The number 16 Florida Gators Men’s Tennis team is set to host ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville on Friday. Florida will welcome Mississippi State, SMU and in-state rival USF to Gainesville.
The Gators are returning from UCF, where they earned their first win of the season by a score of 6-1. The doubles pairs of Tanapatt Nirundorn/Togan Tokac and Jonah Braswell/Lukas Greif secured doubles point with their first dual wins of the season.
Gators Start Against USF
USF comes into the ITA Kickoff with a record of 3-3, and is riding a 3 game winning streak. The Bulls are led by No. 67 Alvin Tudorica and No. 69 Davide Tortora at the top of their singles lineup. The Gators hold a 52-3 overall series record against their in state rivals. The last meeting between the two took place during the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
SEC foe Mississippi State comes in with a record of 4-0. The Bulldogs are coming off of home wins against Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee, who received votes in the January 25 ITA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Jonah Braswell defeated two members of Mississippi State in the Fall at the ITA All-American Championships.
SMU comes in with a 5-1 overall record, with its only loss coming on the road against Number 3 TCU by a 5-0 final. SMU lost one point during their sole loss compared to winning 34 points during their five wins.
Head coach Bryan Shelton is two wins shy of his 200th victory at Florida. Shelton would join former Gator coaches Ian Duvenhage (221 wins) and Andy Jackson (209 wins) as Gator coaches to reach 200 wins.
The Consolation Match will begin on Saturday at 10 a.m. and the Championship Match will begin at 2 p.m. The Gators will need two wins this weekend to qualify for the 48th National ITA National Team Indoor Championships, which will take place in Chicago from February 17-20.