Men’s Tennis | 3/1/2023 5:14:00 PM
AUBURN, Ala. – No. 14 Auburn men’s tennis will open conference play on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CT against No. 13 Tennessee and will then face No. 9 Georgia on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CT at home.
Auburn will come into Thursday’s conference opener riding a lot of momentum after picking up their first Blue-Gray Tennis Classic Championship since 1984 on Saturday. Auburn defeated No. 44 Texas Tech, No. 25 Middle Tennessee and No. 14 Arizona to claim the title.
The three impressive victories propelled the Tigers from 36th to 14th in the ITA rankings that were announced on Tuesday. Auburn has recorded seven consecutive match victories and has a 10-2 team record.
“Opening the SEC season against two tough teams, I wouldn’t want it at any other time,” said Auburn head coach Bobby Reynolds. “Coming off the Arizona win, that’s a team that is comparable to Tennessee and Georgia, and I love the fact that we just faced that last week and were successful. So now we bounce right back into it and it’s time to go! We know the SEC schedule will be grueling and we’ll play all of them at some point, so while we’ve got some momentum and are playing well, let’s see how we stack up against those top teams. I think we can be really successful this weekend.”
Auburn senior Finn Murgett had a perfect weekend for Auburn at the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic by winning all three of his singles matches on court four as well as both of his singles matches on court one alongside partner Raul Dobai. Murgett set the tone for Auburn, as his singles matches were the first to finish against each of Auburn’s three opponents and each victory was in just two sets.
Murgett’s dominating performance over the weekend earned him 2023 Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic MVP honors as well as SEC player of the week honors as announced on Wednesday. The senior All-American improved his singles record to a perfect 7-0 for the season and improved his doubles record to 5-3.
Tennessee will enter the Plains sporting a 9-4 record including a win over No. 17 Stanford at the ITA National Indoor Championship in Chicago. Volunteers junior Johannus Monday currently holds an 8-1 dual match record and has become the regular on court one where he has a 5-1 record. Monday is also ranked as the 14th best singles player in the country according to the ITA.
Monday and partner Pat Harper have a 6-1 record in doubles play and are ranked as the 32nd best doubles duo in the nation.
Auburn’s Saturday opponent, Georgia, has posted a 6-5 record this season and has two victories over teams that were ranked in the top 10. The Bulldogs defeated No. 8 South Carolina and No. 6 USC during their time at the ITA National Indoor Championship in Chicago.
Georgia star and fourth ranked singles player Ethan Quinn has had a difficult start to the 2023 season, as he holds a 3-7 dual match record. In total, the Bulldogs have four ranked singles players including Quinn and No. 17 Philip Henning as well as one ranked doubles team comprised of Quinn and Trent Bryde at 19th. Georgia fifth-year senior Blake Croyder holds the team’s best dual singles record at 7-3.
Georgia will open conference play on the road at Alabama on Thursday before their match on the Plains on Saturday.
Thursday’s conference opener against Tennessee will begin at 3:00 p.m. CT while Saturday’s match against Georgia is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. CT. Both matches will be played on the Yarbrough Tennis Center’s outdoor courts. In the event of rain, the matches will be played on the Yarbrough Tennis Center’s indoor courts. Live video and live stats of each match will be available on AuburnTigers.com
Saturday’s match will be the annual “All Auburn, All Orange” match and all fans in attendance will be given a free orange Auburn t-shirt while supplies last.