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Tennis / Lisa Dillman : There Are More Where These Two Came From

November 01, 1987|Lisa Dillman

Georgia tennis Coach Dan Magill surveyed the scene at UCLA Thursday, the opening day of the Volvo Collegiate Championships, and liked pretty much everything he saw.

On one court, Magill's prize freshman recruit, Al Parker, rallied to defeat highly regarded Ed Nagel of Michigan in a long, three-set match.

Nearby, in another opening match, Georgia's Stephen Enochs came back to beat USC's top freshman prospect, Byron Black.

Those two results--and there are two outstanding freshman recruits back home in Athens, Ga.--are why Georgia, the defending National Collegiate Athletic Assn. champion, seems destined for a long stay at the top of men's college tennis.

Of course, Magill has been around long enough not to start tossing words such as dynasty around, but he admits there's much ado about them Dawgs down Georgia way.

"We are very excited," Magill said. "And our fans are excited about the fact we have five boys from the top seven returning. They're more excited about the team than they were after we won in '85 because we lost our top four. So they couldn't get too excited."

Magill concedes that replacing last year's top singles player, Philip Johnson, won't be easy. He said that Johnson, who finished with the No. 2 ranking in the country, was the most underrated player in college tennis.

But, at least on paper, Parker has all the credentials to fill the vacancy. He completed his junior career by accumulating more titles than any other male player, breaking Scott Davis' record.

And, if for any reason Parker should falter, Magill has another strong asset in Chris Garner. Garner finished the junior season ranked No. 2 to Parker's No. 1. Divided, Parker and Garner are excellent singles players. United, they form one of the top doubles teams in the country.

"We also recruited Francisco Montana, who could also be as good a prospect as Garner and Parker," Magill said.

With that, Magill was off to watch Parker and T. J. Middleton play doubles against Stanford's Jeff Tarango and David Wheaton.

Presumably, he liked what he saw.

Chris Evert doesn't sound like a Seoul woman. Asked about the likelihood of competing with Martina Navratilova for the United States in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Evert said:

"We would have to stay in those little Olympic Village dorm rooms for two weeks. Would winning a bronze or a silver medal really be worth that after you've won Wimbledon so many times and have been ranked No. 1 in the world for so long? I don't think Martina or I will play in the Olympics."

For those who thought Minnesota Twin Kent Hrbek might be spending the off-season eating his way through the upper Midwest, guess again.

After Ivan Lendl plays a singles match against Tim Mayotte in an exhibition Nov. 24 at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minn., Hrbek and teammate Gary Gaetti are scheduled to play doubles with the two tennis stars.

Well, at least Hrbek and Gaetti have one thing in their favor--they're playing indoors.

Tennis Notes

Australian Open champion Stefan Edberg, who beat No. 1-ranked Ivan Lendl at Tokyo last week, will play Lendl in an exhibition at the Forum Nov. 19. The opening match features Eliot Teltscher of Palos Verdes against Pete Sampras of Rancho Palos Verdes. Sampras defeated Michael Chang, United States Tennis Assn. national 18-and-under champion, at the U.S. Open junior event in September. At the last Forum exhibition, Chang played U.S. Open junior champion David Wheaton, a freshman at Stanford.

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