Friday March 14, 2014Men's Tennis Earns Sweep vs. No. 14 Tennessee
Maxx Lipman and Diego Hidalgo won their doubles match and helped the Gators capture the doubles point.
The No. 17-ranked Florida men’s tennis team got its big Southeastern Conference home weekend off to an exciting start with a 4-0 sweep against No. 14 Tennessee at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on a beautiful Friday evening.
The Gators captured the well-fought doubles point by winning on courts three and two after Tennessee’s No. 2-ranked pair earned the 8-4 decision on court one.
UF’s pair of Diego Hidalgo and Maxx Lipman played together for the first time but the newness never showed, as the Gators won the first eight points of the match for a quick 2-0 lead and later a 4-1 advantage. The rest of the match was on-serve until the 13th game, where Hidalgo and Lipman broke for the victory.
That win set the stage for Mike Alford and Florent Diep, where the Gator pair found themselves down an early break and played catch-up for the first six games of the eight-game pro-set. Their first break came in the eighth game and then they held for a 5-4 lead to get the match back on-serve, where it remaining until the 12th game where the Gators pounced for the 7-5 lead and served out to capture the important doubles point.
Florida carried the momentum of the doubles point onto the singles courts, where the Gators won the first set in five of the six matches en route to straight-set victories from Alford, Lipman and Diep.
Court Five at a Glance
· The first three games of the Make Alford’s match were breaks, as the Gator senior emerged with the advantage and rode that through the tight first set against Andrew Dromsky.
· Alford earned the first break of the second set and held for the 4-2 advantage, as he later broke again in the ninth and final game for the 6-4, 6-3 victory - his first SEC decision of the season and Florida took the 2-0 lead in the team scoring.
Court Four at a Glance
· Maxx Lipman earned a break in the eighth game of the opening set against Jarryd Chaplin and then held to win the first set, 6-3.
· The Gator freshman broke in the third game of the second set for an early advantage.
· The next two games went according to serve, before the ensuing four were breaks, as Lipman halted the trend by serving out for the 6-3, 6-4 victory, as he improved to 6-1 in dual match action
Court Two at a Glance
· Senior Florent Diep provided the clinching dual match victory with a tough 6-3, 6-4 win against No. 34-ranked Mikelis Libietis.
· With the first set on serve through seven games, Diep earned an important break and then served out to take the frame.
· There were three consecutive breaks in the second set and Diep came out ahead by holding in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead. The rest of the games went according to serve, as he held on the final game to win his team-leading 19th singles match of the season.
Quoting UF Head Coach Bryan Shelton
On the importance of winning the doubles point:
“It was huge. We felt like that was going to be a pivotal moment for us if we got it. I felt like, in our last match, we didn’t get the doubles point and our guys competed really well in singles against South Carolina and I still had faith that we could get it done, I just felt that if we got the doubles point we would be really tough to beat.”
On Diego Hidalgo and Maxx Lipman playing doubles together for the first time:
“It was their first match together and it was a sweet win. Their chemistry was good out there. They worked so well together.”
On the momentum shifts during singles play and when he thought it stayed with the Gators:
“When Flo (Diep) was able to secure the first set and go up a break in the second … that’s a tough out in Mikelis (Libietis). Last year he was ranked No. 1 in the country a few times so he’s really a high quality player. That really gave all of our guys a lot of confidence to see him up in that spot doing so well. The other momentum swing for us was Diego (Hidalgo). The way he was hanging in there and fighting for so long. He was down that whole first set and was able to pull out the tiebreaker. We talked about winning tiebreakers and I think him securing that first set gave us the momentum we needed to get the job done.”
Doubling Their Pleasure
· The Gators won the doubles point for the sixth time this season and the first time in SEC play.
· UF’s pair of Diego Hidalgo and Maxx Lipman played together for the first time and provided the first individual Gator win of the match, 8-5
· Hidalgo and Lipman raced out to a 4-1 lead on court two and maintained that advantage throughout the 54-minute contest
· Mike Alford and Florent Diep provided the clinching doubles point victory; improved to 5-4 this season and 1-1 in SEC dual matches
Florida 4, Tennessee 0
(1) No. 2 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) d. No. 11 Elliott Orkin/Gordon Watson (UF), 8-4 [:47]
(2) Mike Alford/Florent Diep (UF) d. Andrew Dromsky/Markus Kerner (UT), 8-5 [:56]*
(3) Diego Hidalgo/Maxx Lipman (UF) d. Jarryd Chaplin/Brandon Fickey (UT), 8-5 [:54]
Florida wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2*
(1) No. 106 Gordon Watson (UF) vs. No. 22 Hunter Reese (UT), 5-7, 4-5 DNF
(2) Florent Diep (UF) vs. No. 34 Mikelis Libietis (UT), 6-3, 6-4* [1:35]
(3) Diego Hidalgo (UF) vs. Brandon Fickey (UT), 7-6 (4), 1-1 DNF
(4) Maxx Lipman (UF) d. Jarryd Chaplin (UT), 6-3, 6-4 [1:26]
(5) Mike Alford (UF) d. Andrew Dromsky (UT), 6-4, 6-3 [1:20]
(6) Elliott Orkin (UF) vs. Markus Kerner (UT), 6-0, 2-6, 4-3 DNF
Order of finish:
Records: Florida 7-5/1-1 SEC, Tennessee 12-6/1-3 SEC
Up Next: The Gators continue SEC play at home on Sunday, March 16, playing host to No. 16 Georgia beginning at 1 p.m.
For all of the latest information on Florida men’s tennis:
Official Website: http://www.gatorzone.com/tennis/men/