Sept. 12, 2011
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s Kevin King and Juan Spir, who reached the semifinals of last spring’s NCAA Doubles Championship and helped the Yellow Jackets reach the NCAA round of 16 as a team, have been tabbed No. 1 in the nation in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings released last weekend.
King, a senior from Peachtree City, Ga., and Spir, a junior from Medellin, Colombia, went 34-11 last year, each setting Georgia Tech records for doubles victories in a school year. They won the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and advanced to the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Collegiate Indoor Championships, then went 16-6 in dual matches in the spring.
Both players earned ITA All-America and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. They are 44-17 together in their careers at Tech.
Spir, who has a 42-27 career record, is ranked 34th in singles. The junior compiled a 22-13 slate last year, playing No. 2 for the Yellow Jackets most of the spring. King also appears in the ITA singles rankings at No. 85, while transfer Juan Melian Puigventos is No. 97.
“I don’t know of too many coaches that put a lot of weight on preseason rankings but I have to admit I’ve always liked the number 1,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “Kevin and Juan earned this ranking throughout all of last season, so now they have the opportunity to have a target on their chest. They have earned nothing for this season yet. It doesn’t matter where any of the guys are ranked now in singles or doubles or even if they aren’t ranked. They all need to go out and earn everything for this new season. They are getting in good shape now so they will be ready.”
King and Spir have been selected for the main doubles draw at the upcoming ITA All-American Championships, which will be held in early October at Tulsa, Okla., while Spir is in the main draw for singles. King and Melian Puigventos, a junior who transferred to Tech from Georgia Southern, are in the qualifying draw for that event.
King was 23-8 overall in singles last year, including a 19-4 mark in dual matches, where he played No. 3 most of the spring. Melian Puigventos, the Southern Conference Player of the Year last spring at Georgia Southern, went 22-1 in singles and has won his last 16 collegiate matches.