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Happy Birthday - Oct. 1: Emily Morrow & Sam Winterbotham

On the first day of October, we'd like to wish a Happy Birthday to freshman Tennessee soccer player Emily Morrow and head men's tennis coach Sam Winterbotham.

Emily Morrow Sam Winterbotham

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (9/30/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Sept. 30, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 124 (+4)
Doubles: 158 (+2)
Note: Reached the singles quarterfinals of the $50,000 Napa Challenger last week ... Playing at the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger this week ... 

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 219 (-2)
Doubles: 69 (+2)
Note: Won the doubles title at the $50,000 Napa Challenger last week after taking a week off singles competition ... It was his 15th pro doubles title ... Playing the Sacramento Challenger this week in singles and doubles.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 248 (-15)
Doubles: 131 (-4)
Note: Reached second round of singles last week at the $50,000 Napa Challenger ... Playing this week at the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 702 (-13)
Doubles: 457 (+50)
Note: Career best No. 457 in the doubles rankings after points were added from Futures title two weeks ago ... Off last week ... 

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (9/23/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Sept. 23, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 128 (-3)
Doubles: 160 (-3)
Note: Off last week ... Playing this week at the $50,000 Napa Challenger in California.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 217 (+15)
Doubles: 71 (+1)
Note: Working back up the rankings -- just seven from his career best -- after reaching the quarterfinals last week at the $125,000+H Kaohsiung Challenger in Taiwan ... Playing doubles this week at the $50,000 Napa Challenger.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 233 (-2)
Doubles: 127 (+14)
Note: Nearing the top 100 in doubles after winning the $75,000 Izmir Challenger in Turkey last week with Austin Krajicek. Ranking of 127 is a career best ... Playing this week at the $50,000 Napa Challenger in California. 

Matteo Fago
Singles: 689 (-1)
Doubles: 507 (-24)
Note: Won another doubles title last week at the $10,000 Futures in Italy last week, this time with fellow Italian Manuel Mazzella ... Winner of three doubles titles this year ... Off this week.

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (9/16/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Sept. 16, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 125 (0)
Doubles: 157 (0)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 231 (-1)
Doubles: 141 (+1)
Note: Lost in the opening round of the $75,000 Challenger in Istanbul, Turkey last week ... Staying this week in Turkey for the $75,000 hard court even in Izmir.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 232 (+40)
Doubles: 72 (0)
Note: Working back up the rankings after reaching the semifinals last week at the $75,000 Challenger in Istanbul, Turkey ... Playing at the $125,000+H Kaohsiung Challenger in Taiwan this week.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 689 (+10)
Doubles: 483 (+36)
Note: Lost in first round of singles and doubles at Italy $10,000 Futures last week ... Playing another $10,000 Futures in Italy this week ... Cracked top 500 in doubles for the 1st time.

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (9/9/13)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Sept. 9, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 125 (-10)
Doubles: 157 (-2)
Note: Lost in the first round of the U.S. Open to Russia's Nikolay Davydenko in five sets ... Off this week.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 230 (-4)
Doubles: 142 (-1)
Note: Off last week ... Playing this week at the $75,000 Challenger in Istanbul, Turkey.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 272 (+32)
Doubles: 72 (0)
Note: Off last week ... Lost in first round of doubles at the U.S. Open ... Singles points added for winning a $15,000 Futures title in Canada ... Playing this week at the $75,000 Challenger in Instanbul, Turkey.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 698 (-31)
Doubles: 519 (+62)
Note: Reached the doubles finals and second round of singles last week at a $10,000 Futures in Italy last week ... Playing another $10,000 Futures in Italy this week ... Doubles ranking is a career best. 

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (8/19/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Aug. 19, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 114 (0)
Doubles: 157 (-1)
Note: Off last week ... Played this week at the ATP 250 event in Winston Salem, N.C. He lost to former world No. 3 James Blake in the opening round of singles. 

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 230 (+3)
Doubles: 141 (+1)
Note: Off last week ... Lost in the first round of qualifying at the U.S. Open. to Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 304 (-5)
Doubles: 72 (+1)
Note: Off last week ... Playing this week at a $15,000 Futures in Canada ... Playing doubles at the U.S. Open.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 674 (+9)
Doubles: 661 (+27)
Note: Last week, won his first doubles title since 2006, taking the title at a $10,000 Futures in Novi Sad, Serbia. Also reached the second round of singles ... Playing again this week in Novi Sad.

