July 19, 2013
Reigning SEC Player of the Year Mikelis Libietis and incoming freshman Markus Kerner teamed up to win the doubles title at the Nordecon Open on Friday in Tallinn, Estonia.
Libietis and Kerner rolled past the top-seeded team of Micke Kontinen and Wesley Koolhof 6-1, 7-5 in the finals of the ITF Futures event.
With the victory, Libietis now has two doubles titles on the Futures circuit, having previously won a 2010 doubles tournament in Greece. It was Kerner's first career Futures title.
The Nordecon Open marked the first tennis tournament of the summer for Libietis, who is coming off an record-setting sophomore season with the Vols. In his second year playing atop the Vols' lineup, Libietis became the first UT player in history to simultaneously hold the No. 1 national ranking in both singles and doubles. He was voted the ITA National Player to Watch and the SEC Player of the Year.
Kerner will be a new face in the Vols' lineup starting in the fall. Kerner was the top-ranked player in his age group in Estonia. He has a career-high ATP World Tour singles ranking of 1297. Notably, he will be the tallest player on the UT roster, checking in at 6-foot-5.
In addition to being doubles partners at the Nordecon Open, the two future teammates faced each other in singles earlier in the week with Libietis winning 6-1, 6-2. Libietis lost in the second round in three sets.
Both Vols will team up again next week for a second Estonia Futures stop in Kuressaare.