April 2, 2009
The fourth-ranked Tennessee men's tennis hosts Alabama and Auburn this weekend in its final two home matches of the regular season. UT (16-3, 5-1 SEC) is currently tied with Georgia for first place in the SEC East. Friday's match against Alabama is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and the match Sunday against Auburn will begin at 1 p.m.
The Big Orange have been led this season by the sophomore trio of Boris Conkic, Matteo Fago and John-Patrick Smith. They are a combined 40-6 in singles dual-match play. Smith is 11-4 at the No. 1 position in the lineup while Conkic has gone 13-2 with most of his matches coming at the No. 2 position. Fago is a perfect 16-0 this season in dual-match play, including a 6-0 mark in the SEC, which brings his career regular season SEC dual-match record to 17-0.
The Vols are currently on an eight-match win streak that has been highlighted by UT winning the doubles point in seven of those matches. The Vols struggled with doubles early in the season, even losing the point five consecutive matches at one point. UT has put extra emphasis on doubles in practice and the results are showing. Tennessee is 12-0 this season when it wins the doubles point.
Alabama (17-3, 5-1 SEC) will be looking for a measure of revenge on Friday. UT defeated the Tide, 4-2 March 22nd in the championship match of the Blue Gray Tennis Classic. The 15th-ranked Tide have been led this season by junior Saketh Myneni who is ranked 34th in the most recent singles poll. Myneni is 8-5 this season. Michael Jung has been very solid at the back of Bama's lineup. The senior is 14-1 in dual-match play, including a 9-1 mark at the No. 6 position. The Tide have a solid 8-2 record this season away from home.
Auburn (10-6, 3-3 SEC) took a five-spot fall to the No. 27 position in the most recent ITA rankings after their split weekend against Vanderbilt and Kentucky. In singles play, Alexey Tsyrenov checks in as No. 59 while Tim Puetz continues his time at the No. 106 spot. The two are currently ranked as the No. 11 doubles pair, as they claim a 12-2 (4-2 SEC) mark.
Tennessee defeated Auburn, 4-2 in the semifinals of the Blue Gray Tennis Classic.
All home matches are free to the public. Live scoring for those that cannot attend can be found at UTsports.com.