Sept. 8, 2008
Three sophomore Tennessee players are ranked in the first singles and doubles poll of the 2008-09 season released last week by Intercollegiate Tennis Association. John-Patrick Smith is ranked 10th, Boris Conkic is 55th and Matteo Fago is 117th in the preseason singles rankings. Conkic and Smith are ranked 13th in doubles.
Smith is looking to build on a freshman campaign that saw him named the SEC Freshman of the Year and Region III Rookie of the Year. The Townsville, Australia, native ended the season by advancing to the championship match of the NCAA singles tournament. Overall, Smith put together a 33-11 record with 17 of those wins coming over ranked opponents.
Smith is the highest ranked SEC player in the preseason singles poll.
Conkic is ranked 55th after spending most of his freshman season playing at the No. 3 position in the UT lineup. The Serbia native finished with a 28-6 singles record, and his season winning percentage of .824 is the best by a freshman in UT history and seventh best season win percentage overall in Tennessee tennis history.
Fago is ranked for the first time in his career in the initial poll of the season. The sophomore from Ceprano, Italy, was a member of the Freshman All-SEC team last season after becoming the first Vol since Brice Karsh in 1990 to go undefeated in SEC play. Fago finished the season with a 19-7 record.
Conkic and Smith are ranked 13th in the doubles poll but the Vol netters have never played a match together.
Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State is the No. 1 ranked player in collegiate tennis and the top-ranked doubles tandem is Carl Sundberg and Daniel Vallverdu of Miami (Fla.).
Tennessee hits the courts for the first time this fall when it travels to Charlottesville, Va., for the UVA Ranked 1-1 Tournament from Sept. 27-29.