Another week, another
professional title for Tennessee junior Tennys Sandgren.
Sandgren ended his two-week
stay in Illinois by capturing back-to-back championships, beating
third-seeded Bassam Beidas 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday to hoist the trophy at
the USTA/Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic in Decatur.
Just seven days removed
from his first professional singles title in Godfrey, Ill., Sandgren
strung together five more victories to win his second career
“Coming off the win
last week, I was just kind of numb through this whole
tournament,” Sandgren said. “It almost felt like I was
sleepwalking. Everything was all happening really quickly, and I just
kept winning each match day by day. The next day I’d wake up and
do it again. Then I won the tournament. It was great.”
In the title match,
Sandgren played a steady game from the outset. He broke Beidas early to
take the first set 6-3. He got a break again at 1-1 in the second set
and cruised the rest of the way as Beidas was plagued by errors.
“A set and a few
games into the second set, he waved the white flag mentally,”
Sandgren said. “He kept playing, but you could tell mentally, he
kind of left. Still, I’ll take the victory in a final any way I
can get it.”
This summer, Sandgren has a
13-2 record in Futures level tournaments and has racked up 39 ATP Tour
points, a big jump compared to the two points he earned all of last
year. Before this two-week tear, he had never advanced beyond the
quarterfinals of a professional event.
Sandgren does not have long
to enjoy his newfound success. Really, he only has a few hours. He was
granted a wild card into this week’s Binghamton (N.Y.)
Challenger, so his one “day off” includes an early-morning
flight Monday from Nashville to New York.
His opening-round match
against eighth-seeded Wayne Odesnik is scheduled for Tuesday.
After playing – and
winning – 10 consecutive matches in two weeks, Sandgren said he
honestly does not know how much he has left in the tank for his third
consecutive tournament, this one against much stronger competition. He
said he felt tired in his semifinal three-set comeback against Kiryl
Harbatsiuk on Saturday but bounced back in time for the title match.
While there’s some
fatigue from playing so many matches, he enters the Binghamton
Challenger in healthy condition.
“It’s a good
fatigue,” Sandgren said. “It’s much better to feel
fatigued because I’m winning and playing a lot of matches than
being well-rested because I’m losing early.”
More on the Binghamton
Challenger: Sandgren isn’t the only Vol in the tournament
field in New York. Rhyne Williams, who turned pro in July, also
accepted a wild card into the event. He plays second-seeded Paul
Capdeville in the opening round.
Former Vols John-Patrick Smith and Ben Rogers are wrapping up their
third week in Illinois with the Edwardsville Futures. Smith plays his
final singles qualifying match Monday. The Vol duo will also be in the
hunt for their third professional doubles title since July.
Former Vol Boris Conkic is scheduled to play singles at a Futures event
this week in Tatranska Lomnic, Slovakia.
USTA/Ursula Beck Pro
Singles Main Draw
Round of 32: Tennys
Sandgren (USA) def.  Devin Britton (USA), 6-3, 6-4
Round of 16:
Sandgren def. Gregory Andrews (USA), 6-3, 7-5
Sandgren def. Carlos Llanes (ARG), 6-0, 6-1
def. Kiryl Harbatsiuk (BLR), 1-6, 6-4, 6-0
Final: Sandgren def.
Bassam Beidas (LIB), 6-3, 6-1