In what will be the 32nd NCAA Quarterfinals appearance in program history for the University of Georgia men’s tennis team, the 11th-seeded Bulldogs are set to take on No. 3 seed Tennessee in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Tennis Quarterfinals today at 11 a.m. ET.
Tomorrow’s matchup marks only the fourth NCAA Tournament meeting between Georgia and Tennessee. The Bulldogs own a 2-1 record for the three prior meetings in 2001 (Finals: UGA 4, UT 1), 2010 (Semifinals: UT 4, UGA 1) and most recently in the 2011 quarterfinals, in which Georgia ousted the Volunteers, 4-3.
“Our team is excited after Monday’s performance,” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “I thought we played an extremely complete, good match. Our guys have really proven to themselves that Georgia is one of the elite programs in the country once again this year. I’m proud of them. They have fought hard. Tennessee has proven to be a very resilient, tough, deep squad, and they went on to do great things this year. You can’t take anything away from them. We expect an incredible, tough match. We know Tennessee is number three in the country, but once you get into the Elite 8, you’re not looking at anybody’s seeding position. [We] just have to trust in [our] training and believe we are good enough to win and that we deserve to win, because [we’ve] put in all the work.”
This is Georgia’s first quarterfinals appearance since 2017; Tennessee’s last quarterfinal appearance dates back to 2013.
Both teams are coming off 4-3 wins over their respective Round of 16 opponents – Georgia against No. 6 North Carolina and Tennessee against No. 18 Arizona.
Georgia ousted the Tarheels in a down-to-the-wire finish with Bulldog Billy Rowe clinching the win at No. 5 singles. Rowe has now clinched four matches against ranked opponents this season.
Philip Henning, ranked No. 19 in ITA Singles Rankings, has now recorded back-to-back singles wins after grabbing Georgia’s first singles victory at the No. 3 court on Monday. He leads Georgia in singles wins with 20 overall, including 15 victories this spring. Henning and Erik Grevelius are currently on a three-match win streak in doubles action, upping the pair’s win count to 13 to lead the Dogs.
Georgia’s Rowe and Blake Croyder, who clinched the doubles point for Georgia against the Tarheels in the Round of 16, are 3-0 against ranked opponents this season.
The Dogs were shorthanded against Tennessee earlier in the 2021 regular season with No. 27-ranked Tyler Zink and Croyder missing from the lineup. The Vols topped Georgia, 4-2 (Feb. 2021). This time around, the Bulldogs have their front six back and are ready to redeem themselves. Georgia own a 56-26 all-time series record over Tennessee, with its most recent victory coming in 2020.
HOW TO WATCH
Tennis Channel/TC Plus will broadcast night sessions (5:30 p.m. ET and NB 7:30 p.m. ET) of the team event starting May 19 through May 22.
TennisONE will be providing free live stream coverage from May 16-28. Any matches not being televised by Tennis Channel/TC Plus will be available on the TennisONE app.