Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic and World No. 47, Wins 2014 Irving Tennis Classic Over American Steve Johnson 6-0, 6-3

No. 1 Seeds Scott Lipsky (USA) and Santiago Gonzalez (MEX) win seventh doubles title together 4-6, 7-6(7), 10-7

The Irving Tennis Classic crowned its singles champion today, Czech Republican Lukas Rosol. The third seed, ranked No. 47 in the world, Rosol won his seventh career ATP Challenger tour event with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over American, Steve Johnson. In the doubles final, the No. 1 seeded team and 2012 doubles champions, Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and American, Scott Lipsky were triumphant again in the finals securing a narrow super-tiebreaker win against Australian John-Patrick Smith and New Zealand Native Michael Venus.

The singles semi-finals were played earlier in the day in which Rosol defeated No. 83 Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 and Johnson beat No. 94 Tobias Kamke (GER) 6-4, 6-2. Rosol ended Johnson’s Texas winning streak and captured the singles title in just over 47 minutes with a straight-set victory.

Rosol arrived in Irving coming off a second-round loss last week in Indian Wells, Calif., to No. 6-ranked Andy Murray in three sets, 4-6, 6- 3, 6-2. In his first three rounds at the Irving Tennis Classic, Rosol beat Michael Russell (USA), Daniel Brands (GER) and Ryan Harrison (USA).

“Despite the cold and windy conditions today, it was heartwarming to see some tennis fans brave the elements and come out and cheer on the players in the final matches” said Zoltan Papp, Irving Tennis Classic Tournament Director.

No. 1 seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky have played together in 51 tournaments in the last three years, and this win marks their seventh doubles title. En route to the finals the duo defeated Adham El-Effendi [USA]/Darren Walsh [GBR], Federico Delbonis [ARG]/Guido Pella [ARG] and Samuel Groth [AUS]/Chris Guccione [AUS].

Singles Semi-Finals at 2014 Irving Tennis Classic Suspended Due to Rain

Championship Sunday to Feature Doubles Finals along with Singles Semis and Final Matches

The Irving Tennis Classic announced that the suspended singles semi-finals matches will be rescheduled to Championship Sunday at 11 a.m. In the singles semi-final matchup on Championship Court, No. 3 Lukas Rosol (CZE) and Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) are tied at 4-4 in the first set. On Court 7, Steve Johnson (USA) and Tobias Kamke (GER) are on serve in the first set, where Johnson leads 3-2.

“We were really hoping to squeeze in the singles semi-finals today,” said Zoltan Papp, Irving Tennis Classic tournament director. “We delayed the start time due to the rain and put both matches on simultaneously versus having them play back-to-back on Championship Court. Unfortunately the weather got the better of us today. It has been a terrific week of tennis, and we will cap it off with a full day of tennis tomorrow.”

In head-to-head matchups, Stakhovsky and Rosol have played twice in their careers, and Stakhovsky is 2-0. Stakhovsky achieved his most exciting win of his career last year when he defeated seven-time champion Roger Federer in the second round at Wimbledon, ending the Swiss’ run of 36 straight Grand Slam quarterfinals. Stakhovsky has a career total of four ATP World Tour singles titles, and he is currently 83rd in the Emirates ATP rankings.

His competitor is No. 3 seed Rosol whose current world ranking is 47. Rosol’s career highlights include defeating Rafael Nadal on Centre Court at Wimbledon and winning the Davis Cup in 2012.

In other singles action, Kamke and Johnson have played each other once in their careers at the 2013 US Open, where Kamke prevailed in three sets. Kamke finished in the Top 100 for the fourth-consecutive year, which was highlighted by a career-best 17 match wins on the ATP World Tour in 2013. He currently is 94 in the Emirates ATP rankings.

Last year marked Johnson’s first full season on the ATP World Tour, and his current world ranking is 119. Prior to joining the Tour, the Californian played four years (2009-12) at the University of Southern California, where he became the first player in school history to win four NCAA team titles and back-to-back singles titles.

The doubles final will pit No.1 seeds Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and American Scott Lipsky against Australian John-Patrick Smith and New Zealand native Michael Venus. Gonzalez and Lipsky are the 2012 Doubles Champions and have won six ATP career double titles together. This is the first time Smith and Venus have teamed up.

As part of Championship Sunday festivities SMU men’s tennis will play a dual match at 10 a.m. against Portland. The singles semi-finals will resume at 11 a.m. The doubles final will begin at 1 p.m. on Championship Court followed by the singles final.

Top Seed and 2012 Doubles Champions Lipsky and Gonazalez Reach 2014 Irving Tennis Classic Finals

Friday was the start of finals weekend with the singles quarterfinals and doubles semi-finals taking place. While there are many new players amongst the 2014 draw that have left an impression, previous years winners are also in the mix for the championship matches. 2012 doubles champions duo of Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez and America’s Scott Lipsky earned their fourth win of the tournament in the semi-finals Friday afternoon to advance to the doubles finals on Sunday. The pair defeated Austrians Samuel Groth and Chris Guccione in another third set super tiebreaker. They will face the team of John-Patrick Smith (AUS) and Michael Venus (NZL) in Sunday’s finals match.

