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The first official day of summer is a popular day for Vol birthdays, as we wish happy birthday to current Vols Terrance Livingston (track & field), Marshall Talkington (golf) and Jaron Toney (football) today. 2012 Vol tennis graduate Bryan Swartz and one of the greatest linebackers in UT history, Al Wilson, are also celebrating birthdays today.

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Williams One Step Away from Wimbledon


Former NCAA singles finalist and Knoxville native Rhyne Williams is just one victory away from qualifying for his fourth consecutive Grand Slam. 

After a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Steven Diez in the second round of Wimbledon qualifying on Tuesday, Williams takes on American veteran Bobby Reynolds in the final round of qualifying Wednesday. 

Currently ranked No. 128 in the ATP World Tour Rankings, Williams is looking for his fourth career Grand Slam appearance. He qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Open and the 2013 French Open last month. He earned the USTA's discretionary wild card to the Australian Open in January. Williams has started to earn some wins on the main tour level this year, reaching the semifinals of the U.S. Men's National Clay Court Championships earlier this spring. 

Today's match will be best-of-five sets, just like the main draw matches will be next week when Wimbledon begins. 


Williams Set for Round 2 at Wimbledon Qualies

Former All-American Rhyne Williams is now just two steps away from reaching his fourth consecutive main draw appearance at a Grand Slam. 

Williams opened Wimbledon qualifying on Monday by defeating Victor Crivoi of Romania 6-2, 6-4. Williams, the No. 12 seed in qualifying, now takes on Canadian Steven Diez later today. Diez is currently No. 267 in the world rankings while Williams opens the tournament at No. 127.

John-Patrick Smith's quest to make the singles draw at Wimbledon ended Monday with an opening-round qualifying loss to fifth-seeded Jiri Vasely 7-6, 6-3. Smith will be playing in the main draw of doubles next week.  

Williams, Smith Set for Wimbledon Qualies

The Vols will be represented at Wimbledon as former All-Americans Rhyne Williams and John-Patrick Smith start singles qualifying Monday at Roehampton. 

It will be the first men's Wimbledon appearance for both Vols, who have spent the last two weeks playing on England's grass courts. 

Williams, currently No. 128 in the ATP World Rankings, is the 12th seed in qualifying and takes on Victor Krivoi of Romania in the first round. He has played in the main draw of the last three Grand Slam, playing through qualifying at the 2012 U.S. Open and the French Open last month. He was a wild card recipient in the Australian Open. 

Smith, now No. 231, takes on a seeded opponent to start out, facing former ITF junior world No. 1 Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic. 

Three victories are required to qualify for the 128-player main draw. 

The Vols are guaranteed at least one representative when the main tournament gets going at the All-England Club. Smith is set to play doubles with Paul Hanley, a 35-year-old Aussie doubles veteran who has won 26 ATP-level titles.  

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (6/10/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of June 10, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 127 (-6)
Doubles: 188 (-3)
Note: Played last week at the first Nottingham Challenger on the grass courts of England, losing in the first round ... Playing in another ATP-level event this week at the Aegon Championships in London.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 227 (-2)
Doubles: 82 (0)
Note: Lost in the second round of qualifying at the Aegon Championships this week ... Lost in qualifying last week at the Nottingham Challenger.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 248 (-6)
Doubles: 139 (-1)
Note: Played last weeks t the Arad Challenger in Romania, losing in the first round ... Playing a Challenger in Slovakia this week.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 682 (+48)
Doubles: 1000 (-4)
Note: Added points from playing a Futures in Romania to finish May ... No. 682 is a career best ... Playing a $10K Futures in Belgrade, Serbia, this week.

Happy Birthday - May 26: J. Nelvis, T. Patrick

On May 26, we wish a very Happy Birthday to junior sprinter Jarael Nelvis of the Vol track & field team, and redshirt senior Taylor Patrick of the men's tennis squad.

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ON TOUR: French Open Draw + ATP Rankings

The French Open singles qualifying draw was released Monday with Tennys Sandgren and Rhyne Williams set to participate. 

