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ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (8/5/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Aug. 5, 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. 772 in singles and he is at No. 830 in doubles. He enters his final Futures stop of the summer this week in Jurmala, Latvia. With points to be added next week, Libietis is scheduled to become the third-highest ranked Latvian. 

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 116 (0)
Doubles: 157 (+4)
Note: Played the Citi Open last week week in Washington, D.C., where he lost to two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-1 in the first round ... Not playing this week after attending the wedding of his older sister, Jennifer, over the weekend in Knoxville. 

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 247 (-2)
Doubles: 139 (-2)
Note: Wild card last week at the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger, where he lost in the first round in singles and doubles ... Also a wild card in this week's $100,000 Aptos Challenger in California. 

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 314 (+10)
Doubles: 74 (-5)
Note: Qualified in singles for the Vancouver Challenger but lost in the opening round last week ... Playing this week at the $100,000 Aptos Challenger after once again playing his way through qualifying. 

Matteo Fago
Singles: 687 (-1)
Doubles: 682 (-7)
Note: Lost in the first round of singles last week at a $15,000 Futures in La Spezia, Italy ... Off this week. 

Libietis Rolls Winning Streak to 8 Matches

Rising junior Mikelis Libietis extending his summer singles winning streak to eight matches by reaching the semifinals Thursday at the Lithanian President's Cup, an ITF Futures Circuit event in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Libietis breezed past second-seeded Vladimir Ivanov 6-0, 6-4 in the quarterfinals to set up a match against unseeded Italian Giammarco Micolani. 

Libietis and Ivanov last faced on Saturday in the finals of the Kuressaare Futures in Estonia, a meeting Libietis won in three tiebreaker sets to win his first career singles Futures title. In the last three weeks, Libietis is 9-1 in singles and 5-2 in doubles. With his semifinal appearance this week (at least), Libietis will move into the top 800 in the ATP World Rankings  when the points are added. 

Incoming freshman Markus Kerner lost in the first round to top-seeded Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 6-1, 7-6 (2) earlier in the week. 

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (7/29/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of July 29, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 116 (+5)
Doubles: 161 (-16)
Note: Last week reached the second round of BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP 250 event. He lost to former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt 7-6, 6-4 ... No. 116 is a career best for Williams ... Played the Citi Open this week in Washington, D.C., where he lost to Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-1. 

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 245 (+8)
Doubles: 137 (-4)
Note: Reached the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Lexington Challenger last week in Kentucky ... Wild card this week at the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger, where he lost in the first round in singles and doubles ...   

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 324 (0)
Doubles: 69 (+2)
Note: Lost in the first round of singles at the $50,000 Lexington Challenger last week ... Qualified in singles for the Vancouver Challenger but lost in the opening round. Set to play doubles later today as the No. 2 seed. 

Matteo Fago
Singles: 686 (+2)
Doubles: 675 (+282)
Note: Career high in doubles after reaching the finals of a $15,000 Futures in Italy earlier this month and winning a round at the Orbetello Challenger ...  Lost in the first round of singles this week at a $15,000 Futures in La Spezia, Italy. 

Kaden Hensel
Singles: 1002 (-3)
Doubles: 764 (-2)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Libietis Reaches First Futures Semifinal

Rising junior and reigning SEC Player of the Year Mikelis Libietis won again Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the Saaremaa Open in Kuressaare, Estonia. 

Libietis defeated unseeded Alexander Zhurbin of Russia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals to reach his first career singles semifinal at an ITF Futures event. He faces second-seeded and world No. 463 Mathias Bourque on Friday. 

Incoming freshman Markus Kerner lost in the opening round in three sets to wild card Anton Pavlov in three sets. In doubles, Kerner and Libietis were coming off a tournament victory the week before but lost their first-round match in Kuressaare. 

Libietis Rolls on Day 1 in Estonia

In his second tournament of the summer, SEC Player of the Year Mikelis Libietis got things rolling with an opening round win at this week's ITF Futures Circuit stop in Kuressaare, Estonia. 

Libietis beat Konstantin Gerlakh of Russia 6-3, 6-2. He will play his second-round match later in the week, likely against sixth-seeded Ivan Anikanov. 

Incoming freshman Markus Kerner is also in the singles field and starts play Tuesday. He's taking on fellow Estonian Anton Pavlov, a wild card entry this week. 

