The UGA men’s tennis No. 1, top-seeded Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski doubles team dominated in their opening match on Thursday afternoon to advance to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championships.
The match was fairly even through two sets, as each team only had one break entering the tiebreaker. Ohio State’s pair of Hugo Di Feo and Martin Joyce got the first break in the opening game of the match while Loeb and Zielinski got theirs in the last game of the second set. The Bulldog duo wasted no time in the tiebreaker before securing a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-1) victory.
“I think we just didn’t come out as focused as we had been in the past,” said Loeb following the match, “but we felt really comfortable [once the tiebreaker started]. We started having a lot more fun. We were playing a little too tentatively and then we started playing how we’re used to playing.”
An ace from the powerful serving Loeb was the highlight of the breaker, which saw a 6-0 Georgia lead at the changeover. Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz was impressed by what he saw down the stretch.
“We played an impeccable match breaker to close it out,” said Diaz. “We played as well as we could have played there at the end. I’m proud of the guys for finally finding their groove and coming through.”
In the Round of 16 on Friday, Loeb and Zielinski will meet the North Florida pair of Jack Findel-Hawkins and Lasse Muscheites. Doubles play Friday will follow the Round of 16 in singles, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. Loeb and Zielinski’s match versus Hawkins and Muscheites is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.
For the Doubles brackets, CLICK HERE.
Georgia’s Emil Reinberg and Nathan Ponwith played in the singles tournament Thursday, but both were unable to advance to the Round of 16. Reinberg played an extremely tight match in which he was serving with a 5-4 third-set lead, but could not close it out against 21st-ranked Jolan Cailleau of Texas Tech. The Atlanta native was defeated 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. Ponwith was bested by Wake Forest’s Borna Gojo, 6-3, 6-2, after becoming the first Georgia freshman to advance to the Round of 32 since Matias Boeker in 2000.
For the Singles brackets, CLICK HERE.