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Knoxville Challenger: Vols in the Field

Nov. 5, 2012



It's a Tennessee tennis reunion at home this week as the Knoxville Challenger returns to the Goodfriend Tennis Center.

Former All-Americans John-Patrick Smith, Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren and doubles standout Adam Hubble are all back for the annual event as the 2012 professional season winds down.

The Knoxville Challenger is the second of three indoor tournaments played at college venues to finish the USTA Pro Circuit schedule. The main draw starts Tuesday with Sandgren and Williams playing singles in the evening and Smith taking the court in doubles with Baylor standout John Peers.

The matches for the evening session do not start before 5:30 p.m.

Smith and Peers, the top seeds in doubles, play Alex Kuznetsov and Micha Zverev in the doubles match on the main court. At around the same time, Sandgren will take on top-seeded defending champion Jesse Levine. Williams will take the court after Smith finishes, going against American Michael McClune.

Three current Vols are playing in the main draw. Junior Jarryd Chaplin and freshman Brandon Fickey both earned wild cards through an intra-squad tournament. Chaplin and sophomore Hunter Reese are also playing doubles together and are set to play in the afternoon Tuesday against Bradley Klahn and Denis Kudla.

Here is a look at the Vols in the field:

Rhyne Williams

Knoxville, Tenn. // 21 Years Old // Playing Singles, Doubles (w/Tennys Sandgren)
Singles Ranking: 240
Doubles Ranking: 217
2012 in Review: Became first Vol since Chris Woodruff in 2001 to play singles in the main draw of a Grand Slam when he won three matches to qualify for the US Open. He lost to Andy Roddick in the first round of what would be the American former No. 1 last tournament ... Won one singles title on clay courts in Spain and picked up three doubles titles with Tennys Sandgren ... Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., with Tennys Sandgren ... Reached the quarterfinals at the Charlottesville Challenger last week.
Years at UT: 2010-11
Tennessee Career Highlights: Two-time All-American during his two seasons for the Vols ... 2011 NCAA singles finalist and 2010 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Champion ... Held No. 1 singles ranking in February and March 2011 ... Career winning percentage of .830 ranks fourth in UT history (.830) ... Southeastern Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2010 ... Turned pro after sophomore season.

John-Patrick Smith

Townsville, Australia // 23 Years Old // Playing Singles, Doubles (w/John Peers)
Singles Ranking: 247
Doubles Ranking: 106
2012 in Review: First Vol in more than a decade to win a Challenger singles title when he played his way through qualifying to win the $50,000 Winnetka Challenger in Illinois in July ... Won two singles titles and seven doubles titles ... Five doubles titles this year have come on the ATP Challenger tour with John Peers, a former Baylor All-American, including last week at Charlottesville, Va. ... Played World TeamTennis for the Orange County Breakers, where he was named Rookie of the Year after leading the team to the Western Conference regular-season title.
Years at UT: 2008-11
Tennessee Career Highlights: One of the most decorated athletes in UT history in any sport ... Second-player in the history of college tennis to be an All-American in singles and doubles all four years of his career, joining USC's Rick Leach ... Held No. 1 national collegiate ranking in singles and doubles during his career ... 2011 Southeastern Conference Athlete of the Year and the back-to-back Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in tennis 2010 and 2011 ... four-time first-team All-SEC recipient ... Part of the ITA Doubles Team of the Year twice (2009 with Davey Sandgren, 2011 with Boris Conkic) ... Tennessee's all-time combined career wins leader with 298 victories (152 singles, 146 doubles).

Tennys Sandgren

Gallatin, Tenn. // 21 Years Old // Playing Singles, Doubles (w/Rhyne Williams)
Singles Ranking: 256
Doubles Ranking: 162
2012 in Review: It's been a year of consistency on tour for Sandgren, who has won four singles titles and five doubles titles, three of them coming with Rhyne Williams ... Leads the current pro Vols with six career Futures singles titles ... Toured exclusively in the United States and Canada this year, bagging two titles north of the border ... Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., with Rhyne Williams.
Years at UT: 2010-11
Tennessee Career Highlights: Most memorable accomplishment occurred at the end of the 2011 season, where he made a run to the NCAA singles semifinals before losing to teammate Rhyne Williams in three sets ... Ranks third in UT history in career singles winning percentage at .833 (60-12) ... Played just three seasons at Tennessee, arriving in January 2010 to help the Vols to the NCAA team final ... Two-time All-SEC.

Adam Hubble

Melbourne, Australia // 26 Years Old // Playing Singles Qualifying, Doubles (w/Andrei Daescu)
Singles Ranking: 1299
Doubles Ranking: 166
2012 in Review: Hubble has won three doubles titles on the Futures tour this year. He won them on three different continents, taking titles with different partners in Australia, South Korea and Germany ... Spent most of the summer playing club tennis in Germany ... Returned to the top 200 in the ATP doubles rankings thanks to a strong summer on the European Challenger circuit, reaching the finals in Ponzan, Poland.
Years at UT: 2006-07
Tennessee Career Highlights: Midyear addition to the Vols' 2006 squad ... Member of Sam Winterbotham's first Tennessee team in 2007 ... Put together a career record of 26-15 in singles and 36-19 in doubles.

Jarryd Chaplin

Sydney, Australia // Junior // Playing Singles, Doubles (w/Hunter Reese)
2012 Fall College Season: Finished the fall season 7-4 in singles and 9-2 in doubles ... won his second career collegiate doubles title, winning five matches with Edward Jones to take the Baylor HEB Intercollegiate ... Also reached the doubles quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships with Mikelis Libietis ... Ranked a career-best No. 17 in doubles with Libietis.
Tennessee Career Highlights: Came to Tennessee as a January mid-season addition in 2011 ... First collegiate team matches came during the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, where he came in as a reserve and helped the Vols to the team finals ... Played No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles in the lineup as a sophomore, his first year as a full-time starter ... Continues an Australian tradition at Tennessee. The Vols have had at least one Aussie on the roster every year since 1988.

Brandon Fickey

Knoxville, Tenn. // Sophomore // Playing Singles
2012 Fall College Season: Finished the fall season 10-5 in singles and 8-3 in doubles ... Won the doubles title at the Tennessee Fall Invitational with Hunter Reese ... Reached the round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships in Memphis ... One of five Vols to record at least 10 singles wins this fall.
Tennessee Career Highlights: One of two Knoxville native to play in the starting lineup last season for Tennessee, joining Taylor Patrick ... Played No. 2 and 3 in the Vols' singles lineup last year ... Part of the freshman trio who played 1-2-3 in the lineup.

Hunter Reese

Kennesaw, Ga. // Sophomore // Playing Doubles (w/Jarryd Chaplin)
2012 Fall College Season: Put together a 10-3 record in singles and a 6-3 record in doubles ... Ranked No. 34 in singles and No. 6 in doubles with John Collins ... Reached the finals of the Baylor HEB Intercollegiate, his first career singles final ... Played into the consolation semifinals of the ITA All-American Championships ... Rest of fall season limited with knee injury.
Tennessee Career Highlights: Earned All-SEC honors as a freshman ... Played No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles in the lineup ... won the doubles title at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships with Mikelis Libietis ... First player from Georgia to play for the Vols since 1993.
 

 

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