Kononova, Kutubidze Earn Record-Setting Top-25 National Doubles Ranking
Doubles Team Ranked No. 22, Kononova Ranked No. 41 In Singles
Kononova and Kutubidze received a No. 22 national ranking in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s preseason doubles team Poll this week. It’s the highest a North Texas doubles team has ever been ranked in program history.
In addition to her doubles team ranking, Kononova also set a program-record with an ITA preseason singles ranking of 41.
“We are very excited for Maria and Tamuna,” said head coach Sujay Lama. “This is a reflection of the success they had last season and a huge motivation for them to work harder this year and to keep climbing the ladder."
Kononova and Kutubidze set three program-records last season while being named first team all-conference for the second year in a row. The doubles team finished with a 17-1 record — the most wins in program history. They won 17 matches in a row — the longest winning streak in program history. Their .944 doubles team winning percentage was also a program record for a team that won eight or more matches in a season.
“These two continue to raise the bar of North Texas tennis and inspire their teammates,” Lama said.
In singles, Kononova was a rock for the Mean Green at the No. 1 singles position.
The 2017 Conference USA First Team All-Conference member reached a then program-best No. 61 national ranking shortly after she defeated Oklahoma’s No. 16 ranked Lily Miyazaki. It’s the highest ranked opponent a Mean Green tennis player has ever beaten.
From early February to early March, Kononova won nine consecutive singles matches and was named C-USA Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week three times. She finished with an 18-5 singles record last season. Her 18 wins are a single season program record and her .782 winning percentage was .006 percent off the record.
Kononova plays her best tennis against the toughest competition. She owns a career 7-3 record versus ranked opponents. Five of those wins came last season.
Last fall, Kononova and Kutubidze went 7-3 in the tournament season. They defeated Oklahoma State’s national ranked doubles team in October at the ITA All-American Championship.
Kononova, went 13-4 in singles in the fall last season. She will begin her fall season this weekend at the ITA Hall of Fame Grass Court competition in Newport, Rhode Island.
Kutubidze starts her fall season the following weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the ITA Milwaukee Classic. She will be accompanied with Kononova. The two will pair up in the doubles competition.