Challenger Tour: Dallas highlighted by Sam Groth and Kyle Edmund, trio of American teenagers make for exciting draw - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Challenger Tour: Dallas highlighted by Sam Groth and Kyle Edmund, trio of American teenagers make for exciting draw



There is a lot at stake for defending champion Tim Smyczek in Dallas (Image via

The Dallas Challenger is one of the most lucrative of the year, with one hundred ATP points up for grabs. To highlight just how important winning one hundred points can be, more points can be earned by winning the Dallas Challenger than by reaching the semi-finals of the ATP 250 events this week in Montpellier, Quito, and Sofia.

Unsurprising then that some Top 100 players are in the draw, with Sam Groth and Kyle Edmund the top two seeds. Former top 70 player Tim Smyczek is under significant pressure to retain the title, as an early defeat could see him fall down the rankings. Young Americans Frances Tiafoe, and Ernesto Escobedo are also going to be worth watching. Jared Donaldson will be looking to arrest a poor start to the year, and Taylor Fritz is surprisingly absent.


Sam Groth (2) vs Frances Tiafoe

Qualifier vs Connor Smith

Henri Laaksonen vs (alt) Marek Michalicka

Denys Molchanov vs (6) Tatsumo Ito

Benjamin Becker (3) vs (wc) Jean Anderson

Qualifier vs (wc) Ernesto Escobedo

Andrey Rublev vs Dan Evans

Jared Donaldson vs (8) Bjorn Fratangelo

Radu Albot (5) vs Qualifier

Qualifier vs Marco Trungelliti

Alex Kuznetsov (wc) vs Ryan Harrison

Mitchell Krueger (alt) vs (4) Tim Smyczek

John-Patrick Smith (7) vs Qualifier

Grega Zemlja vs Jason Jung

James McGee vs Dennis Novikov

Sekou Bangoura (wc) vs  (2) Kyle Edmund

Highlight first-round matches and picks (in bold).

Sam Groth vs Frances Tiafoe: The player with the fastest recorded serve in history takes on a rising American star. Tiafoe enjoyed a great run in American Challengers last year, earning the USTA wildcard for the French Open. Groth has a fast serve but can struggle to back it up at times, and if Tiafoe can return enough serves and remain consistent from the back of the court he could spring an upset. Predicted winner: Groth in three sets.

Andrey Rublev vs Dan Evans: Russia’s upcoming next generation star Andrey Rublev takes on Britain’s talented but unpredictable Dan Evans. This match is likely to hinge on Evans’ form on the day, as his best is likely to be enough to beat Rublev. However, Rublev displays a higher level of consistency overall, and if Evans fails to produce a good level Rublev will surely win. Predicted winner: Rublev in three sets.

Qualifier vs Ernesto Escobedo: Ok, so Escobedo’s opponent has not yet been determined, but the young American has displayed enough talent to warrant his wildcard for this event with good results in recent Challengers and Futures. This could be for the first time for many to view another teenage American. Predicted winner: Escobedo

Mitchell Krueger vs Tim Smyczek: Last year’s defending champion Smyczek has seen his ranking fall after failing to translate his Challenger success to the main tour. Smyczek still remains an intimidating prospect on the Challenger Tour though. Krueger is the proverbial joker in the pack though, capable of completely defying ranking and form to produce shock results. He proved it last week by defeating fourth seed Bjorn Fratangelo in Maui last week. Winner: Smyczek in straight sets




Latest news

Jannik Sinner reaches his second consecutive semifinal in Monte-Carlo



Second seed Jannik Sinner battled past Holger Rune 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 after 2 hours and 41 minutes to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Sinner becomes the only player to reach the semifinals at all three Masters 1000 tournaments this season. 

Sinner has drawn level to 2-2 in his four head-to-head matches against Rune. 

Sinner has improved to 14-2 against top 10 opponents since last September. 

Sinner set up a semifinal clash against 2021 and 2022 Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Karen Khachanov 6-4 6-2 in the quarter final. Tsitsipas has a career win-loss record of 18-3 in Monte-Carlo. 

Rune did not convert a break point in the fourth game of the first set. Sinner earned the only break of the opening set in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Neither player earned a single break point in the next games. Sinner held on his next service games and served out the first set with a hold at love. 

Rune recovered from 0-40 to hold for 3-2. The Danish player fended off three break points at 6-5 to hold serve at deuce. Sinner earned two set points at 6-4 in the tie-break, but Rune fired a winner to start a four-point streak to clinch the tie-break 8-6. 

