KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In a close and thrilling match on court four, senior Trent Bryde secured the win in a commanding third set to hand No.8 Georgia it’s clinching win in a 4-2 victory over No.4 Tennessee on Sunday in Knoxville, Tennessee. Bryde’s win ushered Georgia to its first win over Tennessee since its 4-2 victory on February 28, 2020.
The Bulldogs got off to a roaring start in the doubles competition, with all three courts taking early leads. Senior Blake Croyder and junior Erik Grevelius exercised their doubles dominance with a 6-2 win over Martim Prata and Mark Wallner. The No.62 doubles pair are now 5-1 against conference opponents and 12-4 in dual matches.
With the doubles point still up for grabs, Tennessee came back and tied both matches 6-6. The senior tandem of Bryde and Philip Henning made the first move and grabbed a win on court two to lock in the doubles point for Georgia. The No. 27-ranked Bryde and Henning upset the No. 16-ranked doubles pair of Shunsuke Mitsui and Emile Hudd, 7-6 (7-4). The No. 55-ranked pair in graduate transfers Tristan McCormick and Hamish Stewart thus left their match unfinished against No. 45 doubles duo Adam Walton and Pat Harper, 6-6 (4-5).
Georgia’s strong start in the match rolled over into the beginning of singles competition with four Bulldogs taking their first sets, freshman Miguel Perez Peña 6-1 over Connor Ganon, No.31 McCormick 6-3 over Angel Diaz, Croyder 6-3 over Prata, No.84 Bryde 7-5 (6-7) over Shunsuke.
McCormick extended Georgia’s lead to 2-0 with a 6-3,6-4 win over Diaz on court three. No.31-ranked McCormick stretched his singles win streak to five and continues to be perfect in conference play going 5-0 against SEC opponents.
On court four Croyder had to battle through a close second set to nail in the win and extend Georgia’s lead to 3-0. Going up 4-2 in the second, Tennessee’s Prata fought back to tie it 5-5. It all came down to the tiebreaker and Croyder muscled through to a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win.
With the score 3-0 in favor of the Bulldogs, Georgia only needed a win on one more court to punch in the victory over the Volunteers. At the moment that looked like Bryde who was up 6-5 in his second set. However, Bryde went to a tiebreaker and ultimately a third set.
The Volunteers got their first win on court two with No.55 Hudd’s three-set win over No.40 Henning, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Now with a score of 3-1 still in favor of the Bulldogs, No. 19 Stewart came back on court one against No. 18 Walton force a third set.
Tennessee inched even closer with a win on court six to shorten Georgia’s lead to 3-2. Miguel Perez Peñ fell to Gannon, 6-1, 3-6, 3-6. Georgia still only needed one more win and it all came down to Stewart and Bryde to pull it out for the Bulldogs. Bryde controlled the third set which lead to a 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 win over Mitsui clinching the match. Stewart’s match against Walton was left unfinished, 5-7, 7-6 (4-7), 1-3.
The Georgia men’s tennis program improves to 13-4 overall and 5-1 against conference opponents.
The Bulldogs will travel to College Station, Texas next Sunday, March 27 to face No.22 Texas A&M at 2 pm ET.
# 8 Georgia 4, # 4 Tennessee 2
1. # 18 Adam Walton (UT) vs. # 19 Hamish Stewart (UGA) 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 3-1, unfinished
2. # 55 Emile Hudd (UT) def. # 40 Philip Henning (UGA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
3. # 31 Tristan McCormick (UGA) def. Angel Diaz (UT) 6-3, 6-4
4. # 84 Trent Bryde (UGA) def. Shunsuke Mitsui (UT) 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2
5. Blake Croyder (UGA) def. Martim Prata (UT) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Conor Gannon (UT) def. Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
1. # 45 Adam Walton / Pat Harper (UT) vs. # 55 Tristan McCormick/Hamish Stewart (UGA) 6-6 (5-4), unfinished
2. # 27 Trent Bryde/Philip Henning (UGA) def. # 16 Shunsuke Mitsui / Emile Hudd (UT) 7-6 (7-4)
3. # 62 Blake Croyder/Erik Grevelius (UGA) def. Martim Prata / Mark Wallner (UT) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3.2); Singles (3,5,2,6,4)