Georgia Tennis wins share of SEC Title

STARKEVILLE – The No. 1-ranked University of Georgia men's tennis team (20-0, 9-0 SEC) locked up at least a share of the 2006 Southeastern Conference regular season title with a 4-0 win over Mississippi State (4-11, 1-8) Friday afternoon in Starkville, Miss. The conference title is Georgia's first regular-season crown since 2002. The Bulldogs won the SEC Tournament title in 2004.

UGA will have its first opportunity to clinch the conference outright on Sunday when the squad takes on No. 10 Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. on Sunday.

"I'm very proud of our guys," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "The conditions were not ideal today, it was very windy. Some of our guys were able to take care of business and some struggled. It is a great feeling to clinch at least a share of the conference but not as satisfying as it could be if we are able to pick up one more win. We have a tough match on Sunday though, I'm sure Ole Miss will have a good crowd and their players will be fired up. I really want to see our guys come out and be aggressive. If we can compete well, then we have a chance to make ourselves very proud."

Due to the threat of rain, the teams agreed to play the singles portion of the competition first. No. 2-ranked junior John Isner (Greensboro, N.C.) broke through to get Georgia on the board first, registering a 6-2, 6-2 defeat over No. 81 Ivan Bjelica at the top singles spot, needing less than one hour to complete his match. With the win, Isner extended his singles winning streak to 18 matches and his overall singles record to 34-2.

Next off the court was senior tri-captain Colin Purcell (Louisville, Ky.), who extended his own unbeaten singles run to 13 matches with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Ryan Farlow at the fifth singles position, giving Georgia a 2-0 lead. The UGA advantage became 3-0 when senior tri-captain Antonio Ruiz (Monterrey, Mexico) downed Florent Girod, 7-6 (7), 6-3, at the No. 3 singles slot. The match-clinching win came off the racquet of senior tri-captain Strahinja Bobusic (Perth, Australia) at the sixth spot, as he topped Eric Lim, 6-2, 7-6 (4). The remaining two singles matches were halted as soon as Georgia clinched the match, and the doubles portion of the contest was not played.

Georgia's Sunday tilt against Ole Miss is slated to begin at 2 p.m. EST.


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