Rune held his second break point at 2-2 30-40, but Sinner saved it before winning 12 of the final 15 points to win the third set 6-3 improving his win-loss record to 25-1 this season. “It took a lot to win this match. Playing against Rune is never easy, especially on this kind of occasion, so I am very happy that I won today but mostly about the level I gave. I raised it today a little bit. It was more physical, there were more rallies today. My general feelings were better, so I am very excited about tomorrow’s match. Even I lose today, I learn again, so I am very happy about today. It has been  a very tough match. I am very happy about the win”, said Sinner.

Continue Reading

Fed Cup

Injury Heartbreak Motivates Australia In Billie Jean King Cup Tie With Mexico



SEVILLE, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Storm Hunter of Team Australia reacts during the Billie Jean King Cup Finals group stage match between Australia and Kazakhstan at Estadio de La Cartuja on November 09, 2023 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images for ITF)

The captain of the Australian Billie Jean King Cup team says they are supporting one of their top players after she suffered a serious injury on the eve of their latest tie. 

Storm Hunter, who is currently ranked No.3 in the world for doubles, has suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon whilst training at a practice session on Thursday with her teammates. The severity of the injury means she will almost certainly be forced to pull out of this summer’s Olympic Games where she would have been a medal contender, as well as both the French Open and Wimbledon. Hunter has already won a WTA 1000 title this season in Dubai and was also runner-up in Indian Wells. In both of those tournaments, she was partnering Kateřina Siniaková. 

“Unfortunately yesterday in our last practice before the tie, I went down and scans last night confirmed that I have ruptured my Achilles tendon,” said Hunter.
“I am devastated and heartbroken, but incredibly grateful to be around the team and I know I have a great group of people around me that will help me get back on the court as soon as possible.
“Thank you everyone so much everyone for your messages of support and love. I’m excited to stay for the tie and support our Aussie girls.”

According to the Australian press, team captain Sam Stosur said Hunter’s teammates are ‘rallying behind‘ her and “wishing her the very, very best and the quickest recovery possible.”

As a result of the injury, Daria Saville was brought in to play in her country’s singles match on the opening day of their tie against Mexico on Friday. The world No.94 was in top form as she charged to a comprehensive 6-1, 6-0, win over Marcela Zacarias in less than an hour. 

“Yesterday was a pretty tough day for all of us, pretty emotional,” said Saville who has undergone surgery on her Achilles in the past. 
“It’s so nice to have Stormy here supporting us. Not long ago that kind of happened to me … so we’re giving Stormy a lot of love. 
“I felt like I was pretty determined and clearly that showed.”

Despite the blow, Australia is on the verge of beating Mexico. In the other singles match on the opening day, Arina Rodionova came back from a set down to beat Giuliana Olmos 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. With a 2-0 lead, they only need one more win to clinch the tie. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Great Britain is looking to avenge defeat against France in Billie Jean King Cup tie



France and Great Britain have drawn together once again after a thrilling Billie Jean King Qualifier tie last year.

France will take on Great Britain for the fifth time in Billie Jean King Cup. In their most recent clash France beat Great Britain 3-1 in a tight Qualifier one year ago on an indoor hard court in their first tie since 1981. Caroline Garcia and Alizé Cornet won their singles matches against Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart. 

Great Britain is looking to avenge last year’s result. 

The French team features Caroline Garcia, Karoline Mladenovic, Clara Burel and Diane Perry in a mix of experienced and young players. French captain Julien Benneteau was part of the Davis Cup-winning team in 2017. Benneteau is one of the select players to have beaten Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. 

Benneteau was named Billie Jean King Cup captain in 2018 and led France to victory against Australia in the Final in 2019. 

France was narrowly defeated by Italy in the group stages at the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Seville. 

Great Britain won their Play-Off tie against Sweden. Katie Boulter scored two thrilling singles wins. 

British captain Anne Keothavong, who won 22 matches during her playing career in the Billie Jean King Cup, has named world number 28 Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu. 

Raducanu will make only her second appearance in the British team at this event. She missed most of the 2023 season after undergoing surgery on both wrists and her ankle. 

Boulter and Raducanu have been selected to play singles. 

Boulter will play against Diane Perry in the opening match. Raducanu will take on Garcia in the second match. 

Bolulter has a good chance to qualify for the Olympic Games at Paris Roland Garros. The British player, who won the San Diego Open this year, has not played a professional match on clay. Both the Billie Jean King Cup tie at the Chaudron Le Portel and the Olympic Games will be held on this surface. 

“The Olympics is always something I wanted to play as a kid and that is certainly a priority. I will be playing if I can, and I am looking forward to being a part of something which isn’t only tennis. I am sure it would be an experience I won’t forget”, said Boulter. 

Continue Reading