May 2, 2013
Another day, another honor, another step forward into the Tennessee tennis record books for sophomore Mikelis Libietis.
On Thursday, Libietis became the first Vol in program history to hold the No. 1 national ranking in both singles and doubles at the same time. He overtook Virginia's Alex Domijian for the top singles spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's weekly computer rankings.
Libietis' rise to No. 1 singles ranking was expected after Wednesday's announcement that the sophomore ace had been named the No. 1 seed for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships later this month in Urbana, Ill.
He and fellow sophomore Hunter Reese retained their top doubles ranking from a week ago. The two have been undefeated at 11-0 since reuniting on the doubles courts in March.
In singles, Libietis has led the sixth-ranked Vols at the top of the lineup all spring. The SEC Player of the Year is 35-5 overall and 21-2 in team matches. He went 8-1 in conference in singles and 10-1 in doubles.
Libietis, who was voted the SEC Player of the Year last week, is the seventh Vol to hold the No. 1 singles ranking. He joins a select group: Andy Kohlberg (1979), Mike DePalmer Jr. (1982), Paul Annacone (1984), Chris Woodruff (1993), John-Patrick Smiith (2010) and Rhyne Williams (2011).
While Libietis is the first to simultaneously hold both rankings, he is not the first Vol to be ranked No. 1 in singles and doubles over the course of a career.
Smith held both rankings during his illustrious career at Tennessee. He was end-year No. 1 in doubles in 2009 and 2011 with different partners and rose to the No. 1 singles ranking in 2010 thanks to a title sweep at the ITA All-American Championships.
For now, the Vols turn their attention to the NCAA Team Tennis Championships. The team was selected to host the first and second rounds at Barksdale Stadium on May 10 and 11. They play South Carolina State on May 10 at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.