ATHENS-----The fifth-ranked Georgia men's tennis team picked up a key SEC win Friday afternoon with a 4-0 shutout of rival Florida at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs (11-4, 3-1 SEC) won their fifth straight match over the Gators and improved to 8-0 at home this season.
"I'm really happy with the way we played," said UGA coach Manuel Diaz. "All three doubles were really close, and in the end we had to win a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles to earn that point. I was really pleased with our composure there. It was a good performance by all our guys in singles. I'm really excited about our direction, and we control our own destiny in the conference race. We have to be ready to play each match. Our guys are really playing well, and we're coming together as a team."
Georgia edged the Gators (7-6, 1-2 SEC) in doubles to take the early lead. Florida won the first completed match at No. 2 as Gordon Watson and Billy Federhofer held off the 39th-ranked team of Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux, 8-5. Georgia then won at No. 3 where KU Singh and Austin Smith beat Florent Diep and Michael Alford, 8-6. The fifth-ranked tandem of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland gave UGA a 1-0 lead when they outlasted the 57th-ranked duo of Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek, 9-8(2).
The Bulldogs won the first sets on five singles courts, including at No. 3 where No. 71 Ben Wagland cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Stephane Piro, and Austin Smith made it 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alford at No. 4. Garrett Brasseaux then clinched his first match of the season at No. 6 with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Luke Johnson. It was Brasseaux's first match clincher since the win over South Carolina in 2011 that gave Georgia the SEC regular season title.
Matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 5 were suspended, with the Bulldogs winning first sets on two of those courts.
"We knew coming in it would be tough," Brasseaux said. "We knew we had to play well, so it was good to get the win quickly and get rested for Sunday."
Georgia will be back in action on Sunday when South Carolina visits for a 1 p.m. match.
Tennis Match Results
Florida vs. Georgia
March 15, 2013 at Athens, Ga.
#5 Georgia 4, #35 Florida 0
1. #7 KU Singh (UG) vs. #75 Florent Diep (UF), 7-6(1), 2-2, unfinished
2. #39 Nathan Pasha (UG) vs. #123 Bob van Overbeek (UF), 6-2, 5-7, unfinished
3. #71 Ben Wagland (UG) d. Stephane Piro (UF), 6-2, 6-2
4. Austin Smith (UG) d. Michael Alford (UF), 6-3, 6-4
5. #101 Hernus Pieters (UG) vs. Billy Federhofer (UF), 6-7(2), 2-0, unfinished
6. Garrett Brasseaux (UG) d. Luke Johnson (UF), 7-5, 6-4
Order of finish: 3,4,6
1. #5 Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (UG) d. #57 Stephane Piro/Bob van Overbeek (UF), 9-8(2)
2. Gordon Watson/Billy Federhofer (UF) d. #39 Nathan Pasha/Garrett Brasseaux (UG), 8-5
3. KU Singh/Austin Smith (UG) d. Florent Diep/Michael Alford (UF), 8-6
Order of finish: 2,3,1