FORT MYERS, Fla. – Despite that the dual-match season has yet to begin, the FGCU men’s tennis team is already making program history as it is represented in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings for the first time. After compiling a 14-2 record during the fall season, junior Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) is ranked No. 66 in the nation, ITA officials announced on Thursday night.
“I am so proud of Jordi and his teammates for achieving this milestone for the program,” head coach CJ Weber said. “The team has created an environment for success like this to happen, and Jordi had to be incredibly disciplined in all his fall matches in order to start the spring in this position. We will use this as a springboard to get the 2014 campaign underway and I’m very excited to see what is in store for Jordi and the entire team this spring.”
Released every other week during the spring, the rankings list the nation’s top 125 singles players determined by a computerized system, using the ITA's average points-per-match formula. Currently riding a nine-match win streak, Vives placement at No. 66 comes as a result of his 14 wins this fall season, including a championship at the Dick Vitale Invite and quarterfinal appearances at the Bedford Cup and ITA Regionals.
Of his 14 wins two were over opponents also ranked, including No. 52 Jason Tahir of Duke, who Vives defeated 6-3, 6-4, in the semifinals of the Dick Vitale Invite, and No. 119 Zack McCourt of Princeton, who Vives downed 6-4, 6-1, in the finals. The last time Vives lost was an astounding 83 days ago in the quarterfinals of ITA Regionals as he suffered a 6-4, 6-4, loss to No. 21 Nathan Pasha of Georgia.
Over the winter holiday, Vives spent time at home in Barcelona practicing for the upcoming season. While practicing with his brother, Vives had the opportunity to hit with Marc Lopez, who is ranked No. 11 in the world for doubles by the Association of Tennis Professionals with partner Rafael Nadal.
The next round of ITA rankings will be released on Feb. 11 and the current rankings can be viewed in their completion here.
The Green and Blue will return to action as they travel to Tallahassee to face FSU on Jan. 18 and Nebraska on Jan. 19.
Vives and Marc Lopez (left) in Barcelona on New Year's Day.