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ON TOUR: Smith Joins Williams in Quarterfinals

Two former Vols are among the final eight players left in singles at the Charlottesville Men's Pro Challenger at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. 

John-Patrick Smith punched his ticket to the quarterfinals Thursday by holding his nerve late in both sets for a 6-4, 6-4 win over sixth-seeded Bobby Reynolds of the United States.

Reynolds had served for the second set at 5-4, but Smith broke to get back on serve. Reynolds forced a tiebreaker, and with the score tied 3-3, Smith won the final four points to clinch the match. 

Smith faces defending champion Izak Van Der Merwe of South Africa next. 

Rhyne Williams, who won his second-round match Wednesday, plays second-seeded Alex Bogomolov Jr. of Russia in the quarterfinals.

ON TOUR: Williams Defeats Johnson in Rivalry Rematch

In their first meeting on the professional circuit, Rhyne Williams got the best of former USC Trojan Steve Johnson in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory to advance to the quarterfinals at the Charlottesville Men's Pro Challenger in Charlottesville, Va.

Williams and Johnson had not faced each other since the two played each other twice in national title matches during the 2010-12 college season, with Williams winning the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in three sets and Johnson pulling off the similar feat at the NCAA Singles Championships that spring. 

On Wednesday, it was predictably more of the same, a heated match fully of big serves and strong play off the forehand side. Williams, who had 13 aces, took a 4-1 lead in the final set and eventually served out the victory. 


In other Vol action, Adam Hubble and Andrei Daescu lost 3-6, 6-3, [10-8] in their opening doubles match to American wild cards Jarmere Jenkins and Jack Sock. 

Today, John-Patrick Smith will try to join Rhyne Williams in the singles quarterfinals. He takes on sixth-seeded Bobby Reynolds, a Challenger Tour veteran currently ranked No. 152. The match is the second match on court and should start no earlier than 12:30 p.m. Live video will be available from the USTA Pro Circuit at this link

ON TOUR: Williams, Smith into Second Round in Charlottesville

Rhyne Williams and John-Patrick Smith both moved on to the second round of the Charlottesville Men's Pro Challenger at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.

Williams picked up his first win of the week via an upset, beating fifth-seeded Ryan Sweeting 6-4, 6-4 thanks to a strong serving performance. He faces a very familiar foe in his second-round match Wednesday: two-time NCAA singles champion and former USC Trojan, Steve Johnson.

Williams and Johnson faced twice in championship matches during the 2010-11 season, with Williams winning in three sets in the finals at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York and Johnson pulling off a similar feat on the outdoor courts at the NCAA Singles Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.

The rematch will be streamed live by the USTA on its Pro Circuit Site. It will begin at about 11:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Smith advanced to the second round of singles via a USC rematch as well. He took on Robert Farah, the Trojans' former No. 1 who had beaten Smith in the finals of the 2010 NCAA team championships. Winning an stellar 89 percent of his first serves and breaking five times, Smith won this round against Farah 6-3, 6-1. 

He plays sixth-seeded American Bobby Reynolds on Thursday. Smith beat Reynolds on his way to winning the Winnetka Challenger in July.

In doubles, Smith and fellow Aussie John Peers won a pair of tiebreakers to beat Williams and Tennys Sandgren 5-7, 7-6 (5), [10-2]. Smith enters this week approximately 127 points from reaching the top 100 in doubles. There are 90 ATP points on the line this week.

Former Vol Adam Hubble will also be in action Wednesday as he and former Oklahoma Sooner Andrei Daescu play doubles against wild cards Jarmere Jenkins and Jack Sock.

Happy Birthday - Oct. 14: Matteo Fago & Hannah Steadman

Happy Birthday on Oct. 14 to former Vols tennis star Matteo Fago and current soccer goalkeeper  Hannah Steadman

Matteo Fago  Hannah Steadman

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (10/8/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Oct. 8, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.


John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 227 (+3)

Doubles: 124 (+13)

Note: Won the doubles title at the $35,000+ Belem Challenger in Brazil last week with Baylor standout John Peers, good for their fourth Challenger-level title together this year ... Doubles ranking is a career best ... Playing this week at the $35,000+ Challenger in San Juan, Argentina.


Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 257 (+21)

Doubles: 171 (+46)

Note: Won the doubles title at the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger last week with Rhyne Williams, their first Challenger-level title ... has won six doubles titles this year ... Career best in both singles and doubles ... Playing this week at the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger in California.


Rhyne Williams

Singles: 277 (-3)

Doubles: 220 (+98)

Note: Won the doubles title at the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger last week with Tennys Sandgren, their first Challenger-level title ... Playing this week at the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger in California.


Matteo Fago

Singles: 938 (+1)

Doubles: 1563 (-2)

Note: Closing in on career-best singles ranking of 908 (10/2/2006) ... Off this week.


Adam Hubble

Singles: 1284 (+6)

Doubles: 170 (+4)

Note: Reached the doubles quarterfinals at the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger last week with Andrei Daescu ... Playing the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger this week in California.

