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ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (3/19/13)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of March 4, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 146 (-13)
Doubles: 199 (-11)
Note: Played qualifying at the BNP Paribas Open last time out, losing in the opening round ... Received wild card to play in this week's ATP Masters 1000 Miami event, the Sony Open ... Faces Santiago Giraldo in the opening round.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 218 (-2)
Doubles: 150 (-4)
Note: Lost in the first round of last week's $15,000 Futures in Calabasas, Calif. ... this week playing in a similar event in Costa Mesa, where he is seeded second and taking on former LSU star Michael Venus.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 239 (-5)
Doubles: 102 (-4)
Note: Off last week ... Back in action on the indoor hard courts at the Rimouski Challenger in Canada ... Playing Jimmy Wang in the first round ... Also seeded third in doubles.

Happy Birthday - March 10: Tennis' Ed Jones

On March 10, we wish Happy Birthday to tennis senior Edward Jones.
Edward Jones

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (3/4/13)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of March 4, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 133 (0)
Doubles: 188 (-9)
Note: Off last week ... Playing qualifying this week at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where he played his way into his first career ATP main draw a year ago ... Has risen 60 spots in the rankings since January. 

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 216 (-1)
Doubles: 146 (-9)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 234 (0)
Doubles: 98 (+5)
Note: Back in doubles top 100 after winning a $15,000 Futures title two weeks ago with Sam Groth ... Off last week ... Has returned to Knoxville after spending the last three months in Australia. 

Matteo Fago
Singles: 851 (0)
Doubles: 1106 (+2)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Happy Birthday - March 3: Colton Norton

On March 3, we send Happy Birthday wishes to tennis junior Colton Norton.

Colton Norton  

Vols up to No. 8 in ITA Team Rankings

Thanks to a difficult road schedule to start the season, the Vols debuted at No. 8 in the first ITA computerized national team rankings of the college tennis season on Tuesday.

The Vols (12-3) already have wins over No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 17 Illinois (twice) and No. 22 Wake Forest. Tennessee opens SEC play Friday against rival No. 9 Georgia on the road in a match normally reserved for the season finale. 

New individual rankings were released. Sophomore Mikelis Libietis, who has a team-leading 24 wins this season, leads the way at No. 13, followed by No. 33 Hunter Reese and No. 76 Brandon Fickey. The ranking for Fickey is a career best.

In doubles, two of the Vols' three doubles teams are now in the national rankings. Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin slipped to No. 40, while Edward Jones and John Collins debuted at No. 34. 

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (2/11/13)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of Feb. 11, 2013. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 159 (+32)
Doubles: 175 (+17)
Note: Won his first Challenger singles title, losing only one set en route to winning the $100,000 Challenger of Dallas ... Also reached doubles final with Tennys Sandgren ... New career-best ranking in singles and doubles ... Off this week.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 217 (0)
Doubles: 139 (+17)
Note: Reached the doubles final with Rhyne Williams at the $100,000 Challenger of Dallas to achieve a new career best doubles ranking ... lost in the first round of doubles ... Off this week.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 238 (+2)
Doubles: 104 (-8)
Note: Reached the second round of the $50,000 West Lakes Challenger ... Off this week ... Playing next week in Sydney before returning to the U.S.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 854 (-3)
Doubles: 1120 (-3)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Williams Wins First Challenger Title


Former Vol Rhyne Williams dropped only one set on his way to winning his first Challenger-level singles title last week at the $100,000 Challenger of Dallas. 

Williams rolled past several American tennis veterans before defeating former U.S. Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri 7-5, 6-3 in Saturday's final round. Williams also reached the doubles final, where he and Tennys Sandgren lost in a deciding tiebreaker. 

With the win, Williams bagged 100 ATP tour points and moved up to a career-best No. 159 in the World Tour Rankings. He has no points to defend for the rest of the month. 

Williams, a two-time All-American for UT, is the second active touring pro from Tennessee to have won a singles Challenger title. John-Patrick Smith won the $50,000 Winnetka Challenger in Illinois last year. 

Men's Tennis Team Adds Honorary New Member

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The men's tennis team had a special guest at the courts earlier this week, ceremonially inducting 9-year-old Ryan Breedlove to the team. They held a signing ceremony in the team room and gave Ryan and his family a tour of Goodfriend Tennis Center. Ryan is currently fighting  a form of eye cancer and 13Q syndrome. 

For more photos of the day, check out Facebook.

Vols Ranked 14th in National Tennis Poll

The Vols climbed up another spot to No. 14 in the ITA national tennis team rankings Tuesday evening.

Tennessee (10-0) recorded its 10th win last weekend by upending 25th-ranked Illinois on the road for the second consecutive weekend. In the first month of the season, the Vols have shown considerable progress from a year ago. In 2012, the Vols did not record their 10th win until March 23. 

New individual rankings will be released next week. Mikelis Libietis is No. 9 in singles while Hunter Reese is No. 40 and likely to climb thanks to a 11-0 start to the spring. Only one of the Vols' three doubles teams, Libietis and Jarryd Chaplin, have been playing this spring and are currently ranked 26th.

The Vols have a difficult road test this weekend against No. 9 Duke and Wake Forest.

ON TOUR: Williams, Smith Advance in Respective Tourneys

Former Vols Rhyne Williams and John-Patrick Smith both won their opening-round matches at their respective tournaments to start the week on the Challenger Tour.

At the $100,000 Challenger of Dallas, Williams defeated former Texas A&M star Austin Krajicek 7-5, 6-2 in the first round Monday. He'll face fourth-seeded Rajeev Ram next.

Tennys Sandgren played his opening-round singles match Tuesday afternoon against Mischa Zverev, losing 6-3, 7-6 (5). He and Rhyne are set to play doubles later today. 

At the $50,000 West Lakes Challenger, Smith beat Andrea Arnaboldi 6-3, 7-6 (4) in his first round Tuesday. He'll face Stephane Robert next.

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