Georgia men’s tennis is looking for answers following back-to-back losses against No. 7 Florida (10-1) and No. 14 South Carolina (8-4).
The lapse in form has led Georgia to a 1-4 start in conference play just past the midpoint of the season. Georgia has dropped eight ranking spots in the last two weeks, currently at No. 20.
While the Bulldogs have lost all four matches to top-25 squads, they were bothered with the results. Head coach Manuel Diaz decided to give the players Monday off.
“I didn’t sleep very well on Sunday,” Diaz said. “I think everybody was upset or frustrated and so was I. Monday gives you a little time to kind of put things in perspective.”
Part of the reason for Georgia’s struggles is that it’s maligned with injuries so far. Four of Georgia’s top-six players have been sidelined at some point this season.
“It became evident we’ve had a lot of turmoil,” Diaz said.
Diaz does not want his team to reflect too long on the previous weeks.
“We know what we're capable of playing like. We know what we're capable of achieving,” Diaz said. “Nothing has changed, and the second half of the season is beginning right now. We are 0-0.”
Georgia has notably struggled most in singles play, where it was only able to pick up one win over the weekend. While Diaz said issues with play have varied from match to match and player to player, he believes a factor that does not show up on any stat line can be improved on by all of his team.
“I think we could have been a little bit louder. I think we're a little quiet as a group,” he said before adding he wants his players to match the intensity of the opposing team in the future.
With it being midseason the Bulldogs will need to find the spark quickly. Intensity and confidence could be vital for Georgia as it prepares for another challenging road trip this weekend.
“We need to play confident tennis and trust ourselves more,” Diaz said. “Momentum is not just something that continues to build and build. In tennis, it comes and goes.”
Georgia travels to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama on March 12 before traveling to Auburn to face the Tigers on March 14.