The No.6-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team returns to Atlanta tomorrow to take on in-state rival Georgia Tech in the first dual match of the season at 5 p.m. at the Byers Tennis Complex.
Georgia spent last weekend on Tech’s campus at the MLK Invitational, where they picked up 15 wins between singles and doubles in matches against players from Illinois, Columbia and Georgia Tech.
UGA owns a 62-9 all-time record against the Yellow Jackets, including wins in 29 of the last 30 matches. The Bulldogs earned a 6-1 victory last season in Athens.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bulldogs were at the Byers Tennis Complex just last weekend taking part in the MLK Invitational. In singles and doubles matches against No. 17 Illinois, No. 24 Columbia and Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs picked up a total of 15 victories.
SERIES HISTORY: Georgia holds a 62-9 record against the in-state rival Yellow Jackets, having won 29 of the last 30 matches. Last season, the 11th-ranked Bulldogs rebounded from losing the doubles point to sweep singles en route to a 6-1 victory over No. 44 Tech. Wayne Montgomery took down then-No. 6 Christopher Eubanks, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
GEORGIA PICKED TO WIN SEC: The Bulldogs were selected the preseason favorite to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference Championship in a vote by league coaches. The Bulldogs received 168 points in the poll, while Florida was the next closest with 151 and Kentucky came in at No. 3 with 133 total points. Georgia, winners of the last four SEC titles, will look to make it five in a row for the first time since they won each year from 1971-1975.
BULLDOGS RANKED SIXTH: Georgia is ranked sixth nationally in the most recent Oracle/ITA rankings. Five players took spots in the singles rankings, led by Wayne Montgomery at No. 22. Emil Reinberg shot up from a previous ranking of 109 before the fall season to No. 31. Joining Montgomery and Reinberg in singles is Jan Zielinski at No. 56, Walker Duncan at No. 79 and Nathan Ponwith at No. 124. The Bulldogs also have five doubles pairs ranked, led by Montgomery and Robert Loeb at No. 24.
20 WINS FOR REINBERG: A big reason for Emil Reinberg’s jump to No. 31 in the rankings was his fall record of 20-3, including six wins over ranked opponents. Reinberg won the singles titles at the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational as well as the Bulldog Scramble in Athens. The sophomore went 5-0 in conference play in 2016 and tied All-American Austin Smith for the most match-clinching victories on the team (5).
SCOUTING GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets went 16-8 (8-4 ACC) a year ago and finished the spring ranked No. 37 in the Oracle/ITA Rankings and advanced to the round of 32 of the NCAA tournament. Their top-ranked singles player is junior Christopher Eubanks, who comes in at No. 9, followed by 61st-ranked Andrew Li, a sophomore.
UP NEXT: Next weekend, the Bulldogs will host Purdue, Alabama and Washington for ITA Kickoff Weekend in Athens. The Bulldogs will take on the Boilermakers at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, while the Huskies and Crimson Tide will play at 9 a.m. that day. The losers of the two matches will play in the consolation match on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m., and the winners will meet in the championship match Sunday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.
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CLICK HERE for the match notes.