JP Smith and Matt Reid played the $50,000 Traralgon, Australia Challenger this week and captured their 6th doubles title together. In an all Australian final, the Smith-Reid duo defeated Matthew Ebden and Matthew Barton 64 64. This was JP Smith’s 19th Challenger doubles title since turning pro.
Smith and Reid also partnered this month in the $100,000 Tiburon, California Challenger, winning the title by defeating Quentin Halys (FRA) and Dennis Novikov (USA) 61 62. They were finalists, one week later in Stockton, California, losing a close match to Samuel Groth and Brian Baker.
JP and Matt are planning to play together next week in Canberra, Australia and then finish the year with two weeks in Japan. Their goal is to enter the Australian Open together in January.
JP Smith and Luke Saville were awarded wildcards into men’s doubles at the 2016 Australian Open. Their first match will be played against the No. 8 seeds John Peers (ranked Emirates World No. 8) and Henri Kontinen (FIN). JP won five doubles titles in 2012 with John Peers and partnered with him in doubles at the 2013 Australian Open.
The wildcard pairing of JP Smith and Omar Jasika advanced to the second round of men’s doubles at the Australian Open, courtesy of a 62 26 63 victory over Adrian Mannarino and Rameez Junaid.
Smith and Jasika won the first set by a score of 62, facing just one break point and forcing two breaks. However, in the second set Mannarino and Junaid clawed their way back with two breaks of their own, reversing the scoreline of the first set to 26.
In the decider, it was Smith and Jasika who got the first and only break, in just the second service game of the set. JP faced three break points in the fifth game, and saved the latter two with two unreturnable serves. The teams traded holds, and it was Smith who closed out the match with another booming serve, securing a 1st grand slam win for Jasika, and a 4th for Smith.
In the round of 32, Smith and Jasika will face the 16th seeds: Jamie Murray and John Peers. Peers was Smith’s partner in 2013 as they knocked off Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski for Smith’s first grand slam victory. The match will likely be played on Friday, with the winner advancing to the round of 16.
JP Smith claimed his first top 100 win last night in a three set victory over World No. 72 Andrey Golubev. Smith, buoyed by strong serving, claimed the first set over the five seed without facing a break point. JP’s strong returns were able to neutralize the effectiveness of Golubev’s serve. Golubev won only 50% of points behind his own first serve, which allowed Smith to seize the crucial break and take the first set by a score of 6-3.
Smith jumped out to an early break in the second set but was unable to consolidate. Both players traded holds until a tiebreak. Golubev led 6-4 in the breaker, but following a double fault, Smith won two quick service points and had a match point. He was unable to convert, and the match headed to a deciding third set.
In the third set, it was the fifth seed who began to assert himself, winning 15 of his first 16 points while serving. JP continued to hold serve, but his resistance was eventually broken at 3-4, and it was the Kazakh who had the opportunity to serve for the match. Aided by a Golubev double fault, JP managed to break back to 15, and after 3 holds, the players faced another deciding tiebreak. Smith held 3-0 and 5-2 leads in the tiebreak, but Golubev managed to level to 5-5. A second serve ace set up a 2nd match point for Smith, which he converted. He won the match by a score of 63 67(7) 76(5).
JP will face Golubev’s countryman, the third qualifying seed: Mikhail Kukushkin, World No. 69, in the final round of qualifying today, 12 January, at 12:00 p.m. local time (11 January, 8:00 p.m. ET US). The winner will earn a spot in the main draw to begin on Tuesday.
photo credit: @SydneyTennis
JP Smith scored a three set victory over Andrea Arnaboldi in the first round of qualifying at the Apia International in Sydney, Australia. Down a set and on serve in the second, JP rattled off seven straight games to take the second set. Although Arnaboldi was able to fight back for a 4-3 lead in the third, Smith showed incredible resolve to regain composure and win the final set by a score of 6-4.
JP served a remarkable 18 aces, and returned equally well, winning 47% of points off his opponent’s first serve. This translated to five breaks of serve, which played a crucial factor in the final score of 46 62 64.
JP now faces the fifth seed Andrey Golubev in the second round of qualifying. A champion on the ATP tour, the Russian-born Golubev has been ranked as high as 33 in the world, and is currently ranked 72. The match will begin at Noon local time on Sunday, 11 January (8:00 p.m. ET US on Saturday, 10 January), and can be followed online at the ATP Site or via the ATP/WTA app.
JP Smith will continue his preparations for next week’s Australian Open Qualifying by participating in the Apia International Sydney. The qualifying singles draw features eleven top 100 players, and as such, is one of the strongest qualifying fields of the year. JP faces Andrea Arnaboldi, a 27 year old Italian, ranked No. 178 in the world. Arnaboldi has won seven career titles, although all have come on clay.
The winner of this match will face Niels Desein or No. 5 seed Andrey Golubev. Smith and Arnaboldi have met once before, in 2013 at the West Lakes Challenger, with JP prevailing in two tight sets.
The match will begin at 10:00 a.m. local time (6:00 p.m. ET US), and although no live stream is available, you can follow the draw and live scores online, or via the ATP/WTA app.
JP Smith begins the 2015 season tomorrow in Adelaide, AU at the Happy Valley $50K Challenger. Smith received a wildcard into the main draw and faces the No. 2 Seed and World No. 85, Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus. Their last meeting occurred at the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open where Smith took Baghdatis to three sets in a thrilling first-round match. To see a replay of that match and the doubles final where Smith and Austin Krajicek defeated Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak for the Championship, click here.
Smith will play first round singles at the Happy Valley Challenger on Tuesday, 6 January, and will not be playing doubles at this tournament. The draw, order of play, and livestream link for both centre court and court 1 can be found here.
In a five set match that lasted over four hours in temperatures that reached the mid-30s (90sF), JP Smith fell in the final of the Australian Open Wildcard Play-Off to Jordan Thompson of New South Wales by a score of 16 36 61 76(2) 79.
For a recap of the match, see Bruce Matthews’ article in the Melbourne Herald Sun. Favorite quote from the article: “Smith, who lost in the playoff semi-finals the past two years, also deserves one of Tennis Australia’s four discretionary wildcards for sheer valor.”