Jan. 4, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team comes in at No. 59 in the pre-season rankings announced Thursday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Yellow Jackets’ doubles team of Juan Spir and Vikram Hundal will begin the spring season ranked third.
Tech, coming off a 9-13 season from which four members of the starting lineup return, has a strong class of three incoming freshmen going into the dual-match season, which begins Jan. 11-13 with a tournament in Naples, Fla. The Yellow Jackets open their brand-new Ken Byers Tennis Complex with a pair of dual matches against Old Dominion and Lipscomb on Jan. 18.
Head coach Kenny Thorne, in his 15th season directing the Tech men’s program, will test his Yellow Jackets against a gauntlet of some of the best teams in America, including Virginia (No. 1), Duke (No. 5), North Carolina (No. 18), Florida State (No. 32), NC State (No. 40), Virginia Tech (No. 43) and Clemson (No. 60).
The Yellow Jackets’ non-conference schedule is loaded as well, including a home match against No. 6 Georgia on Feb. 8, as well as contests against No. 2 Southern California, No. 19 Tennessee, No. 21 Auburn, No. 39 South Carolina and No. 50 Fresno State.
Spir, a senior from Medellin, Colombia who has been a stalwart in Tech’s singles and doubles lineup for three years, is ranked No. 32 in singles. He posted a 14-8 record playing second in the Yellow jackets’ lineup last spring and is 62-40 for his Tech career.
He has also been a part of a Tech-record 85 doubles victories, including an 8-1 mark this past fall with Hundal as the Tech duo captured the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and won the back draw of the USTA/ITA national Collegiate Indoor Championship.
Hundal, a sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga., moved into the Tech lineup during the latter part of the spring in 2012 and had a solid fall with a 4-2 singles mark. Also returning for Tech are senior Juan Melian of Las Palmas, Spain, who went 12-9 in dual matches last year, 18-12 overall; and Eduardo Segura, a sophomore from Madrid, Spain, who went 14-17 playing in the bottom half of Tech’s lineup as a freshman.
Nathan Rakitt of Marietta, Ga., made the biggest splash of Tech’s freshmen in the fall, posting a 9-4 singles record while going 4-2 in doubles. Garrett Gordon, also of Marietta, went 4-3 in singles, 2-2 in doubles.