April 29, 2009
Knoxville, Tenn. -- University of Tennessee men's tennis players John-Patrick Smith and Boris Conkic have been invited to play in the individual portion, while Smith and Davey Sandgren were chosen for the doubles field of the NCAA Championships as the draws for the singles and doubles tournaments were announced Wednesday afternoon.
The singles and doubles competitions will take place May 20-25, at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, following the conclusion of the team championships, which run May 14-19. All matches shall be the best of three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six games all will be used for all matches.
Only a sophomore and currently ranked No. 5 nationally, Smith (31-10) received the Southeastern Conference's automatic bid and is seeded No. 6. He reached the finals of last year's tournament, defeating the 41st, 29th, 57th, 32nd and 11th-ranked players on consecutive days before falling to top-ranked Somdev Devarmann of Virginia. In two seasons, Smith has compiled a 64-21 overall singles record.
Tulsa's Arnau Brugues is the No. 1 overall seed among the 64 individuals chosen for the singles draw.
Conkic, ranked 37th nationally, owns a 27-8 mark and earned an at-large selection. Smith's sophomore teammate has compiled a 55-14 mark in singles action, while playing at the No. 2 position in the lineup.
Tennessee's No. 1 doubles team of Smith and Sandgren, are currently ranked a season-high No. 3 and seeded No. 2. They own a 25-10 record this season and are 32-13 in their careers together. Bram tenBerge and Jonas Berg of Mississippi are the No. 1 seed of the 32 doubles teams selected.
Smith also competed in NCAA doubles action last year with departed senior Kaden Hensel. The pair was beaten in the first round in a third-set tiebreaker.
The fifth-ranked Vols will host the opening rounds of the team portion of the NCAA Tournament at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville, May 8-9. Tennessee, seeded fifth in the competition, will face in-state foe East Tennessee State at 1 p.m. next Friday, following a 10 a.m. showdown between Radford and Duke. The winners of both matches will advance to play at 3 p.m. the following day for the right to move on to the Round of 16 in College Station.