Victories in five of six singles matches and a pair of doubles wins capped off the first day of action for the Georgia men’s tennis team at the 2016 ITA Regional Championships.
Playing at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center, four of the Bulldogs’ five singles wins came in straight-sets as Wayne Montgomery, Alex Phillips, Emil Reinberg, Jan Zielinski and Walker Duncan all cruised to victory.
“All in all, I thought it was a very good day from our guys,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “To get four straight-set wins shows the strength and depth of our team. Emil continues to have an impressive fall, and it was great to see Jan bounce back and avenge a loss he had against his opponent earlier this fall. Robert lost a tough three-set match, and he continues to improve day-in and day-out. We have a big day tomorrow, so we have to come out focused and ready to go.”
Zielinski set the tone early in the day, fighting through a first-set tiebreaker and a second-set loss to oust Florida’s Johannes Ingildsen, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3. Zielinski and Ingildsin faced off earlier this year at the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational with the Gator getting the better half back then. On Friday, Zielinski looked sharp and cruised to his fourth-straight win of the fall campaign.
Reinberg, Montgomery and Phillips took the courts next, and the Bulldog trio did not disappoint.
With a team-leading 12-2 record and 4-1 mark against ranked opponents coming into this weekend’s tournament, Reinberg continued the strong start to his sophomore season, taking down Florida State’s Alex Knaff, 6-4, 6-3. Montgomery defeated Georgia Tech’s Chris Yun, 6-3, 6-0, before Phillips rolled to a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Georgia State’s Andrei Andrukhou.
Duncan recorded the Bulldogs’ final singles triumph on Friday when he downed another Gator — this time Joshua Wardell from Florida, 6-2, 7-5.
In doubles, the tandem of Reinberg and Montgomery, who were a staple at the No. 3 doubles position last season, played together for the first time this fall and picked up an 8-2 victory against the Gator duo of Wardell and Jordan Belga.
The Bulldog pair of Zielinski and Duncan, who have been virtually unstoppable this fall boasting an undefeated record coming into Friday, improved to 6-0 with an 8-3 victory.