Williams Receives Wild Card to U.S. Open


Former college tennis No. 1 and Vol standout Rhyne Williams accepted one of the USTA's discretionary wild cards into the U.S. Open later this month in New York. 

Williams is no stranger to the USTA Billy Jean King National Tennis Center. He qualified for the main draw of the U.S. Open last year before losing to American great Andy Roddick in what turned out to be his final career tournament. Williams' lone collegiate major title -- the 2010 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships -- came on the indoor courts of the national facility. 

Williams has enjoyed the best season of his career as a professional tennis player in 2013. He enters the week ranked No. 114, a career best in singles. He won his first career ATP Challenger-level title in Dallas and reached the semifinals of the U.S. Men's National Clay Court Championships in Houston, an ATP 250 tournament. 

On the major stage, Williams has started to become a familiar face. He earned the USTA's wild card into the Australian Open in January and was a lucky loser at the French Open. He lost in qualifying at Wimbledon. This year's U.S. Open will be his fourth main draw appearance in the last five Grand Slams. 


ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (8/12/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Aug. 12, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Take note that junior Mikelis Libietis has also made a surge up the rankings thanks to his summer success on the ITF Futures circuit. The reigning SEC Player of the Year is ranked a career best No. 726 in singles and he is at No. 832 in doubles. He will move higher in the rankings next week thanks to his semifinal singles appearance and doubles title in Jurmala, Latvia, over the weekend.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 114 (+2)
Doubles: 156 (+1)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 233 (+14)
Doubles: 142 (-3)
Note: Reached quarterfinals in singles of last week's $100,000 Aptos Challenger in California ... Off this week. 

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 299 (+15)
Doubles: 73 (+1)
Note: Qualified for singles at the Aptos Challenger but lost in the first round of the main draw ... Off this week.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 683 (+4)
Doubles: 688 (-6)
Note: Off last week ... Playing this week in Serbia. Reuniting in doubles with former Vol and doubles partner Boris Conkic, who will make his first professional tennis appearance in nearly two years. 

Libietis Reaches Third Futures Semifinal

Playing in his home country, Mikelis Libietis posted another easy victory Thursday to move to the semifinals of the Nordea Mens Futures in Jurmala, Latvia. 

Libietis beat unseeded Julius Tverijonas of Lithuania 6-4, 6-0 to advance to his third consecutive semifinal on the ITF Futures Circuit. He will face Italian Giammarco Micolani next. 

Libietis, the reigning SEC Player of the Year, is 12-2 in singles matches this summer as he prepares for his junior season at UT. He will move into at least the top 700 of the ATP World Rankings when all his pending points are added. 

In doubles, Libietis is playing for his second title of the summer. Libietis and Oskars Vaskis reached the title match with a 7-6 (13), 7-6 (8) victory over Martins Podzus and Benas Majauskas. 

Last month, Libietis and incoming freshman Markus Kerner won a title together in Estonia.

Libietis Wins to Start Final Summer Tourney

Reigning SEC Player of the Year Mikelis Libietis is looking to end his summer tennis schedule on a high note at the Nordea Mens Futures in Jurmala, Latvia. 

Libietis won his opening singles and doubles matches to start this week. He beat Frenchman Nicolas Rosenzweig 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round, where he will face third-seeded and fellow Latvian Martins Podzus. Podzus is the only seeded player remaining in Libietis' half of the draw. 

In doubles, Libietis and partner Oskars Vaskis reached the quarterfinal after a 6-2, 6-3 win over Marcis Garuts and Deivids Juska. The Latvian pair are seeded fourth this week. 

Libietis has enjoyed an excellent few weeks on the ITF Futures Circuit. He has risen to a career-best No. 772 in the ATP world singles rankings and No. 830 in doubles. He won his first career Futures singles title in Estonia two weeks ago and also won a doubles title with incoming UT freshman Markus Kerner. He has a 10-2 singles record over the last four weeks. 

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