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Friday March 23, 2012No. 11 Men's Tennis Falls to No. 12 Mississippi State, 4-3

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 11 Florida men’s tennis team came up short on yet another tight 4-3 decision, falling to No. 12 Mississippi State on Friday night. After a weather delay interrupted the doubles action for roughly an hour and a half, the Gators could never overtake the Bulldogs after falling behind early in the match.


“Congratulations to Coach [Per] Nilsson,” said head coach Andy Jackson. “I know that they deserve it. They played better than we did. It’s a tough time for us, but I frankly saw some positive things that we’re going to try to build on.”


Mississippi State (13-4, 4-1 SEC) took an early lead after pulling out a tough doubles point. MSU’s Louis Cant and Malte Stropp, ranked 24th in the country, beat the Gators’ Tripper Carleton (Naples, Fla.) and Michael Alford (Tampa, Fla.) at the No. 2 position, 8-6. Florida then earned a victory on court three, as Spencer Newman (Miami, Fla.) and Bob van Overbeek (Boca Raton, Fla.) won 8-6 over the Bulldogs’ Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson.


The doubles point came down to court one, where UF’s eighth-ranked pair of Billy Federhofer (North Miami, Fla.) and Nassim Slilam (Paris, France) faced Mississippi State’s George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin. After falling behind 3-0 early, Federhofer and Slilam earned two breaks and took a 5-4 lead. The MSU duo bounced right back and earned a break of their own and held serve to close out the match, 8-6.


Mississippi State pushed their lead to 2-0 after Stropp defeated Carleton at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-4, but Newman got a point back for the Gators with a 6-3, 6-2 win on court four over No. 36-ranked Coupland.


Ilyushin, ranked 14th in the nation, extended MSU’s lead to 3-1 overall, beating van Overbeek, 6-2, 6-3, at the top singles position. Minutes later, Slilam pulled Florida within one point once again, taking down James Chaudry, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 2 singles.


The match was decided on court five, where Florida’s Florent Diep (Paris, France) took on MSU’s Cant. After Cant claimed the first set, Diep jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second set but couldn’t hold on, eventually losing in a tiebreak, 6-4, 7-6 (3).


Federhofer won the remaining match on court six against Mississippi State’s White, but it took two tiebreak sets and a super tiebreak third set to decide the outcome. After Federhofer took the first set, White won the tiebreak in the second before Federhofer won the super tiebreak and the match, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (3), 1-0 (10-X).


Florida hits the road for their next match, traveling to Oxford, Miss., to take on Ole Miss on Sunday at 2 p.m.


2012 University of Florida Men’s Tennis

Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Florida

Friday, March 23, 2012




Mississippi St.



Score (match length)

Billy Federhofer (8)

George Coupland

No. 1 -

Nassim Slilam (8)


Artem Ilyushin



8-6 (1:09)

Tripper Carleton

Louis Cant (24)

No. 2 -

Michael Alford


Malte Stropp (24)



8-6 (:47)

Spencer Newman

Zach White

No. 3 -

Bob van Overbeek


Ethan Wilkinson



8-6 (:53)




Mississippi St.



Score (match length)

No. 1 -

Bob van Overbeek (61)


Artem Ilyushin (14)



6-2, 6-3 (1:36)

No. 2 -

Nassim Slilam (56)


James Chaudry



6-2, 6-2 (1:39)

No. 3 -

Tripper Carleton (57)


Malte Stropp (113)



6-1, 6-4 (1:15)

No. 4 -

Spencer Newman (93)


George Coupland (36)



6-3, 6-2 (1:28)

No. 5 -

Florent Diep


Louis Cant (37)



6-4, 7-6 (3) (2:03)

No. 6 -

Billy Federhofer


Zach White



7-6 (7), 6-7 (3), 14-12 (2:39) 


Florida - 3

Mississippi St. - 4

* Clinched victory


Florida (9-7, 2-3 SEC)

Mississippi St. (13-4, 4-1 SEC)

Order of Finish:

Doubles: 2, 3, 1

Singles: 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 6




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