Hometown News Release on UGA Tennis Player Nathan Pasha
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Atlanta native Nathan Pasha is the lone Bulldog keeping Georgia's men's singles title hopes alive in Athens.
Pasha advanced to the singles Round of 16 where he will face UCLA's Marcos Giron on Friday at the NCAA tennis championships. Thursday's match wasn't an easy feat as the Bulldog junior battled the sun in his eyes and eight double faults in the first set alone. He ended up earning the 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3 win because of a double fault by Notre Dame's Greg Andrews.
Pasha had some things working for him too, including the advantage of playing at home – referring to both Athens and Atlanta.
"It's great because I get a lot of hometown support," he said. "The people who give me support, even those on Twitter, and those who come to matches help a lot more than they might think."
The NCAAs will be hosted in Waco, Texas next year when Pasha will be a senior. As a result, he is trying to make the most of his final home NCAAs at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens. By reaching the rounds of 16 in NCAA Singles, he became UGA's newest All-American.
"I had no idea that it was going to happen and everyone told me that was probably for the best," he said. "It feels good to be an All-American. I've always wanted to be one of those."
After No. 10 Georgia fell to No. 7 North Carolina in the team competitions, the focus quickly turned to winning an individual title. Pasha took one day off after the team loss and then immediately went back to training.
"[Shaking off the loss] was hard," he said. "You see a lot of good teams that you know you can compete with and knowing that you're not in it at all hurts as a competitor."
Although a team championship is always the ultimate goal, winning singles would be no consolation prize. Especially since the last time Georgia won a singles championship was in 2002.
Pasha was the top-ranked player in the state, No. 2 in the southeast and No. 5 in the nation at the time of his signing in 2010.