Georgia’s No. 1-ranked duo of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland fell to Florida’s 23rd-ranked Gordon Watson and Diego Hidalgo 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships Monday at the Ring Tennis Complex at Linder Stadium.
This concludes competition in the regional tournament for the Bulldogs, who had two doubles teams advance to the quarterfinals, while Smith reached the quarterfinals in singles.[su_spacer size=”40″]
“Overall I think we underachieved a little bit in this tournament,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “We had some pretty good performances here and there as a group, but I think we fell a little short of our goals, and it’s a clear reminder that we need to continue to work on things in our game individually. I think we can do a better job of playing the bigger points under pressure. We did not excel in that area, and we have to do a better job as players and coaches of identifying things we have to improve on as a group. This is a gut check for all of us, and I have no doubt that we’ll put in the work.”[su_spacer size=”40″]
Despite the loss, Smith and Wagland are eligible to be considered for an at-large selection into the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York based on their appearance in the semifinals. In singles, Smith is eligible for at-large selection by virtue of reaching the quarterfinals in Gainesville.[su_spacer size=”40″] Next up on the Georgia schedule is the SEC Fall Classic this weekend at Auburn. The tournament is slated for Friday through Monday.