Australian John-Patrick Smith recorded his maiden ATP victory on Monday, upsetting third-seeded countryman Bernard Tomic 6-3 7-5 in the first round of the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport.
Smith, ranked 156th, needed only 70 minutes to dispatch Tomic, taking 15 of 23 points off Tomic’s second serve and surrendering only one service break to the world number 25.
“It was a very tough match today,”, said Smith. “It’s a great win.
“I’ve known him since I was a kid, we get along great.
“It’s always tough playing a friend out there.”
The Queenslander had been 0-5 in ATP matches after first-round losses this year to South African Kevin Anderson at Delray Beach and Frenchman Kenny De Schepper in five sets at Wimbledon.
Next up for Smith will be 166th-ranked American Jared Donaldson, who beat 125-rated compatriot Austin Krajicek 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 6-2.
Tomic’s defeat spelt more gloom for the world No.25 and tournament wildcard.
He only competed at the tournament after being kicked out of Australia’s Davis Cup squad over his “unacceptable” criticism of Tennis Australia (TA) officials including Pat Rafter and CEO Craig Tiley following his third-round Wimbledon exit.
“It was tough to find a rhythm, and he was playing good,” said Tomic. “Full credit to him.”
Meanwhile, Croatian second seed Ivo Karlovic blasted 11 aces and never faced a break point in battling past Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (6/8) 6-4. Karlovic took the only break of the match to advance after two hours and 23 minutes.
Japan’s Tatsuma Ito outlasted US wildcard Noah Rubin 6-3 6-7 (7/9) 6-4 to book a second-round date with US seventh seed Steve Johnson, who downed Germany’s Michael Berrer 6-7 (6/8) 6-1 6-2.
Also advancing was Colombia’s Alejandro Falla, who ousted Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 6-1 7-5.