The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC Tennis Weekly Awards: Week 1

24 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: SEC
Men's Player of the Week
Johannus Monday  Tennessee
Sr. Hull, England

Tennessee's Johannus Monday is undefeated through the Vols' first seven matches of the 2024 dual season, playing primarily at the No. 1 spot in singles. The senior has defeated four ranked opponents in four consecutive matches, hitting his 40th career win vs. a ranked opponent in his clinching victory over Michigan's No. 9 Gavin Young on Jan. 18. Monday also holds a perfect 3-0 doubles record, playing alongside partners Younes Lalami and Angel Diaz. Monday and Diaz, ranked 26th as a pair, routed Michigan's 31st-ranked Young and Ehrenschneider, 6-2, recording their first ranked doubles win as a pair this season.‌

Men's Co-Freshman of the Week
Jelani Sarr  South Carolina
Fr. Baltimore, Md.

South Carolina's Jelani Sarr started his dual match career with three clinches - two in singles and one in doubles. In singles, Sarr clinched South Carolina' win over rival Clemson in a three-setter 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 from the No. 3 spot in the lineup to give the Gamecocks their ninth straight win over the Tigers. In the ITA Kickoff Columbia Regional title match, Sarr and partner Lucas Andrade da Silva clinched the doubles point against LSU in a 7-5 result to improve to 6-4 together this season. In singles against LSU, Sarr went on to clinch his second straight match, defeating Rudy Ceccon 6-2, 7-6(5) at the No. 3 spot in the lineup to send South Carolina to their third consecutive ITA Indoor National Championships. Sarr is now 14-7 overall in singles and has five ranked wins on his resume with his highest over No. 17 Kenta Miyoshi in straight sets.

Men's Co-Freshman of the Week
Tiago Pires  Texas A&M
Fr. France

Texas A&M's Tiago Pires recorded a ranked win against No. 112 Cyrus Mahjoob of No. 19 Georgia in the ITA Kickoff Weekend finals on the Bulldogs' home court. His three-set victory over Mahjoob was crucial in order for the Aggies to advance to the 2024 ITA National Indoor Championship. Pires has started his collegiate career 3-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles play.

Women's Player of the Week
DJ Bennett  Auburn
So. Belleview, Fla.

Auburn's DJ Bennett had two straight set singles wins and a doubles win during ITA Kickoff Weekend in Durham, North Carolina. Bennett wasted no time getting the Tigers their first singles match win against Denver on Friday, earning a quick 6-0, 6-2 victory over Caroline Driscoll. On Saturday against No. 15 Duke, Bennett and Adeline Flach came back after trailing their doubles match against Brianna Shvets and Iuliia Bryzgalova 3-1. The 6-3 win clinched the crucial doubles point for the Tigers. She quickly won her opening singles set over No. 74 Ellie Coleman 6-2. Bennett was cruising in the second set and built a 5-0 advantage over Coleman, but Coleman battled back by winning five consecutive games to even the set at five. The Belleview, Florida native pulled away in the final two games of the set, winning both of them to secure the team victory for Auburn and begin the celebration with her teammates on court three. In the dramatic second set, Bennett won eight of her 10 service games including four that reached a 40-40 score. The win marked Bennett's team-best 12th singles victory of the 2023-24 campaign and punched Auburn's ticket to the ITA Indoor Team Championships for the third consecutive season.

Women's Freshman of the Week
Aysegul Mert  Georgia
Fr. Istanbul, Turkey

Georgia's Aysegul Mert doubles serves were a big part of the team's success this past weekend. Against South Florida, Mert and her partner Dasha Vidmanova cruised through to victory at the 1 spot to help earn Georgia a doubles point. Against South Carolina, Mert was influential in sparking an early lead against Hamner and Malkin, where her presence at the net as well as her quickness on returns helped earn the Bulldogs the first doubles match point of the day. Mert and Vidmanova going undefeated on the weekend at the 1-2 spots were a big part of Georgia making the ITA Indoor Team Championships.