Vol Pros Roll in Challenger Doubles

Three former Vols on the professional tennis circuit won Challenger-level doubles titles over the weekend in California and South America respectively. 

Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren teamed up to win the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger doubles title, the first tournament win at the Challenger level for either player. The two won a trio of straight-set matches before beating 2010 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton and 2011 NCAA doubles champion Austin Krajicek in a closely contested final 4-6, 6-4, [12-10]. 

Sandgren, who also reached the singles final in Sacramento, is at a career-best No. 257 in singles and broke the top 200 in doubles at No. 171. He has won six doubles titles this year. Williams is not far away from the top 200 in doubles at No. 220.

Meanwhile, 2011 SEC Athlete of the Year John-Patrick Smith and former Baylor standout John Peers cruised to their fourth Challenger title together of the year, winning the $35,000 Belem Challenger in Brazil. 

Smith is rapidly closing in on the top 100 in doubles, checking in at a career-best No. 124. Like Sandgren, Smith has won six doubles titles this year. 

NOW ON TWITTER:
Now that Tennys Sandgren and Rhyne's coach and former Vol Christopher Williams have joined Twitter recently, here's a look at how you can follow the current touring pros...

Tennys Sandgren: @Tennys Sandgren
John-Patrick Smith: @jpatsmith
Rhyne Williams: @RhyneWilliams
Adam Hubble: @hubbleadam
Christopher Williams: @cpatwilliams


ON TOUR: Hubble Advances at Sacramento

In his first tournament on U.S. soil this year, former Vol Adam Hubble and Oklahoma Sooner standout Andrei Daescu earned a first-round victory in doubles Tuesday at the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger.

Hubble and Daescu, seeded fourth this week, now play the Aussie team of Chris Guccione and Samuel Groth.

In singles, Rhyne Williams lost to familiar foe Rik de Voest of South Africa 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. They have played each other four times in their careers, with the series tied 2-2. Williams had defeated him in 2011 US Open qualifying and most recently at the Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger in July, a tournament won by John-Patrick Smith.


ON TOUR: Vols Go 4-for-4 in Sacramento and Brazil

Former Vol Tennys Sandgren won his first match at the $100,000 Challenger level Monday with a decisive win to open the Sacramento Challenger in California.

Sandgren defeated wild card and Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Nielsen 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the second round, where he will face either American Ryan Sweeting or Australian Matt Reid.

Later in the day, Sandgren and Rhyne Williams beat fellow wild cards and former UCLA standouts 6-2, 3-6, [10-7] in their opening doubles match.

Williams plays singles today, and Adam Hubble begins in doubles.

$35,000 Belem Challenger: John-Patrick Smith won his singles and doubles matches to open the $35,000 Belem Challenger in Brazil. 

Smith, the 2010 and 2011 SEC Player of the Year, took on a former Ole Miss Rebel and 2004 SEC Player of the Year Catalin Gard in the first round of singles. Smith picked up the pace in the third set to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. 

In the evening, Smith and Peers teamed up to win their opening doubles match 6-1, 6-1 over Brazilian wild cards Marcos Vinicius Dias and Alexandre Tsuchiya.

ON TOUR: ATP Rankings (10/1/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Oct. 1, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.


John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 230 (-2)

Doubles: 137 (+3)

Note: Off last week ... Playing in Brazil this week at the $35,000+H Belem Challenger as part of a tour through South America ... Won first-round match Monday vs. former SEC Player of the Year, Catalin Gard.


Rhyne Williams

Singles: 274 (-4)

Doubles: 318 (-17)

Note: Off last week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger this week, taking on familiar foe Rik De Voest in the first round. 


Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 278 (+35)

Doubles: 217 (+10)

Note: Points added for sweeping the singles and doubles titles last week at a $15,000 Futures in Canada ... Doubles ranking is a career best ... Off last week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger this week.


Matteo Fago

Singles: 939 (+16)

Doubles: 1561 (+12)

Note: Closing in on career-best singles ranking of 908 (10/2/2006) ... Off this week.


Adam Hubble

Singles: 1290 (-5)

Doubles: 174 (-10)

Note: Off last week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger this week as the No. 2 doubles seed ... Closing in on his career-best doubles rank of 146 (8/2/2010).

ON TOUR: ATP Rankings (9/24/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Sept. 24, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.


John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 228 (+2)

Doubles: 140 (+1)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week ... Playing in Brazil next week at the $35,000+H Belem Challenger.


Rhyne Williams

Singles: 270 (-17)

Doubles: 301 (-29)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week ...  Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger next week. 


Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 313 (0)

Doubles: 227 (0)

Note: Swept the singles and doubles titles last week at a $15,000 Futures in Canada ... Off this week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger next week.


Matteo Fago

Singles: 955 (+23)

Doubles: 1573 (N/A)

Note: Reached the second round of a $10,000 Futures in Italy last week ... Off this week ... Off next week.


Adam Hubble

Singles: 1285 (+10)

Doubles: 164 (+2)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger next week ... Closing in on his career-best rank of 146 (8/2/2010).

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