Georgia Bulldog tennis hosts the USTA/ITA Regional


The Georgia Bulldog tennis team will host the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships beginning Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

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The singles and doubles winners from the 12 regional sites receive bids to the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York Nov. 6-9. Nathan Pasha has already qualified by reaching the quarterfinals of the All-American Championships earlier this month in Tulsa, Okla.

A pair of Bulldogs – senior Eric Diaz and freshman Peter Bertran – will play in the qualifying round on Thursday. They can advance to the main draw with two wins. Diaz will face Florida Gulf Coast’s Austin Bates, while Bertran will take on North Florida’s Norbert Nemscek. Both matches are scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Georgia has six players in the main draw, including three of the top four seeds. Austin Smith is No. 1, defending champion Nathan Pasha is No. 2, while Ben Wagland is the fourth seed. Wayne Montgomery, Nick Wood and Paul Oosterbaan are also in the 64-player main draw.

In doubles, Bertran and Wood will play Georgia State’s Felipe Jaworski and Jannis Koeke Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the first round. Georgia’s other two doubles pairs – Diaz/Smith and Oosterbaan/Wagland – received first round byes and will play in the second round Friday morning.

“Our guys are excited about the tournament,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “We will have about a dozen players here who are among the top 20-25 players in the nation, so it is a very elite field. We are glad to be hosting it, and we are eager to get back to competing with the goal of qualifying for National Indoors in November.”

Thursday’s schedule includes two rounds of qualifying matches and 11 first round doubles matches. The singles and doubles finals are slated for Monday.

In Georgia history, 11 Bulldogs have won the ITA Regional singles title. Pasha won last year at Georgia Tech.