The Florida Gators (11-9) men’s tennis team lost a tough 4-3 match to Mississippi State (15-7) on Sunday.
Florida got off to a good start in doubles on court three as junior Florent Diep and freshman Gordon Watson took out the Mississippi State pair of senior Ethan Wilkinson and freshman Pedro Dumont 8-5. However, the Gators were unable to sustain the momentum losing on court one and two.
The Bulldogs team of junior Malte Stropp and freshman Jordan Angus defeated Florida senior Bob van Overbeek and junior Stephane Piro 8-6 in a grueling match. The Gators were down a break early, but Prio and Overbeek fought back to even the match at 6-6 before Mississippi State pulled away.
The Bulldogs closed out the double point at court two as the team of junior Zach White and freshman Romain Bogaert defeated Florida junior Michael Alford and freshman Luke Johnson 8-5 to give the Bulldogs the 1-0 advantage in the match.
The outcome of the match would rest on the singles performance of two freshmen. It did not end well for the Gators.
Florida got out to a 3-1 lead in the match, but Mississippi State came back to win the match thanks to the performance of Pedro Dumont on court six in the deciding match. Gordon Watson struggled throughout the match to hold serve, but he was able to overcome is serve to win the second set. However, Watson’s inability to hold serve finally cost him in the third set and he lost 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. The win on court six gave the Bulldogs the win 4-3.
Mississippi State evened the match at 3-3 on court five. Florida’s Luke Johnson suffered a heartbreaking loss to Mississippi State’s Zach White 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-0. In the second set tiebreak, Johnson was up 5-2, but White fought back to take the tiebreak and eventually the match.
The Gators quickly evened the match at 1-1 on court four in singles. Florida’s Alford took out Mississippi State’s Angus 6-1, 7-5. Alford used his strong forehand to dictate the play throughout the match.
The Gators comeback continued on court three where Florida’s Bob van Overbeek took out Mississippi State senior James Chaudry 6-3, 6-4 to give the Gators 2-1 lead in the match. Overbeek has recovered from a rough early part of the season and has now won two matches in a row.
Florent Diep continued the Gators romp on court two defeating the Bulldogs’ Malte Stropp 6-4, 6-1 to give the Gators a 3-1 lead. Diep’s serve and forehand helped him dominate his service games throughout the match.
However, the Bulldogs were not finished as they narrowed the Gator lead to 3-2 on court one. Mississippi State’s Romain Bogaert defeated Florida Stephane Piro 6-3, 6-4. Piro struggled with his forehand throughout the match.
The Florida Gators next match will be against Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.