Wednesday November 6, 2013Men's Tennis Wraps Up Fall Season This Weekend at Two Events
The Florida men’s tennis team will conclude its fall season this weekend, with individuals competing at two separate tournaments.
The doubles pair of Elliott Orkin and Gordon Watson will travel to Flushing, N.Y. to compete in the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships beginning on Thursday. Orkin and Watson have compiled a 10-3 doubles record this fall, reaching the semifinals of the 2013 USTA/ITA Division I Men's Southeast Regional Championship in October. The duo also reached the quarterfinals of the SEC Fall Classic and the ITA Men’s All-American Championships.
Meanwhile, seniors Florent Diep and Stephane Piro will play both singles and doubles in the 2013 Dick Vitale Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic beginning on Friday. Diep has a 9-7 singles record this fall, reaching the Round of 16 at three different events, while Piro is 6-5 and played in the Main Draw at the prestigious ITA Men’s All-American Championships. The pair have not played together in doubles since arriving at Florida.
Results from both tournaments will be posted on GatorZone at the conclusion of each day’s action. Results will also be posted via Twitter (@GatorZoneTennis).
From the Coach – head coach bryan shelton
On Elliott Orkin and Gordon Watson playing in New York:
“I think they’ve had a great fall. They’re shooting for a title. We’d like to see them go up there and really implement the things that they’ve been working on. They’ve spent a lot of time working on their doubles. Gordon is a natural doubles player, he’s played a lot of doubles throughout probably the last eight years and had a lot of success there. Elliott has worked his tail off, especially throughout the last several weeks on developing his doubles skills and I think he’s more confident on what he can do. Together as a team they combine well together and that’s always important in doubles for you to complement your partner. They do that well. For them going up to New York, they’re going up there to try and win the national title. You only get a few opportunities throughout the year to do that – the All-American tournament in Tulsa, this national tournament and the NCAA tournament individual portion in May. You’ve got three opportunities to try and win a national title in doubles. I know they want to take full advantage of this opportunity and go up there and get it done.”
On the doubles pairings for the team moving forward:
“We’re still looking at some combinations. Elliott and Gordon seem to be one that certainly fits well together and they’ve been consistent. That’s what we look for. We don’t just look for one result. We’re looking for guys to have multiple results, whether it’s singles or doubles. Anyone can have one great tournament or one great result. In the spring, we’ve got to be consistent over a four or five month period from January through May. We’re looking at guys that can consistently get it done out there on the court together, or individually in singles. We’re still tinkering a little bit but I think we’ve got some good information by mixing up some of the teams this fall.”
On Florent Diep and Stephane Piro playing doubles together for the first time:
“It’s one of those things that you don’t know until you try. We’ve never tried to put Flo and Steph together. Obviously they can speak in French while they’re out there on the court and nobody knows what they’re talking about. That could be effective for those two. They know each other so well. They’re good friends, they live together. So we’ll see. I thought that Mike Alford and Steph combined extremely well in the last tournament. We got good reports about what they did together as a team. Maxx Lipman and Steph had a really good tournament in Nashville where they played together. We’ve got a couple things that we can look at with the doubles pairs and seeing Flo and Steph and what they do in this tournament will give us a little bit more information.”
On Diep and Piro in singles play this weekend:
“I would like for those guys to have a good result there. I really don’t feel like either one of them have had outstanding results this fall. Steph has beaten some very good players at the All-American, he had a few wins in the consolation over some good players. Other than that, he hasn’t really been super impressive and he hasn’t played his very best tennis. I’m looking for him to go down there this weekend and really put an exclamation point on his fall and really finish with a solid result. The same for Flo. He won the regional tournament last fall and played extremely well and it’s been a little bit up and down since. The only thing that he’s lacking is a little bit of confidence. I’d like to see him go down there and have some good results so he can bolster his confidence and see how effective he is as a tennis player. He’s got all the tools, so it’s a matter of him putting it together and being confident in what he’s doing out there.”
USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
Doubles – First Round (Thursday)
Orkin/ Watson (UF) vs. O’Hare/Salisbury (Memphis)
2013 Dick Vitale Lakewood Ranch
Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic
Athletic Center of Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch, FL
November 8-10, 2013
Singles – First Round (Friday)
Florent Diep (UF) vs. TBD
Stephane Piro (UF) vs. TBD
Doubles – First Round (Friday)
Diep/Piro (UF) vs. TBD