The fourth-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team defeated Memphis 4-1 Monday in the championship match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts.
The Bulldogs, now 2-0 this season, are one of 16 teams nationwide to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championship, which will be held in Seattle, Wash. from Feb. 16-19. This is the 10-straight season Georgia will play in the event.
“I am very pleased,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “I thought we played great doubles at all three spots. Our one and two teams did it for us today, but our three team is looking good as well. From the start, I thought we had a lot of energy and played high-quality doubles everywhere. In singles, Wayne made the adjustments there and won in straight sets. Nathan and Jan looked extremely efficient and there were plenty of positives to build off of.”
In doubles, Georgia went up a break at courts two and three, with sophomore Robert Loeb and junior Jan Zielinski locked in a 2-2 match at No. 1. The top duo got into a rhythm and picked up Georgia’s first doubles win with a 6-4 victory against Memphis’ tandem of Kai Lemkea and Matt Story.
Junior Walker Duncan and senior Wayne Montgomery followed just minutes later, recording another 6-4 Georgia victory to clinch the doubles point and give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Redshirt freshman Alex Diaz and sophomore Nathan Ponwith were up 5-4 when the top two courts finished.
Georgia got off to a strong start on the singles courts as Ponwith went up a double-break 5-2, before Georgia won first sets at three of the first four positions.
A day after clinching Georgia’s first win of the season, Zielinski cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win against Jan Pallares to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Montgomery then put his team up 3-0 with another straight-set win, 6-3, 6-3, against Andrew Watson.
Following a 6-4, 6-0 loss by Reinberg, Ponwith clinched just seconds later with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
The Bulldogs now travel to Lake Nona, Fla., to take on Florida Atlantic on Feb. 8 and Georgia Tech on Feb. 9.
MEN’S TENNIS: ITA Kick-Off Weekend
Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 Results
Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts
#4 Georgia defeats #36 Memphis 4-1
1. #12 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Andrew Watson (MEMPHIS) 6-3, 6-3
2. Ryan Peniston (MEMPHIS) def. #25 Emil Reinberg (UGA) 6-4, 6-0
3. #66 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) def. Kai Lemke (MEMPHIS) 6-3, 6-3
4. #30 Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Jan Pallares (MEMPHIS) 6-3, 6-2
5. #33 Walker Duncan (UGA) vs. Chris Patzanovsky (MEMPHIS) 1-0, unfinished
6. Felix Rauch (MEMPHIS) vs. Robert Loeb (UGA) no result
1. #7 Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Kai Lemke/Matt Story (MEMPHIS) 6-4
2. Walker Duncan/Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Andrew Watson/Ryan Peniston (MEMPHIS) 6-4
3. Alex Diaz/Nathan Ponwith (UGA) vs. #58 Jan Pallares/Felix Rauch (MEMPHIS) 5-4, unfinished
Georgia 2-0; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,1,2,3)
Official: Richard Rogers T-2:00 A-435