- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

KNOXVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Tennessee’s John-Patrick Smith reached the finals of the NCAA singles tennis tournament as a freshman in 2008. Coach Sam Winterbotham wasn’t sure if he’d stick around Knoxville much longer.

Winterbotham usually talks to guys having that kind of success about turning pro. Smith was determined to stay in school and earn his degree, though.

The Townsville, Australia, native has stuck to the plan, earning his economics degree last week. In the mean time, he’s managed to dominate Southeastern Conference play and become only the second collegiate tennis player to be named all-American for four years in both singles and doubles play.

An NCAA championship is the one thing to elude Smith. He’s making one final run at the NCAA singles, doubles and team titles this month.

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