Blaydes and Ratiu’s Season Ends in Round of 16 at NCAA Doubles Championships

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Georgia men’s tennis team’s season officially ended on Wednesday afternoon as freshmen Freddy Blaydes and Niels Ratiu fell in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championships by a 5-7, 6-1, 10-4 score to No. 5-8 seed Etienne Donnet and Natan Rodrigues of Louisville at the Greenwood Tennis Complex.

Fast Facts

• The Bulldog tandem ends the season 13-7 together this season with eight wins against ranked opponent

• Blaydes and Ratiu won 61 percent of their 21 second serve return points during the match.

• This marks the seventh time since 2009 a Georgia tandem has at least reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championship.

• Blaydes and Ratiu notched the highest-ranked win of their careers together with the straight-set victory over No. 28 Horak and Raquin on Wednesday. Their previous best was versus No. 29 Bozo Barun and Jared Horwood of Arkansas on March 24.

Key Quotes

“I’m awfully proud of our boys today and overall, with what this group has given to this program and university as a whole,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “We’re really proud of how they went after it all year and how they conducted themselves.”

“We played an outstanding first set today,” said Coach Diaz. “Freddy and Niels played a veteran and very highly skilled team today, and Louisville prevailed in a tiebreaker in the third set. Our boys need to hang their heads up and stay proud. While through this tough loss, they’re pretty down, I know how tough they worked to be successful, and I am proud of them for always fighting like Bulldogs.”

“Overall, it’s a sad day for me personally because I’ve coached my last collegiate match,” said Coach Diaz. “All these years, proudly representing this university – it’s a bittersweet day for me. Today, this morning, in the early hours of the day, I became a grandfather for the second time. It’s a very happy time in that sense and a bittersweet time in another sense.”

“The program is in great hands,” said Coach Diaz. “I feel like we’ve got an outstanding group of student-athletes and an incredible staff that will continue to make this university proud going forward. I look forward to staying involved in small ways to support our program in whatever ways I can. I am excited to cheer on our young men and women in the future and beyond.”