2013 Champaign Challenger Preview
Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast
The 2013 season is coming to an end as this will be the final stop on the USTA Pro Circuit this year. We’ll close the Pro Circuit coverage down for the year with this preview of the 50k indoor challenger in Champaign, Illinois.
JSM Challenger of Champaign/Urbana
USTA Pro Circuit/ATP Challenger Tour
Champaign, IL, USA
November 11-November 16, 2013
Prize Money: $50,000
Top 8 seeds
1: Tim Smyczek
2: Jack Sock
3: Rajeev Ram
4: Alex Kuznetsov
5: Peter Polansky
6: Rik De Voest
7: Sam Groth
8: JP Smith
The usual field for this type of event.
Knoxville champion Tim Smyczek will open with Erik Crepaldi while David Rice or Knoxville semifinalist Takanyi Garanganga await in round 2. In the quarters, expect Sam Groth, as Groth opens with Michael Shabaz and the winner of Jules Marie/Jared Hiltzik. Hiltzik is a current University of Illinois player, while Marie normally plies his trade in European futures and will be a newcomer on the pro circuit.
Former University of Illinois player Rajeev Ram opens with Marcos Giron and then Fritz Wolmorans or a qualifier and one of Eric Quigley/Rik De Voest/Ed Corrie/Dennis Nevolo in the quarters. Giron is a youngster out of UCLA. Nevolo is a former Illinois player as well, while Quigley comes out of the University of Kentucky, making up a strong current/former college contingent this week.
American young guns Jack Sock and Bjorn Fratangelo will do battle in the opening round at the bottom of the bracket. The winner will get Tennys Sandgren or Filip Peliwo in a tough section. Peliwo has a lot of talent while Sandgren comes off semis in Knoxville. The quarterfinalist here will play one of qualifier/Sanam Singh/JP Smith/Tim Kopinski in the quarters. Kopinski is another Fighting Illini player who gets a wild card this week.
Alex Kuznetsov opens with a qualifier before facing Max Neuchrist/Austin Krajicek in round 2. In the quarters, he should play the in-form Peter Polansky, who opens with a qualifier then Denys Molchanov or Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who played his college tennis at the University of Tennessee and is bidding to break into the top 500 at the age of 24.
Smyczek d. De Voest
Sock d. Polansky
Smyczek d. Sock