Nov. 30, 2011
KNOXVILLE - The Tennessee women's tennis program secured the initial commitment of its 2012 recruiting class, signing Elizabeth Mimi Fotopoulos of Prairie Village, Kan., to a National Letter of Intent.
A five-star recruit and the 39th-ranked player nationally according to TennisRecruiting.net, Fotopoulos was a two-time National High School Tennis All-American and captured the last two 6A Kansas state singles championships, going undefeated in both 2010 and 2011.
"Mimi definitely brings a lot of enthusiasm, energy and such a loyalty to UT," co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick said. "She has just been so optimistic and really brings an attitude that's difficult to find. She has really good ground strokes. She has a variety of different things that she can do and has a never-die attitude. I think her mental game is probably one of her biggest strengths."
Serving as the number one singles player and co-captain during all four of her years at Shawnee Mission East High School, Fotopoulos led the Lancers to state championships in 2008 and 2011.
Losing just three matches in her high school career, Fotopoulos was also the runner-up in the 2008 and 2009 Kansas singles state championships.
Additionally, she was a four-time district singles champion and three-time regional singles winner.
"She's had success so she knows and understands how to win," Hahn-Patrick said. "I think that's one of her best attributes. A lot of players will have a lot of great skills and fundamentals, but if you don't know how to win that's very difficult. She's already established that."
A four-time All-State and Kansas City All-Metro honoree, Fotopoulos was tabbed the Kansas City Star All-Metro Player of the year in 2010 and 2011.
Additionally, Fotopoulos is a former USTA National Open singles and doubles champion, and also earned the organization's National Sportsmanship award twice. She also is a member of the National Honor Society and boasts a 3.87 grade-point average.
"She has a lot of pride in what she does and represents," Hahn-Patrick said. "She does a variety of different things so I think when she comes to school she's going to be a great asset very quickly because she's so used to being multifaceted."
Fotopoulos' success stems from being absorbed in the sport her entire life. Her father, Sam, played at both Texas and Oklahoma, while her older brother, Chris, also played at Oklahoma. Her mother, Angie, is a former USTA-ranked junior tennis player.
"I think that's where she's gotten a lot of support and understanding," Hahn-Patrick said. "It's really exposed her to a lot of the early rigors of being a tennis player. They're the ones that have given her the passion to play."
Tennessee opens dual-match play against Virginia on Jan. 21 in Flushing, N.Y., at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.