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March 4, 2010

Tennis Update, Past and Present

The men's tennis team will barnstorm Alabama this weekend: Tuscaloosa on Friday and Auburn on Sunday.  The team's currently ranked 11th in the ITA rankings, which has to be their first double digit ranking since Isner's sophomore year (2005?).  The team tried to return to the finals of the indoor championships last month, but #1 Virginia swept us 4-0 in the quarterfinals.  No shame in that, as UVa is usually really good and is now #1.  But, the Dawgs then lost to UF in the consolation bracket by an embarrassing 4-0 margin.  UF's good this year, but they shouldn't be sweeping us.  The Dawgs currently sit behind UT (#2), UF (#7), and UK (#8) in the national rankings.

Despite those setbacks, the team is still in the hunt for the longest home winning streak ever.  The current streak is at 68 and the record, held by UGA teams of the Magill era, is 76.  I doubt we get there.  Kentucky visits on March 12 and that match will be a fight.  Even if we get past the 'Cats, #5 Southern Cal visits on March 19 and #3 Ohio State visits on March 25.  If we can get through those matches with the streak intact, we can do anything this year, including win a national title.  I just think that's too large a task for this year's team.  Big crowds will help, so stop by a tennis match if you can.

I should have mentioned this months ago, but tennis alum John Isner is starting to come into his own this year on the pro circuit.  He won his first ATP tournament in Auckland before making a nice run in the Australian Open.  During the Aussie Open, ESPN did this profile of John that features Manny Diaz and UGA prominently.  Last month, John reached the finals of the Morgan Keegan tournament in Memphis, but lost a hard fought match against fellow American, Sam Querrey, his doubles partner.  John's run has him currently at #20 in the world and the second highest ranked American.  Vanity Fair recently profiled him about the Memphis event.  The guy's a walking billboard for the tennis program and a Damn Good Dawg.

Keep up the good work, John!

BY THE WAY: Isner is representing the U. S. of A. on the Davis Cup team this weekend.  Tennis Channel will have live and replay coverage.  



NCT said...

Magill, not McGill (unless I misunderstood your reference). But good writeup. Nice to see tennis getting some attention.

Anonymous said...

Great to see a guy that made a lot of progress while in college and now playing well on the tour. He is definitely a marketing treasure for UGA tennis.

I watched the team play ETSU last weekend and they have some mental toughness that I think will help them down the line.

Quinton McDawg said...

Completely correct. I should know better.

RC said...

I'm glad to see Isner is coming into his own. I kind of figured when he went out on tour that he wouldn't last too long, figuring him to be a one-trick pony with that big serve and little else. I'm thrilled that he's proven me wrong.

One thing that has puzzled me a bit is why the national media hasn't played up the Isner-Roddick-UGA connection a bit, especially around the time of their quarterfinal at last year's Open. that would seem to have been a worthwhile pre-match fluff piece for somebody to run.

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