Battle Flights, fall to #10 Georgia, 4-3

ATHENS, Georgia — A fierce battle on the road saw the 18th-ranked Tennessee men’s tennis team narrowly fall to 10th-ranked Georgia on Saturday afternoon, 4-3.

Tennessee (12-6, 3-2 SEC) started the game earning its 16th doubles point of the season, with wins on courts two and three. Georgia (11-5, 5-0 SEC) ultimately won the match on court two to end the three-plus-hour battle.

“I thought today was a good game of college tennis,” said head coach Chris Woodruff. “There was a lot of ebb and flow. One team was going to be disappointed with the result and unfortunately that was us. I’ve been around long enough to know that one, two or three games doesn’t define a season. This what really matters is where you are in May I would say that won’t be the last time we see Georgia.

In doubles, Tennessee’s 50th-ranked duo Emile Hudd and Shunsuke Mitsui beat Georgia’s Philip Henning and Teodor Giusca, 6-4, on court two. Hudd and Mitsui beat the Bulldogs on a 4-4 run to go up 5-4 before serving it.

After the Bulldogs took the first court, UT’s Angel Diaz and Martim Prata defeated Blake Croyder and Britton Johnston in third place, 6-4, to clinch the doubles point. In the first pairing of Diaz and Prata since the last double season, the pair held a decisive game and beat Georgia to break at 3-1. Croyder and Johnston pulled back to cut their deficit to 4-5, but the Vols used a break in the final game to give Tennessee a 1-0 lead.

On the singles courts, seventh-ranked Johannus Monday continued his stellar junior campaign with a straight-sets, 6-2, 6-2 win over Ethan Quinn, who entered Saturday with a national No. 2 singles ranking. . Monday won 56 of the match’s 95 total points, earning his 10th win atop the roster in singles this spring to improve to 13-1 on aggregate in singles this season. Monday has won 10 straight singles matches and is 5-0 in SEC action.

The Bulldogs scored their first point with a win on court six, before No. 120 Shunsuke Mitsui bounced back from dropping his opening set to defeat No. 90 Blake Croyder, 3-6, 6-3, 6- 2. Mitsui won 54 of 96 points (.563) in the final two sets after dropping a set, giving Tennessee a 3-1 advantage.

Georgia took the short five, with No. 101 Giusca beating Tennessee’s Diaz in a pair of tiebreakers, 7-6(3), 7-6(2). On court three, UT’s Blaise Bicknell got two match points in a second-set tiebreaker, but Georgia’s Trent Bryde won the affair in three sets, 2-6, 7-6 (8 ), 6-3.

Georgia’s clincher came in second place, as 15th-ranked Henning won a third-set tiebreaker over Tennessee’s Hudd to win the match, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 ( 6). Of Tennessee’s six losses this season, four have been 4-3 decisions and all have come against top-15 competitors, four of the six against top-10 opponents.

Tennessee returns home for a game against No. 11 Columbia on Friday, with first serve scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.

RESULTS: Tennessee 3, Georgia 4

1. #11 Ethan Quinn/Trent Bryde (UGA) def. #4 Pat Harper/Johannus Monday (UT) 6-3
2. #50 Emile Hudd/Shunsuke Mitsui (UT) def. Philip Henning/Teodor Giusca (UGA) 6-4
3. Angel Diaz/Martim Prata (UT) defeated. Blake Croyder/Britton Johnston (UGA) 6-4

Order of arrival: (2,1,3)


1. #7 Johannus Monday (UT) def. #2 Ethan Quinn (UGA) 6-2, 6-2
2. #15 Philip Henning (UGA) def. #62 Emile Hudd (UT) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Trent Bryde (UGA) def. Blaise Bicknell (UT) 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3
4. #120 Shunsuke Mitsui (UT) def. #90 Blake Croyder (UGA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. #101 Teodor Giusca (UGA) def. Angel Diaz (UT) 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2)
6. Miguel Perez Pena (UGA) beats. Pat Harper (UT) 6-2, 7-5

Order of arrival: (1,6,4,5,3,2)


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