Sept. 26, 2009
Three Tennessee Volunteers advanced into the quarterfinals in three different brackets, and two doubles teams reached the semifinals Friday at the UVa Ranked Plus One Invitational in Charlottesville, Va.
Junior John-Patrick Smith, the No.1 seed, earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Virginia Commonwealth's Tim Johanssen in the first round. He faces Steve Forman of Wake in the quarterfinals.
Freshman Rhyne Williams improved his record to 2-0 against ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 103 Ivan Salec of Radford 6-4, 6-1 in the A-2 bracket. Williams is scheduled to play another ranked opponent Saturday: No. 16 Clay Donato of North Carolina.
Junior Boris Conkic entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the A-4 bracket and won his first match against Duke's Torsten Wietoska 6-3, 6-1. He plays Virginia's Milo Johnson on Saturday.
In the A-3 bracket, senior Davey Sandgren lost a tight, three-set match to 61st-ranked Keziel Juneau of William and Mary 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.
"Overall, we had a pretty good first day," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Woodruff said. "We had success today from a lot of players, but two bright spots stood out to me: the way Davey played in his match today and Rhyne's good win."
Doubles Update: Sandgren and Smith, the top-ranked doubles team in the nation, opened up their season with an 8-1 victory over Calin Paar and Francois Van Impe of Nebraska in the A-1 bracket.
Swartz and Patrick, also in the A-1 bracket, lost to host Virginia's Johnson and Santiago Villegas and 8-5.
Conkic and Williams debuted as a doubles team with a first-round victory in the A-2 bracket, beating Will Beck and Sebastien Jacques 8-3.
Have Racquet, Need Umbrella: Wet weather stopped the tournament from being played outdoors Friday, and all the action was moved inside the Boar's Head Sports Club. The Vols also encountered rain at last week's Southern Intercollegiate Championships, which forced play indoors nearly the entire tournament.
Moving a tournament indoors usually causes the event to fall behind schedule because there are fewer courts. The UVa Invitational had to postpone a round of singles play Friday.
However, playing indoors has at least one upside.
"Let's put it this way: we're getting in a lot of good practice to get ourselves ready for indoor nationals," Woodruff said.
Rain is in the forecast again Saturday, but tournament officials plan to at least begin the day outdoors at the Snyder Tennis Center. There will be two rounds of doubles and one round of singles.