???I???m proud of J.P. for earning this honor,??? head coach Sam Winterbotham said. ???We are only at the tip of the iceberg of what type of tennis player J.P. can become. He showed this weekend that he can play at this level and now I want him to build on that as we hit dual-match play and become a consistent performer in our lineup.???
Smith, a freshman from Townsville, Australia, was ranked 93rd in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll of 2008. In his first three matches of the year, Smith went up against three players that were ranked higher than him in the season???s first poll and defeated all three of them.
In the first round at the SEC Indoors, Smith defeated 48th-ranked Robbye Poole of Ole Miss, in the second round he got past 88th-ranked Jan Zelezny of LSU. Smith???s final win of the weekend was his biggest as he defeated eighth-ranked Greg Ouellette of Florida. Ouellette has earned All-SEC first team honors three times and was named an All-America in 2007.
Smith has a 9-6 record during his freshman season with six of those victories coming over ranked opponents. Tennessee tennis fans will get their first chance to see Smith Thursday when the freshman and his teammates begin the season with a doubleheader against Furman and The Citadel at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center.