On Thursday afternoon, the sixth-seeded Georgia men’s tennis team claimed a 4-1 victory over 11th-seeded Duke to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament on the Stanford University campus.
The Bulldogs began by claiming the doubles point. After Drake Bernstein and Wil Spencer took an 8-5 victory, the Blue Devils evened the score by besting Sadio Doumbia and Ignacio Taboada, 8-4. Javier Garrapiz and Hernus Pieters broke the deadlock with a 9-7 triumph to make it 1-0 in favor of the Red and Black.
Bernstein was the first to finish his singles match, knocking off Duke’s Fred Saba, 6-4, 6-4. After Doumbia fell to his Blue Devil counterpart, 6-2, 6-4, Spencer took a 6-4, 6-3 victory to up the Athenians’ advantage to 3-1. Pieters provided the clinching point by bouncing back from a 6-4 loss in the first set to capture the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2.
The win left Georgia with an 86-27 NCAA Tournament record in 33 appearances in the championship bracket. As anticipated, the Bulldogs will face Tennessee in the next round, starting at 3:00 Eastern on Saturday afternoon. The Red and Black shared the regular-season SEC championship with the Volunteers after the Big Orange won in Athens on April 16.
Whichever team emerges victorious from Saturday’s clash of SEC titans will advance to Monday afternoon’s semifinal to compete for the right to participate in the championship round on Tuesday.