Smith Returns to Quarterfinals for Fourth Time

Jan. 16, 2011

For the fourth time in his career, senior John-Patrick Smith has returned to the quarterfinals of the SEC Coaches Indoor Championships.

Smith earned two more singles victories in straight sets Saturday to advance at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. He and senior Boris Conkic also won their way into the doubles semifinals.

He quickly beat Zach White of Mississippi State 6-2, 6-3 in his morning match and defeated Georgia's Hernius Pieters 6-3, 6-1 in the late afternoon to become the first player to secure a position in the quarterfinals.

He faces fifth-seeded Sekou Bangoura Jr. of Florida on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

Smith sees the tournament as an opportunity to generate momentum for the upcoming dual match season, but he has also collected some trophies along the way as well. He won the SEC Indoors singles title in 2009 as a sophomore and was a semifinalist as a freshman.

Smith said that while he cannot entirely explain why he has advanced deep in the tournament every year, he believes much of his success comes from training during the holidays back home in Townsville, Australia.

"A lot of people come in here to knock off some cobwebs before the season," Smith said. "I don't know what it is about this event every January, but I've seemed to play pretty well here every year. The tournament always comes around at the right time, and I don't think I have to adjust quite as much."

In doubles, Smith and Conkic advanced to the semifinals with an 8-4 victory over Georgia's Drake Bernstein and Wil Spencer. They play top-seeded Alexandre Lacroix and Nassim Slilam at 5:30 p.m.

Although Smith and Conkic only played eight matches together in their long UT careers, they are probably the most experienced team on a national level remaining in the field. They teamed up to win the 2009 ITA All-American Championships as juniors and have won all three matches they have played together this spring.



Smith was the SEC Indoors doubles champion in 2009 with Davey Sandgren.

The top four seeds all advanced to the singles quarterfinals, but sophomore Tennys Sandgren nearly put a stop to that trend when he faced second-seeded Alexandre Lacroix of Florida. Sandgren broke Lacroix' serve late in the third set and served for the match twice at 5-4, but the Gator's top player rallied to tie the score, eventually winning in a tiebreaker 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (5).

In his second-round match earlier, Sandgren collected his third ranked win of the spring when he beat No. 107 Tucker Vorster of Mississippi 7-6, 6-4.

Sandgren and senior Matteo Fago were also handed another disappointing tiebreaker loss in the doubles quarterfinals by second-seeded Javier Garrapiz and Hernius Pieters of Georgia. Both teams held serve the whole way, and Georgia reached the semifinals with a 9-8 (3) victory.

Saturday's Results
Main Draw Singles
Round of 32

John-Patrick Smith, UT, def. Zach White, Miss., 6-2, 6-3
Anthony Rossi, UK, def. Matteo Fago (6), UT, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6
Tennys Sandgren, UT, def. Tucker Vorster (9-16), Miss., 7-6, 6-4
Round of 16
John-Patrick Smith (4), UT, def. Hernius Pieters, UGA, 6-3, 6-1
Alexandre Lacroix (2), UF, def. Tennys Sandgren, UT, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (5)

Main Draw Doubles

Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith (4), UT, def. Drake Bernstein/Wil Spencer, UGA, 8-4
Javier Garrapiz/Hernius Pieters (2), UGA, def. Matteo Fago/Tennys Sandgren, UT, 9-8 (3)

Consolation Singles
Round of 16

Jarryd Chaplin, UT, def. Trey Walston, UA, 6-2, 6-4
Edward Jones, UT, def. Antonio Lastre, MSU, 7-6, 6-1
Boris Conkic, UT, def. Carlos Taborga, UA, 6-1, 6-3
Taylor Patrick, UT, def. Nassim Slilam, UF, w/o
Matteo Fago, UT, def. Zach White, MSU, 4-6, 7-5, 1-0

Sunday's Schedule
Main Draw Singles

10:30 a.m. - John-Patrick Smith, UT, vs. Sekou Bangoura Jr., UF

Main Draw Doubles

5:30 p.m. - Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith, UT, vs. Alexandre Lacroix/Nassim Slilam, UF

Consolation Singles
Round of 16

9 a.m. - Jarryd Chaplin, UT, vs. Sebastian Carlsson, LSU
9 a.m. - Edward Jones, UT, vs. Antonio Lastre, MSU
9 a.m. - Boris Conkic, UT, vs. Max Gregor, MSU
10:30 a.m. - Taylor Patrick, UT, vs. Campbell Johnson, UGA
10:30 a.m. - Matteo Fago, UT, vs. Billy Federhoffer, UF



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