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Old 12-06-2011, 12:36 AM   #76
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Great article here on JP:

Quote:
John-Patrick Smith, or “JP” as he’s more commonly known, sits casually in his chair next to his hitting partner at Melbourne Park, leans back and twirls his racquet around his finger.

The two young men exchange a laugh and engage in a not-so-serious conversation as they get ready to begin their next short burst of high-intensity training.

It was a casual conversation, yes. But Smith leaves such casualness off the court. When he steps up onto the Plexicushion, it’s with intensity, focus and grit.

That’s not to say Smith is an intense character. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Following his practice hit yesterday, Samantha Stosur steps onto the court to begin her workout. Smith beams, approaches her with great confidence and happily introduces himself.

Extroverted, approachable and getting his name out there.

The 22-year-old kicks off the opening round of the Australian Open 2012 Wildcard Play-off at Melbourne Park today in hope of securing a spot in the main draw of the 2012 Australian Open.

Smith is up against some of the best male tennis players in the country and is going into the event with a positive mindset.

“Win or lose, it’s always a great experience to take away what you can learn from these players,” he says.

“Hopefully it’s a good week in tennis and I’m just looking to finally getting out on court.”

But Smith – currently holding an ATP ranking of 441 – hasn’t built his career on home soil.

Straight out of high school four years ago, Smith wasn’t physically or mentally ready to compete and play tennis full time. So he packed his bags and headed north to the University of Tennessee (UT) in America.

“I was just an 18-year-old kid,” he says.

“I needed direction and pushing, and that’s why the college system is so great because you have those sorts of people in your corner always pushing you to be a better person as well as a tennis player.”

The change of scenery paid off for Smith. After four years making an outstanding name for himself in college tennis, he returned home earlier this year boasting a plethora of awards and honours – 44 since 2008, to be exact.

And an economics degree to go with it.

His most distinguished honour came this year when Smith was voted the South Eastern Conference (SEC) Athlete of the Year – only one of four males in UT history to do so.


The last male athlete from UT to receive the award was Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in 1998 – one of America’s most well-known and established athletes.

It’s clear Smith is in good company.

“It was a great honour, and it’s definitely something I’ll always hold myself to,” he says.

The achievement didn’t go unnoticed, either. In early November, Smith was honoured at halftime of a UT football game at Neyland Stadium in front of more than 100,000 people. It was an experience, he admitted, that words simply can’t describe.


But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Smith. Despite bursting onto the college tennis scene in his Freshman year, Smith had to adjust to the different – and more hostile – tennis etiquette in America.

Heckling, yelling, talking through points. Even the odd spot of abuse.

“That’s what makes college tennis so tough, you’re not only dealing with your opponent but you’re also dealing with the crowd,” he says.

“And of course the fraternity guys up back making fun of you. It’s things you don’t really experience on a normal basis.”

But Smith took it all in good humour and learnt to embrace the college atmosphere.

“You’ve got to take it in your stride,” he says.

With his time in the college system coming to an end, Smith returned home to Australia, degree in hand, to focus on tennis full-time.

“It’s been a good couple of months that I’ve had on tour so next year I’m just looking forward to setting new goals, and hopefully I can take on as much as I can,” he says.

But tennis isn’t the be-all and end-all for Smith. Like all elite athletes, he needs his down time.

As a Townsville local, he grew up a passionate supporter of the North Queensland Cowboys, and is looking forward to rekindling his love for the team now he’s back in Australia .

“I live and die by those boys up north,” he says with a laugh.

“I’ve always been a big advocate for that team.”

Today will mark Smith’s second crack at playing in the Australian Open as he takes on fellow Queenslander Maverick Banes in the opening round of the Australian Open 2012 Play-offs

“He’s a great kid,” Smith says of Banes.

“I don’t know him too well but he’s played well and he’s had some good results in the US. It’ll definitely be a good match and I’m looking forward to it.”

While he’s not necessarily looking any further than his opening clash, challenges will be aplenty for the 22-year-old if he advances through to the second round.

