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Vol Notes from the U.S. Open
Aug. 25, 2014



NEW YORK -- Senior Hunter Reese and all-time greats John-Patrick Smith and Tennys Sandgren are all playing doubles this week at the U.S. Open, the final Grand Slam for 2014.

It will be the Grand Slam debut for both Reese and Sandgren, while Smith is playing his seventh major doubles tournament in the last two years and is in search of his first win in Flushing.

To get you ready for the U.S. Open, here are all the facts you need to know about the Big Orange in the Big Apple:

MAIN DRAW AGAIN FOR SMITH

John-Patrick Smith and former Texas A&M star Austin Krajicek hope to keep their winning doubles rolling during the fortnight at the U.S. Open.

The lefties face the wild card American team of Bradley Klahn and Tim Smyczek in the opening round.

Smith has enjoyed a banner year on the tennis court. He reached his singles career back at No. 172 in July and qualifying for the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this year.

He has played more ATP tour-level events in doubles this season. He reached the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I., and also won a round at Wimbledon. He has been ranked in the top 100 of doubles during 2014.

Smith and Krajicek have played five tournaments together this season with a 14-4 record. They made their ATP debut as a team in Newport, won the $100K Vancouver Challenger and reached the finals of back-to-back ATP Challenger tournaments in Asia.

SANDGREN'S RETURN/DEBUT

Tennys Sandgren is back.

The 2011 Tennessee All-American has missed a majority of the year after undergoing hip surgery in March. He made his return to competition last week in U.S. Open singles qualifying, where he lost in three sets to Canada's Peter Polansky.

Sandgren will make his main draw Grand Slam debut in doubles instead. He and former Ohio State star Chase Buchanan were awarded a wild card on Saturday. They will play the unseeded team of Mate Pavic (Croatia) and Andre Sa (Brazil).

REESE & CANNON

For the first time in 27 years, a current Vol is in the field at the U.S. Open.

Hunter Reese was officially awarded a wild card into the doubles main draw, where he will play with Ohio State's Peter Kobelt. Though they have not played a doubles match together, they shared a doubles court for a very long time in May. Reese and Mikelis Libietis defeated Kobelt and Kevin Metka 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6) in one of the longest, closest NCAA doubles finals in history.

Reese and Kobelt will take on the 10th-seeded team of Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut in their opening round later this week.

Shelby Cannon was the last active Vol to play in the main draw of the U.S. Open. He played singles in 1987 to start his senior year.

Cannon (1985-88) is still well-documented in the Vols' record book with the third-most combined career victories with 268. He played No. 1 singles most of his career and formed one of Tennessee's most prolific doubles teams with Byron Talbot. The two still hold the career record in doubles wins as a team with 102.

Rarely does a doubles team play together for a majority of four years. Reese and Libietis stand a chance to pull off that feat and are within striking distance of Cannon and Talbot's career record. In three seasons -- including a sophomore year in which they played sparingly -- the Vols' current lineup leaders have 73 wins together heading into 2014-15. They had 36 wins as juniors.

THE MIXED TITLE + TOP VOL PERFORMANCES

In addition to his U.S. Open singles appearance as a senior in 1987, lefty legend and former top-100 doubles professional Shelby Cannon is responsible for the Vols' only Grand Slam title in Flushing.

He and Robin White teamed up to win the 1989 U.S. Open Mixed Doubles Championship, defeating Meredith McGrath and world doubles No. 1 Rick Leach 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the title match.

Three-time All-American Paul Annacone enjoyed two finalist performances during his career, once in men's doubles and once in mixed.

In a three-year span from 1985-87, Mike DePalmer Jr. reached a doubles semifinal and two quarterfinals.

 

 

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