ventured across the water to play in the recently ended "Asian Swing," a few others found success staying closer to home.
That includes Tim Smyczek, who finds himself at a new career high ranking and now the No. 3 ranked American behind John Isner (14) and Sam Querrey (34).
How did Smyczek, who reached the third round of the US Open, do it? By competing in a trio of ATP Challengers, also known as the USTA Pro Circuit, in Northern California over the last three weeks. These included stops in Napa, Sacramento, and Tiburon. By posting semifinal showings in Napa and Tiburon along with reaching the finals of Sacramento, Smyczek boosted his rankings by almost 30 points.
His efforts helped him break into the top 100 for the first time in his career.
Another American who tasted even better success in "NorCal" was former top 40 player Donald Young. Young won two titles during the three-week swing (Napa, Sacramento) and reached the quarters of Tiburon where he lost to Smyczek.
Young, ranked No. 100 this week, is now back into the top 100 for the first time since last year's US Open.
Denis Kudla (95) and Jack Sock (97) are the additional two American men in the top 100 this week.
Harrison Stumbles in Vienna Qualies
While Smyczek and Young found a boost on home turf, Ryan Harrison continued his recent struggles as he attempted to qualify for main draw events in Asia and Europe.
Since losing in the first round to eventual champion Rafael Nadal at this year's US Open, Harrison has yet to win a main draw match. He lost in Kuala Lumpur to Joao Sousa, qualified but then lost his opening round match in Tokyo to Horacio Zeballos and then lost early in Shanghai qualifying.
On Sunday, Harrison lost a tight three-set match in the second round of qualies in Vienna to No. 399 ranked Kevin Krawietz 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 4-6.
Currently ranked No. 108, Harrison's best result this season is a semifinal showing in Atlanta earlier this summer.