Awaiting the winner of today’s game is 201 cm Chris Guccione – a well-known figure who is no stranger to the Australian Open after six appearances since 2004.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:07 AM   #77
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Good old JP - he's a larrikin. He has a spring in his step and a ready smile. Been playing tennis all his life and loves it.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:28 AM   #78
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

He has a good shot against Gooch.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:01 AM   #79
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

JP just got up over Gooch 7-5 7-6(3). Excellent win, he's looking good here.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:28 AM   #80
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

i cant get over how nerdy looking he is
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:53 AM   #81
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Great win for JP and he is a great character and lovely person to boot. A eal shot in the arm for Aussie mens tennis. He will have a lot of players worried at the play offs. My pick to win the thing. Go JP
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:04 PM   #82
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Good rap from Todd Woodbridge after JPs win over Gooch:
Published in SMH on Wednesday 7th December 2011

Quote:
Guccione out of Aust Open wildcard event
Robert Grant - December 7, 2011 - 3:39PM .AAP

Six months ago John-Patrick Smith didn't have any sort of tennis ranking.

On Wednesday he pulled off one of the best wins of his brief career, beating Davis Cup player Chris Guccione in the first round of the Australian Open wildcard tournament.

And six months from now, according to Davis Cup team manager Todd Woodbridge, Smith could be inside the world top 200.

Advertisement: Story continues below Guccione, the fourth seed, went down to the Queensland US college graduate in straight sets, losing 7-5 7-6 (7-3).

In the battle of the left-handers, Smith, 22, was able to quickly bring the towering Guccione's big serve under control and seized an early break.

He played steadily while the Victorian was plagued by unforced errors.

"I played well and served well and made sure I made a lot of returns, that was one of my goals, and I made him play a lot of balls," Smith said.

"He missed a few of his first serves early and I was able to get control of his second serve, which was a bit of a surprise."

Smith said he would not work out a schedule for 2012 until the end of this week but he said his ranking already was around No.440.

Woodbridge said Smith was one of the younger players Tennis Australia would be watching closely.

"He was unranked coming out of college but his ranking is moving very quickly and I wouldn't be surprised if in the next six months he wasn't in the top 200," Woodbridge said.

Earlier, top seed Greg Jones, from NSW, eased into the second round with a straightforward 6-2 6-3 victory over Queenslander Gavin Van Peperzeel.

And women's top seed Casey Dellacqua bounced back after her shock loss on the first day to beat Emelyn Starr, the eighth seed from NSW, 6-1 6-1.

Dellacqua was the subject of a major upset in the first of her round robin matches when she fell to 15-year-old Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty from Queensland.

Barty continued her march towards the semi-finals when she collected her second straight win, defeating Stephanie Bengson of NSW 6-2 6-4.

© 2011 AAP
I like the part where Todd relates to JP being young:
Quote:
Woodbridge said Smith was one of the younger players Tennis Australia would be watching closely.
JP is older than Jonesie - by exactly 1 week (so where does that put Jonesie?)
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:54 AM   #83
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Nice article and you're right about Jones. He deserves some wildcards this summer, at the very least one into Sydney.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:30 PM   #84
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewitt =Legend View Post
... and you're right about Jones. He deserves some wildcards this summer, at the very least one into Sydney.
I am sure Jonesie would appreciate any WC's thrown his way but if you have to play AO qualifying there is not much incentive to win your 1st round at Sydney, as you could then potentially miss the qualifying tournament, dependant on schedule and weather. If you are playing you want to win.
The Grand Slam is the one they all want to play.
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:54 AM   #85
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Went down in 3 sets to Michael Look. He was up 3-1 in the final set
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:03 AM   #86
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http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au...131_sport.html
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:32 AM   #87
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

JP goes down in 3 sets to Michael Look. He served for the match not sure if he held match points though.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:53 AM   #88
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

Bugger! So close!
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #89
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That was such a shit draw for whichever of them lost....
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #90
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Default Re: J.P. Smith

next tournaments soon? or past results?
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