March 19, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia men’s tennis player Austin Smith has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after his performances in Georgia’s three victories last week, the league office has announced. It is the second weekly honor of Smith’s career and first of the season for the sophomore.
Smith posted an undefeated week for the third straight week, going a combined 4-0 in his matches against No. 1 Ohio State, No. 48 South Carolina, and No. 17 Florida. His straight-set win over 120th-ranked Herkko Pollanen pushed Georgia to a 2-0 lead over the Buckeyes on their way to the upset last Wednesday, while against the Gators on Sunday he provided the clinching point with the team match even at 3-3. In that outing, he rallied to come back from down a break in both sets, including down 5-3 in the second, to win.
The Cumming, Ga., native leads the Bulldogs with 27 singles victories on the season – including 9-4 record in dual matches, a 4-0 clip in SEC play, and 11 wins over ranked opponents. He currently rides a seven-match singles winning streak. In doubles, Smith and partner Eric Diaz have won six in a row, posting an 11-1 record in dual matches and are 4-0 in conference play. In all, Smith has not lost an SEC match this season, and has not lost a match overall since Feb. 15.
Smith’s play has guided Georgia (10-5, 5-0) to a seven-match winning streak and an undefeated start to the SEC season.
He and the Bulldogs return home this weekend to host No. 14 Kentucky and No. 33 Vanderbilt at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.