July 3, 2009
John-Patrick Smith and Boris Conkic, University of Tennessee rising junior tennis players, open play at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, on Saturday. Representing his home nation of Australia, the 14th-seeded Smith faces Phil Stephens of Great Britain in the second round after both received opening round byes.
The winner faces the winner of Sweden's Alexander Thams and Italy's Pietro Ansaldo match in Sunday's third round action.
Smith and fellow countryman John Peers are the No. 6 seed in doubles and take on the Canadian duo of Graeme Kassautzki and Mikhail Lew. The winner of that match faces the winner of Sweden's Alexander Milles/Alexander Thames and Germany's Mario Eckardt/Klaus Jank in the second round.
A two-time All-America, Smith compiled a 36-11 singles record this past season finishing No. 3 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. He and Davey Sandgren reached the finals of the NCAA Doubles Championships this past spring and were No. 1 in the final ITA rankings after fashioning a 32-12 mark.
Conkic is competing in doubles for Serbia with partner Aleksander Grubin. They face the fifth-seeded duo from Kazakhstan of Syrym Abdukhalikov and Maxime Filippov Saturday.
Conkic, like Smith, had a successful sophomore campaign as he helped lead the Volunteers to a 23-7 overall record and No. 8 final ranking. He posted 29-9 singles mark, finishing with an ITA ranking of 38. Along with doubles partner Matteo Fago, they went 25-8 and were No. 43 in the final ITA rankings.