Philip Henning battled his way to a win in the third-set tiebreaker at No. 3 singles Sunday and clinched a hard-fought 4-3 win for the No. 20-ranked Georgia men’s tennis team over Auburn at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
The victory capped a good weekend for the Bulldogs who also beat Alabama on Friday.
“Another fantastic effort by our squad,” Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Auburn played us very tough in singles and challenged us incredibly well. We have showed our toughness this weekend and that’s a good thing.”
The Bulldogs will return home and prepare for a very tough set of matches next weekend at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Georgia hosts No. 11 Wake Forest next Friday and No. 21 UCF next Sunday.
“It’s a big weekend for us at home,” Diaz said.
Georgia (8-4, 3-4 SEC) got off to a 1-0 lead after taking the doubles point. First off the court were Billy Rowe and Blake Croyder at No. 2, defeating Maxwell Giddens and Tom Wright 6-4. Bulldogs Trent Bryde and Tyler Zink then clinched the point at No. 1, beating Tad Maclean and Finn Murgett 6-3.
The Bulldogs captured the first set in four of the six singles matches but Auburn (6-8, 2-4) got the first win when, at No. 4, Jan Galka defeated Croyder, 6-2, 6-3, to level the match 1-1. Zink earned the first Georgia singles win, defeating Tim Dollman in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 2, putting the Bulldogs up 2-1.
Shortly after Zink’s win, Rowe closed out a 7-5, 6-2 win over Murgett at No. 5, putting Georgia one win away from the victory. At the time, Erik Grevelius was up a set and on serve at No. 6, while Bryde at No. 1 and Philip Henning at No. 3 were just starting third sets in their matches. Grevelius, who clinched Friday’s win at Alabama, wound up going to a third set, as well.
Bryde and Tyler Stice went into a tiebreaker at No. 1, and Bryde had a match point serving at 6-5, but Stice was able to survive and pull out a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) win, making it 3-2. At No. 6, Maxwell Giddens edged Grevelius 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, tying the match at 3-3. Henning and Maclean were already in their third-set tiebreaker at that point.
Henning, who was unable to convert a couple of match points earlier in the set, got another one at 6-5 after Maclean was unable to return a backhand passing shot at the end of a long rally. On match point, Maclean missed a shot wide and Henning was able to celebrate a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win.
For more information on the Bulldogs, visit Georgiadogs.com. You can also get updates on the team via Twitter (@UGATennis) and Instagram (@ugatennis).
No. 20 Georgia 4, Auburn 3
1. Trent Bryde/Tyler Zink (UGA) def. Tad Maclean/Finn Murgett (AU), 6-3
2. Billy Rowe/Blake Croyder (UGA) def. Maxwell Giddens/Tom Wright (AU), 6-4
3. Philip Henning/Erik Grevelius (UGA) vs. Jan Galka/Tyler Stice (AU), 4-3 (unfinished)
1. Tyler Stice (AU) def. Trent Bryde (UGA), 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
2. Tyler Zink (UGA) def. Tim Dollman (AU), 6-4, 6-4
3. Philip Henning (UGA) def. Tad Maclean (AU), 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Jan Galka (AU) def. Blake Croyder (UGA), 6-2, 6-3
5. Billy Rowe (UGA) def. Finn Murgett (AU), 7-5, 6-2
6. Maxwell Giddens (AU) def. Erik Grevelius (UGA), 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Order of Finish
Doubles: 2, 1
Singles: 4, 2, 5, 1, 6, 3