While some people don’t believe in luck, American world No.125 Tim Smyczek would tell you his simply ran out.
Smyczek faced fourth seed David Ferrer on Wednesday but couldn’t overcome his erratic play –- magnified by 77 unforced errors – allowing the Spaniard to run away with a 6-0 7-5 4-6 6-3 win.
The Spaniard world No.5 got the job done in typical fashion – working tirelessly around the court, keeping the ball in play and waiting for his opponent to falter -- committing 53 fewer unforced errors than Smyczek.
It wasn’t flashy, nor was it complicated, but it worked.
"It was tough. (I played) very good in the first half of the second set -- I started very good -- but he was playing better in the third," Ferrer said after his win.
"He (Smyczek) is a very good player, I've never played against him before and he has a really good backhand, he received well and I like his game."
Smyczek was gifted his inaugural Australian Open main draw berth as a “lucky loser” after fellow American – and housemate – John Isner withdrew before the year’s first slam with a knee injury.
After just 25 minutes of play Ferrer had raced to take the opening set 6-0, aided by his relentless consistency, which saw him only commit three unforced errors to his opponent’s 16 – a glaring statistic that spoke for itself.
Only 11 minutes into the second set Smyczek found himself down 0-3 and in all sorts of trouble, but a booming ace at 40-30 out wide to Ferrer's backhand saw him grab his first game of the match. As the ball sailed well past Ferrer's racquet the crowd roared, Smyczek smiled and the 25-year-old blasted a ball into the air in celebration.
The small victory was all the American needed to help fight his way back into the match. While Ferrer held on in the second set 7-5, Smyczek’s new-found dare and bold groundstrokes – many translating into winners -- helped him grab the third set 6-4 and take momentum away from the Spaniard.
But the American’s resurgence didn’t last. A Ferrer break at 1-0 and subsequent holds of serve helped him cruise home in the fourth set and seal the match in two hours and 38 minutes.
Ferrer has now advanced past the second round at Melbourne Park in seven of the past eight years and will play the winner of Marcos Baghdatis and Tatsuma Ito in the third round on Friday.