Feb. 14, 2011
Tennessee sophomore Rhyne Williams kept his top national singles ranking as the Vols remained third in the team poll after an undefeated start, the ITA released Monday.
Five Volunteers were ranked simultaneously for the first time this season with sophomore Tennys Sandgren rejoining the list at a career-best No. 46 and senior Boris Conkic making his season debut at No. 119. Senior John-Patrick Smith moved up four positions to No. 17, and senior Matteo Fago is ranked No. 68.
Conkic and Smith also made their first appearance this season in the doubles rankings at No. 8.
Williams has been 8-1 since rising to the top of the national singles ranking in January. He picked up two victories in the last week against Duke's Reid Carleton and Louisville's Austen Childs to improve to 7-2 against opponents ranked in the top 10.
Williams has a 21-4 record this season. He is followed in the rankings by Alex Domijan of Virginia at No. 2 and Kentucky's Eric Quigley at No. 3.
Smith is 12-1 this spring and is climbing his way back up the rankings. The three-time All-America from Townsville, Australia, has collected seven ranked victories since January. He picked up his first top-10 win of the year Saturday, beating ninth-ranked Henrique Cunha of Duke.
Sandgren is 11-1 this spring and is back in the rankings for the first time since September. At No. 46, he is in the top 50 for the first time in his career. He is 5-1 against ranked opponents the last two months.
Fago fell from 38 to 68 in the rankings after a 9-3 start to the spring. Conkic, ranked 20th in the country as a junior, has returned to the national rankings since rejoining to the team in January. He barely made the cut into the top 125, but he enters the ITA National Team Indoor Championships later this week at No. 119 with a 12-1 record.
Smith has spent the better part of two or three years ranked in the top 10 - and often the top five - of the national doubles rankings. On Monday, he returned the familiar top-10 territory with Conkic after the two have started the year with a 9-1 record.
Conkic and Smith have three wins already against opponents ranked in the top 15 and are making an appearance in the top 10 for a second time. The Vols' top duo were ranked as high as fourth last year after winning five matches on their way to the doubles title at the 2009 ITA All-American Championships.
Smith has been ranked in the top 10 with four teammates: Conkic, Kaden Hensel, Davey Sandgren and Rhyne Williams, though the two only played five matched together. Smith is five wins away from tying Byron Talbot's school-record 131 career doubles victories.
Conkic has been no slouch at doubles in his career either. He was ranked fourth with Williams last season as the pair won 34 matches together, most of them coming at the No. 2 position in the lineup. He is three wins away from becoming the fifth Vol to reach 100 doubles wins.
No. 8 - Boris Conkic/John-Patrick Smith