Sept. 20, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-----Georgia sophomore Austin Smith won two more matches on Friday to advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC Fall Tennis Classic held at Vanderbilt's Currey Tennis Center.
The Cumming, Ga., native first earned a 6-1, 6-2 win over Tennessee's 24th-ranked Hunter Reese in the round of 16, then outlasted South Carolina's Kyle Koch, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6(2) to reach the quarterfinals. The win over Reese marks the highest ranked opponent Smith has defeated in his UGA career. He will face Vanderbilt's Austin Gonzales in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
"Austin continues to make progress and has really made a case to be considered one of the elite players in the country," said UGA coach Manuel Diaz. "He has worked hard this fall. He was serving but was down 4-5 and 5-6, but he stayed tough. He showed great resiliency and played a great tiebreaker in the third set to finish his second match."
In other singles action, Hernus Pieters, who earlier in the day defeated Ole Miss' Stefan Lindmark, 7-6, 6-3, fell in the round of 16 to South Carolina's 14th-ranked Tsvetan Mihov, 6-4, 6-3. Nathan Pasha was eliminated by Mississippi State's Florian Lakat, 6-4, 6-4, in the round of 32.
In doubles, Pasha and Pieters won their second match of the weekend to move on to the quarterfinals. The Bulldog duo downed LSU's Harrison Kennedy and John Michael Busch, 8-5.
"Hernus played a great opponent from South Carolina," Diaz said. "He has played a lot of matches the last two weeks and really slowed down in the second set. It will be good to get him a little rest after this tournament. Our doubles hopes are still intact, and we will play a very good team on Saturday."
Saturday's schedule includes two rounds of doubles and one round of singles. The first round of doubles will be played at 10 a.m. ET, followed by singles at 11:30 a.m.
Friday's Georgia Results
Singles Round of 32
Florian Lakat (MSU) def. #32  Nathan Pasha (UGA), 6-4, 6-4
#72 Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Stefan Lindmark (MISS), 7-6, 6-3
Austin Smith (UGA) def. #24 Hunter Reese (UT), 6-1, 6-2
Singles Round of 16
Austin Smith (UGA) def. Kyle Koch (USC), 2-6, 6-0, 7-6(2)
#14  Tsvetan Mihov (USC) def. #72 Hernus Pieters (UGA), 6-4, 6-3
Doubles Round of 16
Nathan Pasha/Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Harrison Kennedy/John Michael Busch (LSU), 8-5
Saturday's Georgia Matches
Austin Smith (UGA) vs. #35  Gonzales Austin (VAN)
Nathan Pasha/Hernus Pieters (UGA) vs. #42 Maxx Lipman/Stephane Piro (UF) (winner plays again Saturday)