Saturday April 19, 2014Gators Blank LSU to Advance to the 2014 SEC Tournament Semifinals
On his birthday, Florida men’s tennis sophomore Diego Hidalgo helped win the doubles point and clinched the match for No. 4 seed UF over No. 13 seed LSU, 4-0, this evening. The Gators advanced to the semifinals and will take on Vanderbilt at 3 p.m. ET tomorrow at Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center.
Both Florida and LSU won a doubles match on courts one and two, leaving it up to No. 3 doubles to take the first point of the match. Down a break, senior Mike Alford and sophomore Diego Hidalgo battled back and beat Tigers’ Andrew Korinek and Boris Arias in a heated tiebreaker.
The momentum stayed in Florida’s favor in singles play as sophomore Gordon Watson and senior Florent Diep won convincingly at Nos. 2 and 1 singles. Hidalgo then sealed the victory for the UF team with a 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over LSU’s Korinek at No. 4 singles.
Head Coach Bryan Shelton
“I think the doubles was the key to the overall match. We were down a break at No. 1 doubles, 6-5, and then once we broke back, Gordon and Flo just really seized the momentum and never relinquished it. We did the same thing on court three. Diego and Mike really raised their level of play at the end of that match because that was quality tennis. For them, that was great and obviously for the team to get the first point was huge. We were able to carry that momentum into the singles. I thought it was fitting that Diego was the one clinching today on his 21st birthday. I’m so happy for him. He played aggressively and he picked his times to get to the net and finish, and he did that really well tonight. It was a great team win over a really good LSU team and we created an opportunity for ourselves tomorrow.”
“I think our attitude was great. I felt like the guys were mentally prepared to play today and they came with a great, competitive spirit. They were willing to go out there and execute game plans, which I thought we did up and down the line. Overall, I felt like we played great tennis.”
Sophomore Diego Hidalgo
“I played well. From the very beginning, I was playing aggressive. In the tiebreaker in singles, I was aggressive at the end, too. I think my serving was the key for me today.”
“I’m happy because it’s my birthday, but more importantly because we could win as a team today. Like they say, it’s just another day in the office. We play again tomorrow, so we have to get ready to go. We’ll play match-to-match until we get to the title game on Sunday.”
No. 4 seed Florida 4, No. 13 seed LSU 0
(1) No. 29 Florent Diep/Gordon Watson (UF) def. No. 62 Tam Trinh/Eric Perez (LSU) 8-6
(2) John Michael Busch/Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) 8-1
(3) Mike Alford/Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. Andrew Korinek/Boris Arias (LSU) 8-7 (4)*
Florida wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3*
(1) No. 120 Florent Diep (UF) def. No. 84 Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
(2) No. 99 Gordon Watson (UF) def. Boris Arias (LSU) 6-3, 6-1
(3) Maxx Lipman (UF) vs. Justin Butsch (LSU) 4-6, 6-2, 0-2, unfinished
(4) Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. Andrew Korinek (LSU) 6-3, 7-6 (5)
(5) No. 92 Elliott Orkin (UF) vs. Harrison Kennedy (LSU) 0-6, 6-1, 4-3, unfinished
(6) Mike Alford (UF) vs. Tam Trinh (LSU) 6-4, 5-3, unfinished
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4*
Records: Florida 14-8 (8-4 SEC), LSU 14-14 (2-10 SEC)
Follow the Gators: