Gators
During the Gators' match against the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday, April 9, 2023 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Ashley Ray.

Florida Men’s Tennis Sweeps UNF to Remain Unbeaten in In-State Play

On Tuesday, the Florida men’s tennis team hosted UNF, hoping to rebound after an excruciating weekend at home. The Gators cruised past the Ospreys, crushing them without dropping a match.

So Close, Yet So Far

This past weekend was one of the most crucial homestands of Florida’s entire season. Before Friday, the Gators had won six of their last seven matches, and they were hoping the momentum would carry.

It did not.

On Friday, No. 9 Tennessee came to town and narrowly upended Florida 4-3. The match came down to the last set of singles. This was a huge loss for the Orange and Blue, being a Top 10 SEC matchup.

Two days later, on Sunday, the Gators had another shot at an SEC upset against No. 7 Georgia. However, the result was the same. The Gators fell 4-3 to the Bulldogs and the loss left a sour taste in the Gators’ mouths.

Getting Back on Track

The road ahead is not going to get any easier, so Florida has to capitalize on every opportunity it has.

The SEC has been arguably the best conference in college tennis this year, so fending off non-conference foes is a must. The Gators did exactly that when UNF came to town Tuesday.

Tana-Patt Yourself on the Back

The brightest star on the Gators’ lineup Tuesday was freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn. Not only did he shut the Ospreys out in his doubles match with Nate Bonetto, but he dominated court six, securing a speedy 6-0, 6-2 victory.

Nirundorn has been known as a doubles specialist this year, but with the recent struggles of Olek Orlikowski on court six singles, he has been a welcome addition.

Not Getting Any Easier

Florida currently sits at 13-10 this season, a record that sounds mediocre but is mostly indicative of the teams they have played.

They have two matches left before the SEC tournament in late April. This Friday, they will host SEC rival Kentucky at the Ring in Gainesville.

The No. 5 Wildcats got the best of them at ITA Indoor Nationals earlier this spring, 4-1.

After Kentucky, they have two days to head north before squaring off with the ninth-ranked Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina.

After two straight Top 10 SEC losses, Florida will be out for revenge this coming weekend.

About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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