Williams, the No. 15 seed in qualies, takes on Boy Westerhof. Ranked No. 121 in the ATP world rankings, Williams is the highest seeded player in his section of the draw. Sandgren, who recently arrived in Europe, is taking on 30th-seeded Ruben Bemelans. It will be the first French Open appearance for either player. 

John-Patrick Smith is set to play main draw doubles in his second Grand Slam. While watching the Vols in the NCAA Tennis Championships, he learned he'd been accepted into the doubles draw with Marinko Matosevic. 

For a look at this week's rankings:

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 121 (-1)
Doubles: 185 (+11)
Note: Played last week at the Bordeaux Challenger, reaching the doubles quarterfinals with John Peers ... Playing the French Open singles qualifying this week. 

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 225 (+3)
Doubles: 81 (+1)
Note: Played last week at the Busan Challenger in South Korea, losing in the opening round ... Playing doubles at the French Open, his fifth continent to play matches on this year.  

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 248 (-6)
Doubles: 139 (-1)
Note: Off last week ... Playing this week in the French Open singles qualifying.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 738 (+1)
Doubles: 993 (-14)
Note: Played a $10,000 Futures in Romania last week, reaching the second round of singles and the quarterfinals of doubles ... Playing in another $10,000 Futures in Romania this week. 

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (5/6/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of May 6, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 120 (-1)
Doubles: 195 (-2)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week ... Prepping for the European clay court season

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 232 (-2)
Doubles: 140 (+25)
Note: Won his first Challenger doubles title with Austin Krajicek at the $50,000 Tallahassee Challenger ... Pair made good on the No. 1 seeding during the week ... Lost in the first round of singles. Off this week.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 261 (+3)
Doubles: 87 (+6)
Note: Made the doubles finals and second round of singles at the $50,000 An-Ning Challenger in China ... Has made 3 Challenger doubles finals of the last month, boosting his ranking into the 80s for the first time ... Qualified for singles at the $125,000 Kun-Ming Challenger.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 731 (-1)
Doubles: 976 (+3)
Note: Lost in qualifying in three sets last week at the $35,000 Napoli Challenger in Italy ... Off this week.

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (4/22/2013)

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

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 119 (-2)
Doubles: 199 (-1)
Note: Reached the second round of the Sarasota Challenger, losing to college rival Steve Johnson in straight sets ... Williams leads series with Johnson 2-1 on the pro circuit ... Playing the Savannah Challenger this week.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 219 (-10)
Doubles: 160 (+5)
Note: Lost in the first round of singles and made the quarterfinals of doubles last week at the Sarasota Challenger ... Playing the Savannah Challenger this week.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 260 (-2)
Doubles: 92 (+5)
Note: Reached career high in doubles ranking after making another doubles final in Mexico, losing the Mexico City Challenger in a deciding tiebreak ... Finished with three-tournament series in Mexico ... Heading to Asia hard courts next.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 731 (-1)
Doubles: 976 (+3)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (4/15/2013)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of April 15, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 117 (+27)
Doubles: 198 (-1)
Note: Became first Vol in 14 years to reach the semifinals of an ATP event ... He played his way into the semifinals of the US Open Clay Court Championships, eventually losing to world No. 12 Nicolas Almagro of Spain ... Climbed to a career-best No. 117 in singles as a result ... Trying to become 14th Vol to reach the top 100 ... Playing in the Sarasota Challenger this week, facing Tennys Sandgren in the first round.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 209 (+4)
Doubles: 165 (-1)
Note: Reached the second round of the $15K Oklahoma City Futures ... Facing Rhyne Williams to open the $100K Sarasota Challenger. The two are also playing together in doubles.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 258 (-10)
Doubles: 97 (-3)
Note: Reached the second round of the $100K Guadalajara Challenger in singles and made the doubles final with Sam Groth ... Playing in this week's $35K+H Mexico City Challenger.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 730 (+5)
Doubles: 979 (0)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

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