Atlanta, GA - Georgia Tech’s doubles team of Kevin King and Juan Spir is ranked No. 8 in doubles, and three Yellow Jackets are among the top 100 in singles, while Tech heads into the spring dual season at No. 23 in the rankings released Tuesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
All-American Guillermo Gomez is No. 12 in singles, while Spir and Dusan Miljevic debuted in the national rankings at No. 48 and 93, respectively. They will lead the Yellow Jackets as they begin the spring dual-match season Jan. 16 against USC Upstate at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
Head coach Kenny Thorne’s team, which reached the round of 32 in last year’s NCAA Championship and posted an 18-8 record, returns everyone from a squad that finished the spring ranked No. 24.
King, a junior from Peachtree City, Ga., and Spir, a sophomore from Medellin, Colombia, have enjoyed a meteoric rise in the rankings following a strong finish to the spring season last year and a successful fall campaign in which they won the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and reached the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championships. The duo posted a 10-6 dual-match record last spring, and a 15-4 mark in the fall season.
“When we put Juan and Kevin together last year I felt that they could be one of the best teams in the nation,” said Thorne. “They lost a few close matches last year or they would have been. This fall they won those matches and are now one of the top teams. Playing against a big-serving lefty and a big-serving righty is not an easy task. They both volley well so the percentages are with them in most matches.”
Gomez, a two-time All-American and three-time All-ACC choice who rose as high as No. 4 last spring, went 11-4 in the fall after reaching the round of 16 in last year’s NCAA Championship. He won the singles title at the Southern Intercollegiate Championship, reached the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and the round of 16 at the D’Novo/ITA All-American Championships.
“Guillermo continues to be one of the top players in college tennis,” said Thorne. “His ranking dropped a bit, but he's been working on the right things and that is where our focus is. His consistency has been incredible throughout all his years at Tech. He has taken time to get in great shape, so I am excited to watch him throughout the entire season.”
Spir also enjoyed a strong fall campaign in singles, winning 11 of 15 matches while reaching the quarterfinals of the Southern Intercollegiate Championship and the round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional. He also qualified for the D’Novo/ITA All-American Championship by winning six consecutive matches in the pre-qualifying and qualifying stages of that event.
Miljevic, a junior from Novi Sad, Serbia, was 13-5 in the fall and advanced to the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional. He also enjoyed a strong run in the Southern Intercollegiate Championship (quarterfinals) and advanced through the pre-qualifying rounds of the D’Novo/ITA All-American Championship.
“I think the individual rankings are well deserved for Juan and Dusan,” said Thorne. “They worked hard and sustained a high level of tennis throughout the fall. It isn't easy working yourself into the rankings from not being ranked so they should take a lot of confidence into the season.”
The rest of Tech’s singles lineup from last spring are back, including seniors Eliot Potvin (16-9 at No. 3), Miguel Muguruza (11-9 playing mostly at No. 4) and Dean O’Brien (7-8), sophomore Magin Ortiga (14-8 mostly at No. 5). Gomez was 14-5 at No. 1, King 12-6 at No. 2, and Spir was 12-8 at No. 6.