Sunday March 16, 2014Florida Men's Tennis Drops 4-3 Match to No. 16 Georgia
GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The Florida men’s tennis team dropped a tough 4-3 decision on Sunday afternoon to No. 16 Georgia at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. With the match even at 3-3, the Bulldogs’ Austin Smith pulled out a win over Florida’s Diego Hidalgo to earn the win.
The match started off extremely tight in doubles play. All three courts were back and forth, until UGA earned a break and won 8-5 on court two. The remaining courts both went to tiebreakers, and Georgia’s 21st-ranked duo of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland pulled out the win on court one 8-5 in the tiebreak.
Georgia extended its lead to 2-0 with a straight-set win from Garrett Brasseaux on court four over Maxx Lipman. Florent Diep then got the Gators on the board, beating No. 87 Ben Wagland on court two 6-1, 6-1.
UGA went ahead 3-1 after a win on court six as Nick Wood pulled out a win over Elliott Orkin, but Mike Alford beat Pieters in three sets to pull back within one overall in the match.
Trailing 3-2 overall, the Gators needed wins on the final two courts. Gordon Watson came through first after upsetting No. 25 Nathan Pasha on court one, winning a tiebreak in both sets.
In the deciding match on court three, Smith won the first set in a tiebreaker over Hidalgo. In the second set, Smith was able to hold off Hidalgo and earn the victory.
Head Coach Bryan Shelton’s Minute: “It was a great college match. Our fans were incredible. It’s so much fun to have an atmosphere like that for a college match. For our guys, they’re working really hard. It’s kind of validation that they’re doing good things and the people want to come out and see the tennis. Not only watch, but to get that involved. What a great college atmosphere. I just can’t say enough about our fans.”
On Gordon Watson:
“What a great effort. He’s just starting at the No. 1 position, just his second match. To come out and play at that level right off the bat, and beat one of the premier players in college tennis in Nathan Pasha, what a great win. Gordon is doing great stuff out there. He believes in himself, believes in playing aggressive tennis and attacking and going forward. He’s finishing at the net, which I love to see. Just playing good, smart, solid tennis.”
On Michael Alford:
“Mike did a great job out there today. He was playing another senior with a lot of experience who’s won a lot of big matches for Georgia. It was a battle of the seniors down there on court five. It was great to see Mike come through for us, as we knew he would. Overall he had a big weekend in singles for us with a win over Tennessee on Friday. He continues to do great things for the Gators.”
Georgia 4, Florida 3
(1) No. 21 Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland (UGA) def. No. 11 Elliott Orkin/Gordon Watson (UF) 8-7 (5) [1:09]
(2) Garrett Brasseaux/Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Mike Alford/Florent Diep (UF) 8-5 [:46]
(3) Diego Hidalgo/Maxx Lipman (UF) vs. Eric Diaz/Austin Smith (UGA) 7-7 - unfinished
Georgia wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1*
(1) No. 106 Gordon Watson (UF) def. No. 25 Nathan Pasha (UGA) 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) [2:20]
(2) Florent Diep (UF) def. No. 87 Ben Wagland (UGA) 6-1, 6-1 [1:31]
(3) No. 13 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Diego Hidalgo (UF) 7-6 (5), 7-5 [2:34]
(4) No. 79 Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) def. Maxx Lipman (UF) 6-3, 6-3 [1:21]
(5) Mike Alford (UF) def. Hernus Pieters (UGA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 [2:09]
(6) Nick Wood (UGA) def. Elliott Orkin (UF) 7-6 (7), 6-4 [2:11]
Order of finish: 4, 2, 6, 5, 1, 3
Records: Florida 7-6/2-2 SEC, Georgia 10-5, 5-0 SEC
Up Next: The Gators continue SEC play at home with a pair of matches next weekend against Auburn (Friday, March 21) and Alabama (Sunday, March 23).
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