Staff Report Graphic

Second-ranked Tennessee men’s tennis opened SEC play with a bang, trouncing No. 24 Mississippi State 5-2. Sophomore Johannus Monday continued his dominance, picking up his 20th win of the season and moved to 22-9 against ranked opponents in his career.

"Every win is important but winning on the road in the SEC is vital," Tennessee head coach Chris Woodruff said. "We came out really sharp, vibrant and aware in doubles. After that, as is the case most of the time, singles becomes tougher and we were able to pull through."

The Vols seem to have fixed their early season double struggles, winning yet another doubles point.

The first finishers in doubles play were No. 57 Pat Harper and Adam Walton, who slowly look like they are returning to form. The pair handily defeated No. 55 Nemanja Malesevic and Davide Tortora, 6-1.

Shortly after, Monday and Mark Wallner took down Alberto Colas and Carles Hernandez 6-1 to clinch the point. Monday and Wallner improved to 7-0 when playing together. No. 9 Emile Hudd went unfinished but were winning 5-2.

In singles play, No. 6 Monday once again was the first finisher for the Vols on court two, quickly defeating No. 74 Malesevic 6-2, 6-3 to put the Vols up 2-0.

No. 51 picked up the third win on court three with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over the Bulldogs’ Hernandez.

On court six, Angel Diaz clinched match for the Vols in straight sets, beating Bautista Vilicich 6-2, 6-4.

The teams opted to play the rest of the match out. Freshman Mitsui defeated Colas in the first set tiebreak and had another close second set in his 7-6(3), 7-5 victory. No. 32 Walton fell to No. 39 Broska 6-4, 7-6(4) and Martim Prata was defeated by Gregor Ramskogle 7-6(9), 4-6, 1-0 (10-1).

The Vols will travel to No. 14 Ole Miss on Sunday to take on the Rebels. The match is set to start at 2 p.m. EST.

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