Net Points: Men's Tennis Notebook - Mar. 25

March 25, 2009


With just nine regular-season matches left this season, University of Kentucky men's tennis head coach Dennis Emery thinks that the upcoming slate of matches on UK's schedule could be the toughest ever over his long and storied tenure at the helm of the Wildcat program.

"In my 26 years at Kentucky, I don't think any of my past teams ever faced a tougher set of matches in consecutive weeks than our team will face over the next month," Emery commented.

All of UK's final nine opponents are ranked in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released Tuesday, with five foes occupying slots among the top 10 teams in the country. The No. 13 Cats' remaining schedule and their opponents' rankings are listed below.
03/27/09     vs. #17 Alabama *           Lexington, Ky.      3:00 p.m. ET
03/29/09     at #22 Auburn *               Auburn, Ala.         2:00 p.m. ET
04/01/09     vs. #6 Ohio State             Lexington, Ky.      3:00 p.m. ET
04/03/09     at #2 Ole Miss *              Oxford, Miss.         5:00 p.m. ET
04/05/09     at #55 Mississippi State * Starkville, Miss.     2:00 p.m. ET
04/08/09     at #9 Illinois                    Champaign, Ill.        3:00 p.m. ET
04/10/09     vs. #5 Tennessee *          Lexington, Ky.      5:00 p.m. ET
04/12/09     vs. #3 Georgia *               Lexington, Ky.     1:00 p.m. ET
04/18/09     at #49 Vanderbilt *           Nashville, Tenn.   2:00 p.m. ET
# reflects rankings in 3/24/09 team rankings
* denotes SEC matches

•    Time Change Announced for Friday's Home Match Against Alabama
Head Coach Dennis Emery announced Tuesday that Friday's match against the Crimson Tide hosted by the Wildcats at the Boone Tennis Complex has been pushed back one hour to begin at 3:00 p.m. EDT. The match was originally set to begin at 2:00 p.m.

•    Get to the Friday Match Early to Enjoy Free Meal Deal
The first 75 fans attending the Alabama match this Friday will receive free pizza, so hungry fans should arrive at the Boone Tennis Complex early to grab a bite to eat before rooting on the Cats.


•    The SEC Makes a Compelling Case for Best Men's Tennis Conference in the Country
UK is one of five teams from the Southeastern Conference among the top 15 in the nation in the latest ITA rankings. Here is an impressive break-down of the rankings.

•    Two of the top three teams in the nation are from the SEC.
•    Three of the top five teams nationally hail from the SEC.
•    Four of the top 10 teams in the country are from SEC institutions.
•    Five of the top 16 teams nationwide are members of the SEC Eastern Division.
•    Eight of the top 25 squads in the nation play in the SEC.
•    Eleven of the top 50 teams nationally are from the conference.
•    All 12 SEC programs rank among the top 55 in the country, one week after all were among the top 50.

2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men's Tennis Rankings (released Tues. Mar. 24)

Rank     School                             Avg.     Last Week (3.17.09)
2     University of Mississippi         76.67     5
3     University of Georgia             75.58     3
5     University of Tennessee         72.73     4
7     University of Florida               64.45     8
13     University of Kentucky     50.07     13
16     University of South Carolina  45.09     19
17     University of Alabama          42.64     24
22     Auburn University                 35.19     30
31     Louisiana State University     25.04     35
46     University of Arkansas          14.47     44
49     Vanderbilt University             12.91     49
55     Mississippi State University     0.00     48

•    Former Wildcats Team Up For Success on 2009 Futures Tour
Former UK teammates Jesse Witten (2002-'05) and Tigran Martirosyan (2004-'05) have teamed up on the doubles court on the 2009 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures Tour. The Wildcat alums have paired up in five straight doubles tournaments on the circuit since mid-January, winning one and advancing to the final of another.

At the third futures tourney of the year in Plantation, Fla. on clay in late January, the tandem won the doubles title in just their second tourney playing together. The next week at the Brownsville, Texas, futures, the pair advanced to the final.

Additionally, each Wildcat has achieved success individually.

Witten has won two singles titles this season. Besides the doubles win at the Plantation Futures, Witten also took home the singles title. Late last month, he added the Harlingen Futures singles title on the hard courts in Texas.

Besides the doubles title in Plantation, Martirosyan kicked off the year with a doubles title on clay at the Boca Raton Futures in Florida. He paired up with Belarus' Uladzimir Ignatik for that championship victory. In singles, Martirosyan advanced to the quarterfinals of the McAllen Futures on the hard courts in Texas knocking off former No. 1 junior Donald Young in the round of 16 in straight sets. As a result, the former Cat has achieved his highest Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) career rankings in both singles (452) and doubles (640) as of this week.

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