Omar Jasika and JP Smith at the Miami Open
JP Smith and Omar Jasika were awarded a Wild Card into the ATP Masters 1000 Miami Open this week. They defeated the No. 7 Seeds Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Nenad Zimonjic in a high energy match that ended with a super tiebreak 61 57 12-10. In their second round match, they faced David Marrero and Benoit Paire. This time Smith and Jasika defeated their opponents in a quick two set match by a score of 63 64.
Smith and Jasika face the No. 4 Seeds Mike and Bob Bryan on Wednesday, 30 March, second on after 3:00 p.m. The match will be televised on TennisTV.com.
JP Smith defeated Emirates World No. 26 Ivo Karlovic in his first round match on Monday, 15 February, at the Delray Beach ATP 250 event.
Karlovic, at 6’11” is the tallest tennis player of the Open era. In his second round match, Smith will play Juan Martin Del Potro, former World No. 4, who stands 6’6″ tall and is the tallest Grand Slam winner of the Open era.
Del Potro has faced four wrist surgeries in the last five years, one on his right hand and three on his left hand (he has a two handed backhand). This is his first tournament in almost a year. ESPN did a nice piece on his return to play here.
Handshake after the match
The second round match will most likely be played on Stadium Court at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, 18 February. JP Smith and John Millman face the No. 1 Seeded Bryan Brothers on Wednesday, 17 February, at 8:00 p.m. in their first round doubles match which can be seen on the Tennis Channel.
JP Smith spent the weekend qualifying for the ATP 250 Delray Beach Open, winning each of his two qualifying matches in three sets. He defeated Andrey Rublev (RUS) 46 63 60 in the first round, and Alejandro Falla (COL) 62 26 61 in the second round.
Tonight, in the first round of the Main Draw, JP defeated World No. 26 Ivo Karlovic (CRO) in three sets 63 36 62. Karlovic is known for his height (6’11”) and booming serves. He didn’t disappoint tonight serving 21 aces. JP, however, had an answer for his game with stellar returns and quick volleys at the net. The Tennis Channel commentators noted: “What we’re basically seeing here is a blueprint for success against Karlovic.”
JP faces the winner of Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) v. Denis Kudla (USA) who play the feature match at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, 16 February, local time.
JP is also playing doubles with fellow Australian John Millman later this week. They face the No. 1 Seeds Bob and Mike Bryan (USA).
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 first of three qualifying singles rounds at the 2016 Australian Open begins today at 10:00 a.m. local time in Melbourne. JP Smith, who is seeded 16, will face Austrian Michael Linzer. Many qualifying matches in past years have been streamed on the Australian Open Youtube Channel and it is hoped that 2016 will be no exception. Here is a sneak look at JP and other players practicing in preparation for the tournament:
Good luck to JP who is looking to qualify for his third grand slam in a row, having done so at Wimbledon 2015 and the US Open 2015.
JP learned yesterday that he has been awarded a Wild Card by Tennis Australia into the Main Draw of the Brisbane International, an ATP World Tour 250 event. He was entered in and looking forward to playing the Happy Valley $75K Challenger in South Australia, but will instead stay in his beloved Queensland for the Brisbane tournament. Early entries include Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, and Milos Raonic to name a few. JP joins fellow Aussies James Duckworth and Thanasi Kokkinakis who also received wild cards.
JP is expecting a great start for 2016 and the Australian Summer of Tennis leading up to the Australian Open. He will be playing qualifying singles at the Australian Open, and is looking to qualify for his third Grand Slam in a row, having done so at Wimbledon 2015 and the US Open 2015.
In other news, JP received an invitation from Richard Branson to participate in the 2015 Necker Cup, held on Branson’s private island. It is an exclusive pro-am tournament that benefits charities Virgin Unite and The National Tennis Foundation with a silent auction and the now famous “End of the World Party.” The 2015 party featured Jamaican dancehall superstar and multi-platinum Grammy winner, Sean Paul. It was a great time for a worthy cause and was a wonderful opportunity for JP. Many thanks to Richard Branson for his stellar hospitality!
Richard Branson and JP Smith at the 2015 Necker Cup
Nick Monroe, JP Smith, James Cluskey
JP Smith has had quite a season of improvement in his fourth year on tour. He made a tough and crucial decision at the beginning of this year to focus mainly on playing singles, even though he has had great success on the doubles side of tennis. His career high doubles ranking was 68 on 17 March 2014, and he ended 2014 with a doubles Emirates ATP Ranking of 82, having won 14 Challenger titles with seven different partners. His 2015 success in singles and reaching his career high ranking of 108 in September proves that his decision was the correct one.
Highlights of 2015
The 26 year old Australian qualified for Wimbledon and the US Open Grand Slams. He defeated his first top 100 ranked player this year, Andrey Golubev, at the Apia International Sydney ATP 250. He defeated his first top 25 ranked player, Bernard Tomic, at the Newport Hall of Fame ATP 250, where he also captured his first ATP Tour Event win and reached the semifinal. He qualified for the Citi Open ATP 500, the Delray Beach Open ATP 250, won the Drummondville, Canada $50K Challenger title, and was finalist in the Vancouver $100K Challenger.
JP finished 2015 with a ranking of 127 and looks forward to further success in 2016. He is grateful for all the support he receives from so many and wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season as he travels later this month to Australia to spend time with his family.
JP Smith completed a successful run in the Men’s Qualifying Draw to reach the Round of 128 at the 2015 US Open. This is the second Grand Slam he has qualified for this year, with Wimbledon being the first.
On Day 2 of the US Open, JP faced Mikhail Youzhny of Russia for the second time in a few weeks. In a tight four set match, Youzhny prevailed 61 36 75 764. When the new Emirates ATP Rankings come out, JP will reach a new career high of around 110. It’s been a great 2015 for him with more to come!