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M TENNIS CENTRAL: ITA All-American

Oct. 2, 2013


libietis_reese

ITA All-American Championships

Thursday, Oct. 3

Friday, Oct. 4

Saturday, Oct. 5

Sunday, Oct. 6

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Who's Playing?
Singles: Mikelis Libietis (#1 seed), Hunter Reese

Doubles: Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (#1 seed)

Tourney Storylines
THE ITA ALL-AMERICAN
  • The ITA All-American Championships is the informal ringing in of the new college tennis season. It is the first chance to see many new freshmen faces across the national landscape and take notice of players who have graduated.
  • For many players, the All-American is where they start building their ranking for the school year. Nearly all the players in the 64-man singles draw are nationally ranked.
  • Players who reach the quarterfinals in singles or semifinals in doubles automatically qualify for the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in New York in November.
  • The All-American is one of three "grand slams" of college tennis still in existence, joining the National Indoors and the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.

BIG MIKE'S JUNIOR DEBUT

  • Junior Mikelis Libietis, the nation's top-ranked player in singles and doubles, will take to the college courts for the first time Thursday.
  • Though he has not yet played a college tournament this fall, he is certainly match tested entering the weekend. He represented Latvia in the Davis Cup in September. He won his doubles match to help the team to a 3-2 victory over Finland.
  • This summer, he won his first ITF Futures singles title and also picked up two doubles titles
  • Last season, he went 37-7 in singles and 32-10 in doubles for the Vols in a breakout sophomore year. He was named both the SEC Player of the Year and the ITA National Player to Watch.

REESE BACK IN THE NATIONAL FIELD

  • Junior Hunter Reese is playing his second college tournament of the fall, having gone 3-2 at the SEC Fall Classic two weeks ago. He is currently ranked 24th nationally.
  • Reese made his college major debut at the ITA All-American last year, where he drew top seeded Henrique Cunha of Duke. Reese lost in the first round but ended up reaching the semifinals of consolation. A knee injury suffered at the tournament forced him to miss the remainder of the fall season.
  • Last year, Reese went 31-9 in singles and 33-10 in doubles. He earned All-America honors for the first time and was All-SEC for a second year.

AND IN DOUBLES...

  • Libietis and Reese are in their third year of playing together, though they have only played sparingly in the fall together in previous seasons. They have one title under their belt: the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships in 2011.
  • This is their first ITA All-American together. Last year, Libietis reached the quarterfinals with Jarryd Chaplin. Hunter Reese lost in the opening round with John Collins but the two made the consolation semifinals.
  • The junior pair have played No. 1 doubles for the Vols the last two seasons in team play. They have 37 wins as a pairing, which ranks seventh on the UT career list.

HISTORICALLY AT THE ALL-AMERICAN

  • John-Patrick Smith is the only Vol to hoist the singles title at the ITA All-American Championships. In 2009, he became the first player since Harvard's James Blake in 1998 to sweep both the singles and doubles titles. He won the doubles title with Boris Conkic. It was their first tournament playing together, but they teamed up more than a year later to be No. 1 in the country in 2011.
  • Paul Annacone, the Vols' first three-time All-American, was a finalist at the event in 1982.
  • Shelby Cannon and Byron Talbot, still owners of several UT records, won the doubles title in 1986. Both Vols were excellent in singles and spent much of their careers ranked in the top 10. They also formed a great doubles team and amassed 102 win together in four years.


 

 

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