Florida men's tennis head coach Bryan Shelton.

Shelton, Gator Men’s Tennis Look to Stay Red-Hot Against Crimson Tide

The defending national champion Gator men’s tennis team is undefeated in Southeastern Conference play and boasts a 12-match winning streak. On Friday night, Florida (17-2, 9-0 SEC) will aim to stay red-hot as it plays in Alabama Crimson Tide (7-16, 0-8 SEC) territory at 7 p.m. Though Florida dropped from No. 1 to No. 3 in the ITA Rankings., the Gators still possess a No. 1-ranked player on their roster in Ben Shelton. 

Ben Shelton, Sam Riffice Own Top 25 Ranking  

At 27-3, Shelton is the top-ranked singles player in the NCAA. After spending the first month of the season shifting between the No. 2- and No. 3-spot in the lineup, the sophomore has managed to go undefeated since taking over the top slot on March 4. He’s commanded the Singles Rankings since March 9.

Meanwhile, No. 22 Sam Riffice (14-4) moved down to the second court after suffering four losses on the top one. Ever since then, he’s been undefeated in 10 matches, losing only two sets.

Though Shelton and Riffice switched positions for singles play, the two have paired up for doubles on every match this season. They’ve gone 10-6 to earn a No. 22 ranking.

Gator Men’s Tennis Players Ranked in Top 125

Florida’s No. 2 doubles pair isn’t too far behind their top court colleagues, standing at No. 25. Indeed, Andres Andrade and Mattias Siimar have gone 16-3 and boast a five-game win streak.

Other Gators to watch for include these players and their typical corresponding courts:

  • Court 3: No. 108 Duarte Vale (12-7)
  • Court 4: No. 125 Andrade (22-8)
  • Court 5: No. 117 Joshua Goodger (13-9)

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Tide may have lost all their conference matches, but the Gators still face two ranked opponents:

  • Freshman Filip Planinsek made a big jump from No. 112 to No. 60 this week. He recently beat No. 44.
  • Planinsek partners with German Samofalov for doubles. The duo ranks No. 48, with a 6-6 record.

How to Watch

The match will stream through Alabama’s camera at Track.Tennis

Afterward, Florida won’t have to travel too far for its next match– a meeting with No. 27 Auburn (17-5, 5-3 SEC).

About Julianna Reichenbach

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