The Georgia men’s tennis team won their fifth match in a row in dramatic fashion versus Arkansas on Sunday. After the first four singles matches, UGA found themselves down 3-2 when freshman Robert Loeb and sophomore Walker Duncan won at courts five and six to give the Bulldogs a come from behind 4-3 win.
In a match that lasted over four hours at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts, Loeb and Duncan took the final two courts in straight sets to give the Bulldogs their fifth consecutive victory and improve the team’s record to 8-5 overall, 4-0 in the SEC. Loeb defeated Juan Marino, 6-1, 6-3, before Duncan clinched with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Arkansas’ Johan den Toom.
“I could not be more impressed with Arkansas today,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “They came in here in front of a great crowd and were not intimidated one bit. I thought they really matched our intensity all day long. In all honesty, I think we are becoming a pretty good team and are starting to come together. I am really proud of our guys, and can’t say enough about how they competed.”
Georgia had a tough start on the doubles courts after the team of Wayne Montgomery and Duncan fell, 6-2, to Arkansas’ tandem of Johan den Toom and Branch Terrell at the third position, while Nathan Ponwith and Emil Reinberg dropped behind 4-2 early at No. 2. The 60th-ranked pair of Ponwith and Reinberg then rebounded to win four in a row in a 6-4 victory over Adam Sanjuro and Oscar Mesquida.
That split set up a battle at the No. 1 position, where the Razorbacks and Bulldogs went back and forth. Georgia’s 30th-ranked team of Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski won its third-straight match against a ranked opponent in a 7-6 (3) tiebreaker over 56th-ranked Mike Redlicki and Jose Salazar. Loeb, who celebrated his 19th Birthday on Sunday, delivered an ace on the match point to give his team the 1-0 lead.
The Razorbacks jumped out to a 2-1 advantage at the start of singles thanks to wins at the second and fourth positions. After winning the first set, Zielinski fell to Mesquida, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. Ponwith forced a tiebreaker in the second set and jumped out to a 4-2 lead before Arkansas’ 24th-ranked Jose Salazar hung on for a 6-4, 7-6 (7) win.
Reinberg was then able to even the match at 2-2, but it did not come easy for the Atlanta native. He fell behind 5-2 in the first set and then stormed back after a 6-3 loss in the second for a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 win over Sanjuro.
Arkansas then pulled ahead 3-2 following sixth-ranked Redlicki’s 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over 26th-ranked Montgomery at the No. 1 court. That is when Loeb delivered a 6-1, 6-3 win, followed by the clincher from Duncan.
CLICK HERE for the final results from the Georgia-Arkansas men’s tennis match.
The Georgia men will host No. 2 Wake Forest on Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.