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Sunday January 26, 2014Men's Tennis Beats TCU 4-2; Advances to ITA National Team Indoor Championships

Gainesville, Fla.

GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The Florida men’s tennis team beat TCU 4-2 on Sunday afternoon to earn a berth in the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston on Feb. 14-17. UF won the doubles point over the Horned Frogs and then Gators’ freshman Maxx Lipman, playing in his second collegiate dual match, clinched the victory with a straight-set win at No. 6 singles.

 

With the victory, the Gators are 3-0 on the season and hit the road next weekend with a West Coast trip to Los Angeles. The Gators will play No. 2 UCLA next Saturday at 1 p.m. and No. 4 Southern California on Sunday and 4 p.m.

 

The doubles competition was tight on Sunday, as the two teams split courts one and two. Lipman and sophomore Gordon Watson won at No. 2 doubles while TCU’s Nick Chappell and Will Stein, ranked 11th in the country, beat UF’s Mike Alford and Stephane Piro at No. 1 doubles.

 

On the deciding court, the Gators’ Diego Hidalgo and Spencer Newman took an early lead and had a chance to serve for the match at 5-3, but the Horned Frogs fought back and forced a tiebreaker. Up 6-3 in the tiebreak, Hidalgo slammed an overhead to win the doubles point and give Florida a 1-0 lead. (Watch match point video here)

 

Watson used the momentum from the doubles victory and the energy from the crowd to breeze to a straight-set win at No. 4 singles, 6-2, 6-1, in less than an hour. TCU picked up its first point with a win on court three, but Florent Diep answered for the Gators with a victory at No. 5 singles for a 3-1 advantage in the match.

 

The Horned Frogs made things interesting, picking up another point with a win at the top singles spot, but Lipman shut the door with his match-clinching point on court six.

 

In Sunday’s consolation match, Florida St. defeated UNC Wilmington 4-0.

 

 

AFTER THE MATCH

Head Coach Bryan Shelton

On the match:

“I thought that we came out and played pretty well, based on what I saw yesterday. We had Diego Hidalgo in the [singles] lineup for the first time as a Gator so that was exciting. I thought we came out and started really well in the doubles, which I was very pleased with, especially No. 2 doubles. I thought we executed really well. We were moving constantly and applying a lot of pressure. It’s nice when you move and you’re aggressive and you actually execute the plays. Gordon and Maxx got us started today and it was fun for Maxx to get the first win of the day in doubles and finish with the last win of the day in singles. He really stepped up big this weekend. For a freshman to be in that position was great. Overall I was pleased with all of our guys, with how we fought and how we competed out there. I think there are plenty of things we can improve moving forward, but I’m really happy for the team to get this win.”

 

On Maxx Lipman’s performance:

“I think Maxx is a fun guy to work with because he can do multiple things on the court. When you have different tools that you can use, you can usually find an answer out there on the court when you’re competing. Maxx does a good job of doing a lot of different things. He can be heavy with his forehand and really push you off the court, he can open up the court on either side so he can create space, and then he knows how to step up and step in and either take the ball deep and approach or take the ball short and approach. He’s a guy that really is effective out there because he really plays well against every different style of player because he has multiple tools and I think that’s what makes him so effective as a tennis player.”

 

On Lipman’s comeback in the first set:

“That’s kind of what we say – you’ve got to weather the storm. Sometimes guys are going to come out and play great tennis and you’ve got to just hang in there and keep battling and keep looking for answers. Within those first three or four games in the match, we want to gain information about the other guy. Once Maxx had an idea of what this guy was going to bring all day, he made some adjustments and was able to capitalize on those things and really play better as the match continued. That’s really what we want to do every single time. We talk about it all the time – we want to play better as the match progresses. I thought Maxx did a great job of doing that today.”

 

 

Freshman Maxx Lipman

On his singles victory:

“My expectations were to come out with a lot of energy. Coach has been telling us to try and get off to a fast start to try to take the pressure off of you. This was only my second dual match and I was really excited, really amped. My expectation was to just go out there and play my game, play smart tennis. I got down early but fought back well. I was really excited with the way I finished and the way the team finished.”

 

On coming back in the first set to force the tiebreak:

“I got off to a pretty good start actually, but then ended up falling back 5-3. From there I kind of buckled down and played a really good tiebreaker, played really smart. He started to make a few more errors, got a little nervous and I just capitalized on that. The second set I got down a break 2-1, and from there I really just took control of the match. I kind of went for my shots a little more and it really paid off. It was a really good finish and a really clean finish.”

 

 

2014 ITA MEN’S KICK-OFF WEEKEND

January 25-26, 2014

Gainesville, Fla.

Schedule of Play:

Saturday, Jan. 25

Florida 4, UNC Wilmington 0

 

TCU 4, Florida St. 3

Sunday, Jan. 26

Florida St. 4, UNC Wilmington 0

 

Florida 4, TCU 2

 

FLORIDA 4, TCU 2

Doubles

FLORIDA

vs

TCU

Winner

 

Score (match length)

Mike Alford

Nick Chappell (11)

No. 1 -

Stephane Piro

 

Will Stein (11)

TCU

 

6-3

Maxx Lipman

Arnau Dachs

No. 2 -

Gordon Watson

 

Trey Daniel

UF

 

6-2

Spencer Newman

Jhonathan Gonzalez

No. 3 -

Diego Hidalgo

 

Facundo Lugones

UF*

 

6-5 (3)

Singles

FLORIDA

vs

TCU

Winner

 

Score (match length)

No. 1 -

Spencer Newman

 

Nick Chappell (84)

TCU

 

6-4, 6-0 (1:17)

No. 2 -

Diego Hidalgo

 

Arnau Dachs

DNF

 

2-6, 5-5

No. 3 -

Stephane Piro (28)

 

Facundo Lugones (118)

TCU

 

6-3, 6-3 (1:10)

No. 4 -

Gordon Watson (111)

 

Rodolfo Bustamante

UF

 

6-2, 6-1 (:48)

No. 5 -

Florent Diep

 

Trey Daniel

UF

 

6-0, 6-3 (1:11)

No. 6 -

Maxx Lipman (109)

 

Jhonathan Gonzalez

UF*

 

6-5 (4), 6-2 (1:21)

FINAL SCORE:

Florida - 4

TCU - 2

* Clinched victory

Records:

Florida 3-0

TCU 1-1

Order of Finish:

Doubles: 2, 1, 3

Singles: 4, 3, 5, 1, 6

Attendance:

176

 

 

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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