Tennis Defeats UCLA 4-3

SEATTLE – The No. 2 Georgia men's tennis team (6-0) defeated 7th-seeded UCLA (6-3) in the quarterfinal round at the National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash., Saturday afternoon by a score of 4-3. 12th-ranked senior captain Strahinja Bobusic picked up the match-clinching win, posting a 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 come-from-behind three-set victory over Chris Surapol at the No. 4 singles position. Georgia will make its 14th semifinal appearance in the tournament's history and its first since 2002.

"This was another huge win," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "It was another terrific match between Georgia and UCLA on the tennis court. We had opportunities to win a lot earlier than we did but we let the slip away and lost our momentum. You really have to give UCLA credit for extending us the way they did."

Georgia once again got off to a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Junior Matic Omerzel and sophomore Luis Flores broke the ice for the Dogs at the No. 3 spot, easing past Mathieu Dehaine and Aaron Yovan, 8-3. The sixth-ranked Bulldog duo Bobusic and fellow senior captain Colin Purcell locked up the doubles point with their 8-4 victory at the No. 2 position, downing Mohammed Abid and Surapol. The No. 1 match, featuring the Georgia tandem of junior John Isner and senior captain Antonio Ruiz against the UCLA pair of Ben Kohlloefel and Phillip Gruendler, was suspended with UCLA leading 6-4.

In singles play, No. 2-ranked Isner extended the Georgia advantage to 2-0 as he cruised past Abid to post a 6-2, 6-2 win. UCLA picked up its first point of the match a few minutes later however, as Mike Look topped Purcell at the sixth singles spot, cutting the Bulldog lead to 2-1. Omerzel didn't let it remain that way for long, putting the Dogs back up by two points as his 7-5, 6-2 victory over Gruendler in the fifth position brought the score to 3-1.

UCLA refused to go quietly however, picking up two straight wins to tie the match at 3-3. Kohlloefel first took down Flores at the No. 1 spot, 6-4, 6-4, followed by Dehaine's three-set comeback win over Ruiz at the third singles position, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3.

"Dehaine gained a lot of confidence with the tiebreak win in the second set," said Diaz. "I think that is a match Antonio wishes he could have back."

With the result of the match resting squarely on the outcome of the No. 4 singles contest, Bobusic stepped up and came through in the clutch, topping Surapol to clinch the match in Georgia's favor.

"Bobusic, a captain, played phenomenally at the end of the second set to break Surapol for the set win," said Diaz. "And then he went out and could not miss in the third set. He showed a lot of determination and grittiness, and it is extremely rewarding to see him display that kind of focus and confidence with the match on the line."

The Bulldogs are back in action at 5:30 EST on Sunday as they take on the winner of the No. 3-seed Illinois vs. No. 12-seed Washington. That match was still in action at the time of this release.

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