King, Spir Earn Bids to NCAA Individual Championships
Tech tandem qualify automatically in doubles, receive at-large berths in singles
May 2, 2012
ATLANTA - Kevin King and Juan Spir, ranked No. 2 in the nation as a doubles team, have earned an automatic berth in the NCAA Doubles Championship, and both players have received at-large spots in the NCAA Singles Championship. The fields for both events were announced Wednesday, one day after the 64-team field was announced.
The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship will be conducted May 23-28 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., hosted by the University of Georgia, following the conclusion of the NCAA team championship, which is being held May 18-22.
King, a senior from Peachtree City, Ga., and Spir, a junior from Medellin, Colombia, are playing in their second NCAA doubles championship. The tandem reached the semifinals last spring at Stanford, Calif., and earned All-America honors. They have a 21-4 record this year, 16-2 in the spring, and 8-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Together they have a 65-21 career record as a doubles team, and they both made the All-ACC team this spring.
"Kevin and Juan are playing in the doubles event for the second straight year, and in my opinion they are the best doubles team to ever come through Georgia Tech," said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. "They had another great season and finished the regular season as the nation's #2 ranked team. Watch out for these guys because they enjoy tournament time."
Both King and Spir are in the NCAA singles field for the first time in their careers. It is the first time Georgia Tech has had two players received singles bids since Thorne and Tech women's coach Bryan Shelton were both in the field in 1988.
King is currently No. 24 in the ITA rankings with a 27-9 singles record for the year and had been ranked as high as No. 7 this spring before a shoulder injury and back spasms hampered him the last three weeks. He enjoyed a stellar fall in which he won the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and advanced to the USTA/ITA National Indoor quarterfinals. King has a 13-6 spring record, all at No. 1, including a 5-4 ACC mark. His best victories include No. 18 Andreas Mies of Auburn and No. 34 Jamie Whiteford of William & Mary. The left-hander has a 79-40 career singles record, 26-15 in ACC matches.
Spir heated up late in the ACC season, winning four straight matches against ranked opponents, including No. 26 Chris Mengel of Duke on the road and No. 3 Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia at home, both in straight sets. The 6-4 junior has a 16-12 singles record this year, 13-8 in the spring and 6-5 in the ACC, and rose to No. 48 in the ITA rankings, matching the highest of his career, and currently is No. 58..
"Kevin is well deserving of being selected into the individual event and I appreciate everything he has done for this team over the past four years," said Thorne. "He had a great season and unfortunately had some injuries towards the end. His ranking dropped out of the top 10 in the nation because even though he was injured, he wanted to try to help the team win. These past two weeks off have helped him recover and he should be in great shape. Juan finished the season very strong with wins over the No. 3 player in the nation and got his ranking back up to where he had a chance to get in. Congratulations to him."