Libietis and Kerner, who won a doubles title together last week, lost in the opening round of Monday's tournament. They dropped a three-setter to Adria Mas Mascolo and Ashwin Vijayragavan 6-2, 3-6 [10-4]. 

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (7/22/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of July 22, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 121 (+6)
Doubles: 145 (-4)
Note: Reached singles semifinals at the $50,000 Binghamton Challenger in New York ... Accepted wild card into this week's BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP 250 event. He plays fellow wild card Denis Kudla in the first round tonight.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 253 (+41)
Doubles: 133 (+4)
Note: Reached singles quarterfinals last week at the $50,000 Binghamton Challenger ... Boost in singles rankings came from Binghamton performance and points added from reaching the finals of a Canada Futures the week before ... In final round of qualifying at the $50,000 Lexington Challenger in Kentucky.  

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 324 (+14)
Doubles: 71 (+3)
Note: Reached doubles final and second round of singles last week at the $50,000 Binghamton Challenger ... Doubles ranking a career high ... Had 98 career pro doubles wins ... Playing this week at the $50,000 Lexington Challenger.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 688 (+5)
Doubles: 957 (+1)
Note: Reached the final round of doubles and the second round of singles at a Futures event in Italy last week ... Off this week.

Kaden Hensel
Singles: 999 (+4)
Doubles: 762 (+6)
Note: Reached second round of singles at the $75,000 Beijing Challenger ... Off this week.
On July 22, we send Happy Birthday wishes to recent Lady Vol track & field alum Nijgia Snapp. Also celebrating birthdays today are former men's tennis star Tennys Sandgren and former Vol hoops player Craig Diegel.

Nijgia Snapp


Trio of Current Vols in Tennis Action

Three current Vols are playing tennis tournaments this week in Europe.

SEC Player of the Year Mikelis Libietis and incoming freshman Markus Kerner are both playing at a Futures tournament in Kerner's hometown of Tallinn, Estonia. The pair won their opening-round doubles match together Monday and are set to play each other in the first round of singles today.

This week is the first ITF Futures event for Libietis this summer. The Vols' leader is expected to be one of the top-ranked players to start the fall season. He finished 2013 ranked No. 3 nationally in both singles and doubles. 

Meanwhile, rising sophomore Bartosz Sawicki is also playing in his hometown at the Ponzan Challenger in Poland. He lost in the second round of singles qualifying over the weekend but received a wild card into doubles. 

Vol fans have yet to see Sawicki and Kerner in action at Barksdale Stadium but both should provide a boost to the UT lineup, which lost its No. 5 and 6 starters -- Edward Jones and John Collins -- to graduation in May. Sawicki joined the team in January but must sit a year in residency and will be eligible in time for the 2014 team season. Kerner is one of two incoming freshman on the Vols' fall roster, joining Tennessee native Sean Karl. At 6-foot-5, Kerner is the top junior player coming out of Estonia this year. 

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (7/15/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of July 8,, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 127 (+2)
Doubles: 141 (+52)
Note: Reached first career ATP doubles final on Monday with Tim Smyczek at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I. The pair lost to Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, the No. 2 seeds ... Back in action this week at the $50,000 Binghamton Challenger, where he is seeded No. 1 after accepting a wild card. 

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 294 (+8)
Doubles: 137 (-1)
Note: Enjoyed a strong week at a Futures stop in Canada, reaching the singles final and winning the doubles title. Points will be added next week ... Playing singles this week at the Binghamton Challenger. 

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 338 (+15)
Doubles: 74 (+2)
Note: Reached doubles quarterfinals at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, R.I. Ranking of No. 74 is a career best in doubles. Also reached the final round of singles qualifying ... Won first-round singles match Monday at the Binghamton Challenger. Also seeded No. 1 in doubles.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 696 (+3)
Doubles: 947 (+63)
Note: Lost in singles qualifying last week at a $35K Challenger in Italy ... Playing singles and doubles this week at a Futures stop in Italy. 

Kaden Hensel
Singles: 1003 (+982)
Doubles: 768 (-3)
Note: Lost in opening round doubles at the $75,000 Beijing Challenger.

Happy Birthday - July 9: Mikelis Libietis

On July 9, we wish a Happy 21st Birthday to men's tennis All-American and 2013 SEC Player of the Year Mikelis Libietis.

UT 


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