Men's Tennis Opens Spring in National Rankings
Jan. 3, 2013
National Team Rankings -- Here
National Singles Rankings -- Here
National Doubles Rankings -- Here
MEMPHIS - - The University of Memphis men's tennis team opens its spring season on Jan. 11th at the Alabama Invitational, but the Tigers found out on Thursday that they will open the season as the No. 33 ranked team in the Campbell's Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. Memphis is the second-highest ranked team in Conference USA, behind No. 17 Tulsa.
On the strength of their fall results, Joe Salisbury and Johnny Grimal were also represented in the individual rankings. Salisbury opens the spring as the No. 64 ranked player in the country, while teammate Johnny Grimal is ranked right behind him at No. 70.
Salisbury had a busy fall slate, finishing with a record of 16-5 and becoming the first Tiger in school history to advance to the main draw of the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa. He won seven straight matches to advance from the pre-qualifying draw all the way to the main draw. He also won his way into the main draw at the USA F30 tournament in Pensacola. Salisbury was a C-USA first team honoree in doubles in his sophomore season.
Grimal went 8-5 in singles matches, picking up a pair of wins over ranked opponents at the ITA All-American championships, where he downed Winston Lin of Columbia (No. 95) and Michael Alford of Florida (No. 84) in the qualifying draw. Like Salisbury, Grimal was a C-USA all-conference honoree last season, earn first team singles honors after going 16-6 in singles and 17-5 in doubles.
Memphis opens its spring slate at the University of Alabama tournament. Three other ranked teams will participate in that tournament, including No. 47 Alabama, No. 63 Georgia State and No. 71 East Tennessee State. Following that tournament, Memphis will open dual season play by hosting No. 52 Michigan State at The Racquet Club of Memphis, Jan. 18th, at 7 p.m. (note the time change). The Spartans are one of 12 ranked opponents on the Memphis dual schedule. That number could improve to 13, depending on the outcome of Memphis' match at No. 8 Oklahoma in the ITA Kickoff Tournament in Norman. Harvard, the No. 28 ranked team in the country, is in the other side of the draw opposite the Tigers. Memphis opens against Oklahoma, then the winners of the two matches play one another, while the losing teams play one another. Notre Dame is the other team in that foursome. The number of ranked opponents also could grow, depending on the Tigers' schedule at the San Diego Tournament in March. Conference USA had four teams in the first spring rankings. Tulsa (No. 17), Memphis (No. 33), Rice (No. 55) and UAB (No. 73) all appeared in the first men's rankings. Memphis will host the 2013 Conference USA Men's Tennis Championships Apr. 18-21st.