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Saturday January 25, 2014Men's Tennis Defeats UNC Wilmington 4-0 on Saturday to Advance to ITA Kick-Off Championship

Gainesville, Fla.

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The Florida men’s tennis team opened the 2014 ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Saturday with a 4-0 win over UNC Wilmington at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The Gators will play TCU on Sunday at 2 p.m. with a chance to earn a berth in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston, Texas.

 

Florida opened doubles play with a pair of wins on courts one and three. Seniors Mike Alford and Stephane Piro paired up to win on court one, then sophomore Diego Hidalgo and senior Spencer Newman clinched the doubles point minutes later with a victory on court three. Freshman Maxx Lipman and sophomore Gordon Watson fell behind early, but were tied at 5-5 when play was halted.

 

In singles play, Piro picked up the win at No. 2 singles in straight sets and Lipman finished off a win a minute later to give UF a 3-0 lead. Watson and senior Florent Diep were both a game away from clinching the match, but Watson pulled out the win first for the Gator victory.

 

In Saturday’s other match, TCU defeated Florida St. in a tight 4-3 match. The Seminoles won the doubles point, but the Horned Frogs battled back with four singles victories to move on to Sunday’s Championship match.

 

Florida and TCU will play on Sunday at 2 p.m. with a chance to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston. Florida St. and UNC Wilmington will play a consolation match at noon.

 

 

AFTER THE MATCH

Head Coach Bryan Shelton

“I thought we came out with great energy today and that’s something that we’ve been focusing in on over the last couple of days, making sure that our guys are ready to go from the first ball. With the new format, everything is really sped up, so we’ve got to be ready from the first ball.”

 

“I think our guys were a little bit nervous [on Wednesday against UNF] coming out of the chute in the first match at home. I’m glad we had that match on Wednesday because it helped us prepare for today. We played a very good UNCW team today. Those guys compete really well and our guys handled it. I was really pleased with what I saw and hopefully our play just continues to improve as we get through the weekend.”

 

Sophomore Gordon Watson

On rebounding from Wednesday’s match:

“On Wednesday I didn’t really play my game. The coaches and I came together and I think nerves played a big part because it was our first match. Everybody on the team was a little bit nervous so I think that played a big role. I talked to the coaches and they reiterated what I need to do. I worked on a couple of things yesterday to make sure I was feeling good for today. Really nothing physically changed or technically changed. I just think a little bit of mental change was what made the difference.”

 

On making changes after the first set:

“We’re always told to feel out our opponent in the beginning and see what he does well and what he doesn’t do so well. We didn’t have any stats on him so I was learning him, learning his game. Once I figured it out and coach brought in some ideas it kind of came together and we had a good strategy on what to do with it.”

 

 

2014 ITA MEN’S KICK-OFF WEEKEND

January 25-26, 2014

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Schedule of Play:

Saturday, Jan. 25

Florida vs. UNC Wilmington

UF 4, UNCW 0

 

Florida State vs. TCU

TCU 4, FSU 3

Sunday, Jan. 26

12 p.m. – FSU vs. UNCW (back courts)

No Live Stats

 

2 p.m. – Florida vs. TCU (main courts) 

Live Stats

 

FLORIDA 4, UNC Wilmington 0

Doubles

FLORIDA

vs

UNCW

Winner

 

Score (match length)

Mike Alford

Santtu Leskinen

No. 1 -

Stephane Piro

 

Sam Williams

UF

 

6-3 (:31)

Maxx Lipman

Pedro Mol

No. 2 -

Gordon Watson

 

Kaue Pereira

DNF

 

Tied 5-5

Spencer Newman

Zach Hublitz

No. 3 -

Diego Hidalgo

 

Christian Van der Burgh

UF*

 

6-3 (:33)

Singles

FLORIDA

vs

UNCW

Winner

 

Score (match length)

No. 1 -

Spencer Newman

 

Sam Williams

DNF

 

6-3, 2-4

No. 2 -

Stephane Piro (28)

 

Pedro Mol

UF

 

6-4, 6-0 (:57)

No. 3 -

Gordon Watson (111)

 

Zach Hublitz

UF*

 

6-3, 6-1 (1:05)

No. 4 -

Elliott Orkin (53)

 

Santtu Leskinen

DNF

 

3-6, 6-4

No. 5 -

Florent Diep

 

Kaue Pereira

DNF

 

6-3, 5-2

No. 6 -

Maxx Lipman (109)

 

Christian Van der Burgh

UF

 

6-0, 6-3 (:58)

FINAL SCORE:

Florida - 4

UNCW - 0

* Clinched victory

Records:

Florida 1-0

UNCW 1-0

Order of Finish:

Doubles: 1, 3

Singles: 2, 6, 3

Attendance:

186

 

 

For all of the latest information on Florida men’s tennis:

Official Websitewww.GatorZone.com/tennis/men

Twitter: @GatorZoneTennis

YouTube: www.YouTube.com/UFtennis

 

 

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