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Head coach Manuel Diaz looks towards the scoreboard during a match against Auburn University on Mar. 31, 2019 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia. Georgia defeated Auburn 4-1. (Photo/Julian Alexander)

It was a rainy weekend at the Miami Spring Invitational, but it didn’t seem to hinder the Georgia men's tennis team much at all. The Bulldogs won six out of the eight matches against Miami and three out of four doubles contests against Wisconsin.

The Bulldogs started the first day of competition on Jan. 11 with wins from two seniors in Alex Phillips and Robert Loeb and two freshmen in Erik Grevelius and Tyler Zink.

No. 12 ranked Phillip Henning represented the Bulldogs in a win over Francisco Bastias, 6-1, 6-0. The victories didn’t end there for the team as No. 88 in the nation Blake Croyder defeated Stephen Modonia, 6-2, 6-1. 

“Our guys played well in tough conditions against a Miami team playing at home,” head coach Manual Diaz said. “I am encouraged by the way we competed and our overall performance.

Freshman Erik Grevelius added another singles win against Bojan Jankulovski of Miami, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

The doubles for the Bulldogs as No. 17 Phillip Henning and Blake Croyder defeated Chase Colton and Jared Pratt of Wisconsin by a score of 8-5. The duo rounded out an 8-3 win over Chase Colton and Jared Pratt Wisconsin.

On Saturday, Georgia put together four wins against the defending national champions and No. 2-ranked Texas Longhorns.

Sophomore Trent Bryant a victory against 2019 Big 12 Co-Player of the Year, Christian Sigsgaard. Henning took down the No. 2 player in the nation, Yuta Ito, 6-4, 2-6, 6-0.

“Give credit to Phillip Henning, who took the No. 1 player in the county to three sets and really played phenomenal,” Diaz said. “This was a good day and I am really pleased with the level of tennis we played.”

No. 57, Bryde defeated highly ranked tennis player, Sigsgaard with a 7-6 (10), 3-6, 6-4.

The doubles were made to look easy as freshmen duo, Anselmo Baptiste and Grevelius played against Stephan Mandonia and Tatsuky Shimamoto and won with a score of 8-5.

On the third and final day at the Miami Spring Invitational, the weather and long delays didn’t slow down the team one bit as they once again took six out of eight wins. The day was jump started by Zink and Grevelius with their 5-0 singles record.

“There were four rain delays, but our guys did a great job of staying focused,” Diaz said. “I saw a lot of growth from this young team, and I’m very pleased with our results. We still have a lot of work to do, and in no way are we where we want to be, but it’s a really encouraging start. I see so much hunger in this group of guys, and we’re just very excited." 

Loeb and Phillips ended singles play with victories. Loeb won with a score of 6-2, 6-4 against Martim Vilela of Wisconsin and Phillips prevailed behind a 8-6 score against Daniel Nuzhny.

Caught in a tiebreaker, freshman Baptiste, defeated Gabriel Huber of Wisconsin 7-6 (9-7), 7-5, and finished out the tournament for the Bulldogs.

Georgia is back in action against Kennesaw State on Jan. 20 in its first match on the newly-renovated Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

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