Update On Tennis Vols in the Pros

Several weeks ago I wrote about former Volunteer tennis standout Rhyne Williams advancing through the qualifying draw and into the main draw of the U.S. Open where he was matched up against fellow American and former U.S. Open Champion Andy Roddick. The reason you didn't see a follow-up article from me is because Rhyne lost that match, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news.

But, to be fair, the news wasn't really all that bad. Right before the tournament, Roddick announced that he would be retiring, and that this U.S. Open would be his last. Before hearing the news of Roddick's imminent retirement, I was quite bullish on Williams' chances of pulling off the upset. But the tennis gods seem to smile on established former champions in their swan song tournament -- or, more likely, the overwhelming crowd support that they get as a result gives them an added spring in their step -- and this iteration was no different. And so Williams, playing in his first ever match in the largest tennis venue in the world, lost 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to Mr. Roddick. You can view the first two sets of the match in their entirety on youtube.

If you take the time to watch any of that match, you'll see that Rhyne played quite well, and simply lost to a more experienced player who, unlike himself, wasn't in awe of the circumstances. It is still an impressive accomplishment, and it's a huge step for his career. But it won't be the last step by any means. No no. He'll be back on the big stage before you know it, and next time we can expect to see him advancing deeeep into the drawn.

His former teammates who are also on the professional tour have yet to make the main draw of one of the four tennis Majors, but they will. And you can quote me on that. Here is a rundown of the current ATP rankings for the entire gang.

John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 228 (+2)

Doubles: 140 (+1)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week ... Playing in Brazil next week at the $35,000+H Belem Challenger.

Rhyne Williams

Singles: 270 (-17)

Doubles: 301 (-29)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger next week.

Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 313 (0)

Doubles: 227 (0)

Note: Swept the singles and doubles titles last week at a $15,000 Futures in Canada ... Off this week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger next week.

Matteo Fago

Singles: 955 (+23)

Doubles: 1573 (N/A)

Note: Reached the second round of a $10,000 Futures in Italy last week ... Off this week ... Off next week.

Adam Hubble

Singles: 1285 (+10)

Doubles: 164 (+2)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week ... Playing in the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger next week ... Closing in on his career-best rank of 146 (8/2/2010).

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