Former Vol John-Patrick Smith is set to start 2012 in a big way Saturday by entering the qualifying draw of his first ATP Tour-level event: the Brisbane International.
Playing in his home state of Queensland, Australia, Smith faces a very familiar foe in the first round: former UCLA Bruin Michael Look.
Look defeated Smith in an incredibly tight match 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Playoffs in December.
Smith is currently ranked No. 438 in the ATP World Tour Rankings, a career best.
On the other side of the world, a few Vols have a few weeks to wait before beginning their pro circuit. Tennys Sandgren starts his year Jan. 9 with a Futures event in Plantation, Fla.