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Men's Tennis Headline

Friday January 18, 2013Men's Tennis Kicks Off Dual Season Saturday at Noon Versus Miami

Gainesville, Fla.

The Florida mens tennis team kicks off the 2013 dual season this weekend, hosting the University of Miami at noon at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. After wrapping up individual play last weekend at the Three Oaks Shootout in Fort Myers, Florida turns its full attention to the upcoming dual season.


With the spring season kicking off on Saturday, heres a quick snapshot of all seven players that will be in action during the dual season. For more information, check back to Wednesdays post, which includes some good stuff from new head coach Bryan Shelton.


Career Highlights:

         Has an overall record of 74-41 in singles, including a 10-6 mark in 2012-13

         Reached as high as No. 37 in the singles rankings last season, playing mostly at the No. 1 single position

         74 career wins leads all players on the team

         Upset No. 8-overall seed Sebastian Fanselow, 6-3, 6-4, in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Singles Championships

         Also has an overall doubles record of 70-34



Bob van Overbeek


Boca Raton, Fla.

Kaplan Prep School


Coach Shelton on Bob:

I think that hes definitely a leader on this team. One of the great things about Bob is that hes very well rounded. Hes a leader in the classroom and his results speak to that, as hes consistently leading the team in the classroom. On the court, I think Bob is excited about this senior season and wants to go out with his very best. Ive seen a lot of improvements in Bob over the last several months and the way that he maintains composure on the court much better and just his overall play. Hes playing better tennis. He understands what he wants to do and what he needs to do to be successful out on the court. I think this 2013 season will be a very special one for him.




Career Highlights:

         Career record of 48-38 in singles and 69-38 in doubles

         Ranked No. 119 in the fall of 2011, the best of his career

         Has seen lots of success in doubles, ranking as high as No. 4 with partner Nassim Slilam last season

         Teamed with Gordon Watson for most of the fall in doubles, posting a 9-2 record as a duo

         Won doubles title at the Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic with Watson last November



Billy Federhofer


North Miami, Fla.

Dr. Michael Krop High School


Coach Shelton on Billy:

Billys about as passionate as you can be about the Florida Gators. I know that hed do anything to win for the Gators this year and this season. Billys great because he cares about the guys in the locker room and hes a guy thats another leader. I think hes really excited about the season and understands this is his last chance to really do some things and accomplish some goals that he has for himself and also for the team. Hes shown that hes willing to do whatever it takes.




Career Highlights:

         Led the team with a 16-6 record in tournament play this season

         Won the ITA Southeast Regional in Tallahassee, earning a berth at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in New York

         Enters the spring ranked No. 26 in the ITA Rankings

         Has a career record of 30-14 in singles

         Also solid in doubles, winning the Southern Intercollegiate with Mike Alford last September

         Has a 11-5 record with Alford this season and ranks No. 45 in the ITA Doubles Rankings entering the dual season



Florent Diep


Paris, France

Lycee Paul Doumer


Coach Shelton on Flo:

Flo probably had the most impressive fall of any player here. When he came in last spring I think that it was a tough transition for him, but now you can see that hes very comfortable and confident with where hes at. His results in the fall really kind of proved that. I think winning the Regional tournament was a big boost for his confidence, and qualifying for the National Indoors up in New York was huge. Being able to see the very best players in college tennis, and understand that he can not only play with them but beat them, gives him great confidence for this year, and because of it hell probably be playing one of the top spots in singles and in doubles. He was successful in both. I expect him to be a leader on the court, as far as playing high in the lineup and being able to relax and play his best tennis this semester.




Career Highlights:

         Went 15-7 in the individual season, reaching the semifinals of the Bedford Cup and Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic

         Has a career record of 48-21 in singles

         Had the second-most singles wins on the team last season (25) and was 12-2 in dual matches

         Ranked as high as 84th in his career

         In doubles, has a 29-18 record in his career and won the Southern Intercollegiate last September with Florent Diep



Mike Alford


Tampa, Fla.

Wharton High School


Coach Shelton on Mike:

Mike is just a solid guy: solid guy, solid player, solid performer. I think one of the greatest things about Mike is that hes consistent in the way he does his work. He comes out to practice every day with the right attitude and the right mentality to get better. Mike is a guy that you want because you know that you can depend on him. Its huge to have a guy like that in there that everybody kind of knows where he stands every single day, you dont have to guess. I expect him to continue to improve. Hes made some big jumps in his game over the last year and hes going to be a critical part for us, a pivotal player for us and our success this semester.




Career Highlights:

         Enrolled in January of 2012 but had to sit out a year

         Saw his first action for the Gators at the Three Oaks Shootout in Fort Myers and won all three of his singles matches

         Also went 3-0 in doubles at the Three Oaks Shootout, 2-0 with Bob van Overbeek and 1-0 with Luke Johnson

         Prior to arriving at Florida, Piro had a world ranking of 931 in singles while playing in France

         Spent time in residence at the French Tennis Federation in Paris



Stephane Piro


Marseille, France



Coach Shelton on Steph:

Stephs a talented player. I think everybody here is excited about him actually playing for us. Hes certainly one of the most talented guys that we have on this team, and hes been working hard. When you have the talent and you work hard, great things can happen. Our goal is not to rush him, we want to make him feel comfortable out there on the court when hes competing and give him a chance to work himself into it and not feel like hes got to do too much, too soon. I think that well be patient with him and hope that hell be patient with himself and continue to do the work so that hes ready to play every match.




Career Highlights:

         Enrolled at UF in the spring of 2012 but redshirted

         Had a successful fall season, compiling a 12-4 record

         Won the Bedford Cup singles title last September and reached the semifinals of the Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic in November

         Paired with Billy Federhofer in doubles and post a 9-2 record

         Won the doubles title with Federhofer at the Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic



Gordon Watson

Redshirt Freshman

Naples, Fla.

First Baptist Academy


Coach Shelton on Gordon:

Gordon had a little bit of an up-and-down fall. He was taking off early and played extremely well, especially here winning the Bedford Cup on our courts this fall. I think that was probably the highlight for him this fall. Unfortunately he got sick, and was away from it for a couple of weeks and now hes working to regain that form that he had mid-fall. Gordon, like Steph, is a very talented player. As he becomes more disciplined and continues to do the things he needs to do, I think his future is so bright here. I expect him to get a lot better as the spring season goes forward.




Career Highlights:

         Enrolled at Florida in August of 2012 and saw action in tournament play in the fall

         Had a 3-8 record in his first collegiate action in the fall

         Before arriving at UF, he was rated No. 77 in the AEGON British Tennis Rankings Open Division

         Ranked top 5 in the United Kingdom for males born in 1994



Luke Johnson


Leeds, England

Greenhead 6th Form College


Coach Shelton on Luke:

Luke is a driven guy who works hard. Hes been a great guy to work with. I think Luke is going to continue to work hard every single day. Thats what we love about him. We know that hes going to learn, not only from the coaches but from the other players in the locker room. I think hes got some guys and some good examples that he can follow on this team. We just want him to continue to work hard, and when he has his opportunities, be able to make the most of them.



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