The Georgia men’s tennis team will wrap up the fall portion of its 2015-16 schedule this weekend with a pair of tournaments in Athens and New York. The Bulldogs will be represented at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships by Austin Smith and Ben Wagland while six other players will compete in the Bulldog Scramble at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The National Indoor Championships will be held Thursday through Sunday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The tournament features a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles field, and this is the sixth consecutive year that the championships will be held at the home of the U.S. Open.[su_spacer size=”40″]
Smith was an at-large selection in singles and will join Wagland in doubles. Smith, ranked 17th nationally in singles, reached the quarterfinals of the Southeast Regional Championships earlier this fall. He and Wagland are the country’s top-ranked doubles pair, and they became eligible for an at-large selection by advancing to the semifinals of the regional tournament.[su_spacer size=”40″]
“It’s certainly an opportunity for Austin to make some noise and get some good wins,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “It’s a very elite field. For our doubles team, it’s an opportunity for them to redeem themselves a little bit. They haven’t had as good of a fall as they intended to. They’ve had some rough spots, but they’re capable of going up there and beating anybody in the field, and they know that. For them, it’s a matter of getting locked in and getting focused and playing with a lot of enthusiasm.”[su_spacer size=”40″]
Three Georgia players have reached the final of the National Indoor Championships, including current associate head coach Bo Hodge (2003), Mike Sell (1993) and Mikael Pernfors (1985). John Isner and Luis Flores won the doubles championship in 2006, and Ola Malqvist and Allen Miller won the title in 1982.[su_spacer size=”40″]
Six Georgia players – Walker Duncan, Andy Martinez, Wayne Montgomery, Paul Oosterbaan, Emil Reinberg and Nick Wood – will open play in the Bulldog Scramble Friday in Athens. The three-day round robin event features players from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Play begins each day at ten a.m., and admission is free.[su_spacer size=”60″]