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

Gainesville, Fla.

The Florida men’s 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, here’s a quick snapshot of all seven players that will be in action during the dual season. For more information, check back to Wednesday’s 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 he’s definitely a leader on this team. One of the great things about Bob is that he’s very well rounded. He’s a leader in the classroom and his results speak to that, as he’s 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. I’ve 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. He’s 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:

“Billy’s about as passionate as you can be about the Florida Gators. I know that he’d do anything to win for the Gators this year and this season. Billy’s great because he cares about the guys in the locker room and he’s a guy that’s another leader. I think he’s 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. He’s shown that he’s 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 he’s very comfortable and confident with where he’s 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 he’ll 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 he’s 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. It’s huge to have a guy like that in there that everybody kind of knows where he stands every single day, you don’t have to guess. I expect him to continue to improve. He’s made some big jumps in his game over the last year and he’s 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:

“Steph’s a talented player. I think everybody here is excited about him actually playing for us. He’s certainly one of the most talented guys that we have on this team, and he’s 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 he’s competing and give him a chance to work himself into it and not feel like he’s got to do too much, too soon. I think that we’ll be patient with him and hope that he’ll be patient with himself and continue to do the work so that he’s 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 he’s 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. He’s been a great guy to work with. I think Luke is going to continue to work hard every single day. That’s what we love about him. We know that he’s going to learn, not only from the coaches but from the other players in the locker room. I think he’s 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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