Blake Croyder takes his racquet back during the second annual First Serve on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Courts in Athens, Georgia. The men’s and women’s tennis teams played mixed matches against one another and hosted a clinic during the event. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

Though it was a day ending in defeat, the Georgia men’s tennis team saw several noteworthy individual victories in its Saturday afternoon bout against No. 4 Texas. In a tough 4-3 loss in Austin, Texas, the Bulldogs showed their potential for the future.

After falling behind 2-0, the Bulldogs quickly responded as Blake Croyder secured Georgia’s first point by taking down Chih Chi Huang 7-5, 6-3. With that win, Croyder’s singles record improved to 5-0 on the season.

Sophomore Trent Bryde followed that by defeating No. 2 Yuya Ito in straight sets 7-6(1), 6-4 to even the score at two apiece. Prior to today’s match, Ito had a singles record of 21-1. 

Baptiste Anselmo, the freshman Bulldog from Aix-en-Provence, France, earned his first singles victory today after taking down Cleeve Harper 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4, to earn a hard-fought first regular season win. 

On court four, Georgia freshman Erik Grevelius fell short in back-to-back sets to Eliot Spizzirri by a score of 6-3, 7-5. 

The other two singles matches went blow-for-blow in three sets. Sophomore Philip Henning was defeated on court two by No. 12 Christian Sigsgaard by a score of 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Meanwhile, freshman Tyler Zink went up against Texas’ freshman Siem Woldeab, from La Mesa, California, and came up short in a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 loss. 

In doubles, Bryde and Zink faced the No. 15 Texas duo of Ito and Sigsgaard, losing 6-4. The No. 16 Georgia tandem of Croyder and Henning responded with a 6-4 victory that tied the doubles series as well as improving their record to 13-7 as a pair this season. In the end, the duo of Grevelius and senior Robert Loeb were unable to close it out for the Bulldogs as they were defeated 6-4 to concede the doubles point. 

“I could not be prouder of our team for its fight and toughness and teamwork,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Texas was a bit better today. Three freshmen and three sophomores grew a ton today and we are disappointed in the close loss, but we are encouraged about our future.”

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