Early exit for top-seeded Sam Querrey

NEWPORT, R.I. — Beating one of his country’s top players and the tournament’s No. 1 seed meant a lot to Tim Smyczek.

Smyczek defeated fellow American Sam Querrey in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Championships, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), Tuesday on Newport’s grass courts.

‘‘I think it’s the first time I've ever beaten a No. 1 seed at a tournament. It’s definitely a big deal for me,’’ he said. ‘‘It was pretty neat to play Sam, who’s been one of the top Americans for a long time, somebody I've just tried to catch up to.’’


Querrey, a 2009 Newport finalist and ranked 21st in the world, was broken in the seventh game by the 120th-ranked Smyczek.

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‘‘I couldn’t really find a flow out there. I was a little off the whole time,’’ Querrey said.

In the tiebreaker, Querrey saved match point twice — both with aces — but hit a backhand return into the net on the final point.

It was the second match this year between the two. Querrey won in straight sets at Indian Wells in March.

‘‘I knew he plays aggressive and has a big game,’’ Smyczek said. ‘‘I was just trying to keep him from taking it to me.’’


In the tiebreaker, Smyczek jumped ahead, 3-1, before Querrey battled back, grabbing a 5-4 lead. Trailing, 6-5, Querrey had the first of his two match-saving aces.

Querrey had 16 aces to Smyczek’s two.