Bulldogs Storm Into National Indoor Final
FLUSHING, N.Y. --- The Georgia men’s tennis doubles duo of junior Hernus Pieters and freshman Ben Wagland took down the overall No. 1 seed in today’s doubles semifinal to reach the doubles championship match at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York City.
The Bulldog pair defeated top-seeded Daniel Cochrane and Andreas Mies of Auburn, rebounding from a first-set loss to take it 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and advance to the finals. They will meet the No. 2 seed Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler of Duke tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Georgia has had two previous National Indoor doubles champions – the team of Ola Malmqvist and Allen Miller in 1982, and most recently John Isner and Luis Flores in 2006.
Also in New York, senior All-American KU Singh split his singles consolation matches on the day, defeating Columbia’s Winston Lin 6-2, 7-6(4) in the quarterfinals before falling 7-6(6), 7-5 to Ohio State’s Peter Kobelt in the semis.
“We’re extremely proud of our doubles team,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “They played a phenomenal match against the top doubles team in the country so far this year, a team that was unbeaten until today. They had to play very high-level tennis and had to withstand some pressure points under duress. They had a great win today. I am proud of them for reaching the finals, but we’re still hungry for one more victory. They’ll have to be at their very best tomorrow – Duke got a big win today against Virginia and will be very tough.”
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs continued to play host the annual Bulldog Scramble back in Athens. In singles Saturday morning, Georgia edged the competition with wins on three of five courts. Nathan Pasha defeated Mississippi State’s Stefan Vinti, 6-0, 6-3 while fellow sophomore Eric Diaz topped MSU’s Ethan Wilkinson, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. The Bulldogs’ final singles win came from freshman Marco Nunez over MSU’s Stefan Vinti, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Junior Garrett Brasseaux was downed by MSU’s Pedro Dumont, 6-4, 6-2 while senior Will Oliver fell short to ETSU’s Roger Ordeig, 6-4, 6-2.
The Bulldogs faced tough competition in the first round of doubles, only taking one of three courts. Georgia’s pair of Pasha and Nunez vaulted Ribeiro and Ordeig of ETSU, 8-3. Kentucky overcame Georgia on two courts with Hirooka and Gold overcoming the team of Diaz and Brasseaux, 8-5 and the set of Binder and Johnson edging Kay and Oliver 9-7. Georgia split in the second round of doubles as Pasha and Nunez defeated Dumont and Vinti, 8-2 and MSU’s White and Wilkinson overcame the Bulldog’s pair of Diaz and Brasseaux, 8-5.
Play resumes tomorrow morning on the final day of competition in Athens at 9:30 a.m.