In singles, Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) defeated American Tim Smyzcek 6-3, 7-6(5) to advance to the singles semi-finals. In 2013, Stakhovsky achieved his most exciting win of his career when he defeated seven-time champion Roger Federer in the second round at Wimbledon, ending the Swiss’ run of 36 straight Grand Slam quarterfinals. Stakhovsky has a career total of four ATP World Tour singles titles, and he is currently 83rd in the Emirates ATP rankings. In the rounds prior to the quarterfinals, Stakhovsky has topped Jesse Huta-Galung (NED) and upset the No. 2 seed Federico Delbonis (ARG).

Stakhovsky will face the No. 3 seed Lukas Rosol (CZE) in Saturday’s singles semi-finals. Rosol advanced to the semi-finals after he defeated American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals on Friday. The Czech Republic native’s current world ranking is 47, and he is the only seeded player remaining in the tournament. Rosol’s career highlights include defeating Rafael Nadal on Centre Court at Wimbledon and winning the Davis Cup in 2012. In addition to Saturday’s win over Harrison, Rosol has defeated Michael Russell (USA) and Daniel Brands (GER) en route to the semi-finals.

In other singles action, Tobias Kamke (GER) advanced to the semi-finals after Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko retired prior to the start of the second set due to a stomach illness. Kamke finished in the Top 100 for the fourth-consecutive year, which was highlighted by a career-best 17 match wins on the ATP World Tour in 2013. He currently is 94 in the ATP rankings. In his matches prior to the quarterfinals, Kamke defeated both Jan Hajek (CZE) and the No. 5 seed Denis Istomin (UZB). The German native will play American Steve Johnson in the semi-finals on Saturday.

On Friday night, Johnson defeated Germany’s Benjamin Becker to advance to the semi-final round with a dominant 6-3, 6-1 win. The 2013 year marked his first full season on the ATP World Tour, and his current ranking is 119. Prior to joining the Tour, the Californian played four years (2009-12) at the University of Southern California, where he became the first player in school history to win four NCAA team titles and back-to-back singles titles.  Johnson defeated Jean Andersen (RSA) and Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) in the two opening rounds of the Irving Tennis Classic.

Also taking part in today’s action was Dallas Mavericks power forward and 2011 NBA Champion Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki came out to the Irving Tennis Classic to cheer on fellow countrymen Kamke and Becker. In between matches, Nowitzki proved his athleticism in a pick-up tennis game with some of the ball kids.

**The singles semi-finals matches are scheduled for Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m. If inclement weather is to occur, all matches will be moved to Sunday and tickets purchased for Saturday’s matches will be honored. Please check the website for scheduling updates.

Many Non-Seeded Players Thriving at 2014 Irving Tennis Classic

ATP Challenger Features Strong Draw as Several Top-Seeded Players Upset in the First Two Rounds

It is four days into the 2014 Irving Tennis Classic, and there are upsets galore after the first two rounds of main draw singles and doubles action. The tournament has had many surprises, which has resulted in a majority of the top-seeded players losing in the early rounds. The No. 3 tournament seed and No. 47 ATP world ranked Lukas Rosol (CZE) stands as the only seeded player that remains in the singles draw.

Baylor alumnus and Plano resident, Benjamin Becker (GER), headlined Wednesday’s action after he upset the No. 1 seed Vasek Pospisil (CAN) in the first round. While he was excited to defeat the No. 1 seed, Becker noted that the talent at the Irving Tennis Classic is pretty strong across the board.

“Most of the guys at the tournament are pretty even,” said Becker. “Most of the guys can beat each other on any day.”

The twists and turns continued into Thursday’s second round of singles play. The No. 2 seed Federico Delbonis (ARG) fell to Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR), and the No. 5 seed Denis Istomin (UZB) fought hard in the final match of the second round, but eventually fell 6-3, 7-6(5) to Tobias Kamke (GER).

Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko continued in his success at this year’s tournament after he upset the Netherlands’ No. 4 seed Igor Sigsling in straight sets (7-5, 6-2) to advance to the singles quarterfinals. Thursday’s contest was Marchenko’s fourth singles match of the tournament, making him the player with the most matches played thus far. Marchenko entered the tournament as a qualifier, and he earned his spot in the main draw after winning both of his matches in the qualifying rounds.

Amongst the international field, three young, up-and-coming American talents – Steve Johnson, Tim Smyzcek and Ryan Harrison – all won in the second round and advanced to the singles quarterfinals.

In doubles action, the top seed duo of Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez and America’s Scott Lipsky started off strong with a dominant 6-4, 6-2 first round victory. Gonzalez and Lipsky were the 2012 Doubles Champions, and they are looking to capture that title again after pulling out a win in a close match during the quarterfinals on Thursday. The duo won 10-8 in the third set super tiebreaker to advance to the doubles semifinals on Friday.

While Gonzalez and Lipsky remain as the No. 1 seeds, the remainder of the top four seeded doubles teams did not fair as well in the first two rounds of play. Both the No. 2 and 3 seeded teams were upset in the opening rounds of the main draw, and the fourth seed Skupski brothers fell in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

Thursday’s doubles action continued into the evening with an exciting night match on the Championship Court. New to the 2014 schedule, featured night matches have been added so that fans have the opportunity to catch some tennis action both during and after the usual work hours. Also, with it being Spring Break, families are able to enjoy an evening activity. The team of Galung (NED) and Rosol played in Thursday’s featured night match, where they defeated the duo of Hanley and Ram in a decisive three set match to advance to the semifinals round. With the win, Rosol is the only player remaining in the main draw who has advanced in both singles and doubles.