Friday April 12, 2013No. 17 Men's Tennis Takes Down No. 8 Kentucky 4-3
The 17th-ranked Florida men’s tennis team had a long, hard fought match on Friday night, eventually taking down No. 8 Kentucky 4-3 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. With the victory, the Gators improved to 13-9 overall with a 6-5 mark in the Southeastern Conference.
Florida was able to grab an early lead by taking the doubles point. Mike Alford and Luke Johnson teamed up at No. 2 doubles for the Gators and beat UK’s Grant Roberts and Anthony Rossi 8-5 to get things started. On court one, the Wildcats’ Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai, ranked eighth nationally, beat 35th-ranked Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek 8-6.
Florent Diep and Gordon Watson went up an early break at No. 2 doubles against Kentucky’s Ryuji Hirooka and Beck Pennington, but the UK duo came back to tie the match at 7-7. The Gators earned another break to go ahead 8-7, then Watson held serve to secure the doubles victory.
In singles, Kentucky evened the match after Pennington beat Johnson 6-4, 6-4 on court six. Watson put the Gators back in front, beating Lai 6-3, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. Ten minutes later, Alford finished off Roberts 7-5, 6-1 on court four. After falling behind 2-5 in the first set, Alford won 11 of the next 12 games to win his match.
Jomby, ranked 21st nationally, cut into the Gators lead after beating Diep 6-4, 6-3 on court two. No. 19-ranked Rossi then evened the match at 3-3, beating Piro 6-1, 7-6 (5) at the top singles position, leaving the deciding point on court three between van Overbeek and Kentucky’s Charles Minc.
After winning a tough first set in a tiebreaker, van Overbeek and Minc both held serve the entire second set. Minc then won the tiebreak to force a deciding third set. After both players held to open the final set, Minc finally earned a break and then held serve for a 3-1 advantage. Van Overbeek got a break back to even at 4-4, then held to go up 5-4. At 30-30 in the next game, Minc hit a shot deep after a long rally to set up a break and match point for van Overbeek, which he converted after Minc forced a shot wide, giving van Overbeek the deciding point and a win for the Gators.
The Gators will wrap up the regular season on Sunday, hosting No. 14 Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. Live scoring will be available through GatorZone.com and updates will be provided on Twitter via @GatorZoneTennis.
April 12, 2013
Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex
#17 Florida 4, #8 Kentucky 3
1. #19 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. #118 Stephane Piro (UF), 6-1, 7-6 (5)
2. #21 Tom Jomby (UK) def. #85 Florent Diep (UF), 6-4, 6-3
3. #117 Bob van Overbeek (UF) def. Charles Minc (UK), 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-4
4. Mike Alford (UF) def. Grant Roberts (UK), 7-5, 6-1
5. Gordon Watson (UF) def. Kevin Lai (UK), 6-3, 6-3
6. Beck Pennington (UK) def. Luke Johnson (UF), 6-4, 6-4
1. #8 Jomby/Lai (UK) def. #35 Piro/van Overbeek (UF), 8-6
2. Alford/Johnson (UF) def. Roberts/Rossi (UK), 8-5
3. Diep/Watson (UF) def. Hirooka/Pennington (UK), 9-7
Florida 12-9, 5-5; National ranking #17
Kentucky 19-8, 6-4; National ranking #8
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (6, 5, 4, 2, 1, 3)
T – 4:59