By all accounts, Wayne Montgomery is locked in. He said it, his coach Manuel Diaz said it, and Montgomery’s performance in Georgia’s 4-0 win over Florida A&M in the first round of the NCAA Tournament shows it.
In singles, Montgomery made quick work to smash FAMU’s Courage Okungbowa 6-1, 6-0.
“I think I was just kind of locked in,” Montgomery said. “I felt really confident and really strong. I got off to a solid start in the first set and just kept the momentum going.”
Diaz echoed his No. 1 player’s mindset, going even further by saying this is the best he has seen Montgomery play in a while.
“We came out pretty sharp in singles, especially Wayne,” Diaz said. “He probably hit the ball as well as he has hit it all year, he has had a good two weeks of practice. I think he is now locked in for postseason.”
It didn’t take Georgia men’s tennis very long on Friday afternoon to go ahead over FAMU. Exactly 30 minutes to be precise.
That was how long it took Georgia to notch the doubles point, led not by the No. 1 doubles team in the nation in Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski on Court 1 but by Nathan Ponwith and Emil Reinberg on Court 2.
The Ponwith/Reinberg duo took an early 4-0 lead before finishing out the quick set at 6-1. Montgomery and Walker Duncan followed shortly after with a 6-3 victory over their Florida A&M opponents on Court 3, earning Georgia the doubles point.
“We played a good doubles point and it wasn’t easy, they were really serving well,” Diaz said. “Our No. 2 team played exceptionally well and really returned well and put some pressure on their opponents. That really gave us some momentum.”
In singles, Georgia’s quick dominance over FAMU continued as Montgomery, Duncan and Loeb all won two-set matches to clinch the victory for Georgia.
Duncan handled Walner Espinoza in two sets 6-1, 6-4, while Loeb was nearly lights out against Luis Federico Nani, pulling ahead 6-2, 6-0.
Georgia returns to the court on Saturday as the team tries to advance to the Round of 16 to be held next weekend. Georgia will take on No. 22 South Florida at 3 p.m at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.