No. 4 Georgia Ends Florida’s SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament Run

This weekend, Florida entered the SEC Men’s Tennis Tournament hoping to make a deep run as an underdog. After a first-round rout of Auburn, the Gators were swept by a formidable opponent — the fourth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

Starting Off Hot

Florida drew a dangerous first-round opponent in Auburn. The Tigers were already a top-25 threat, and they were playing in front of a home crowd. However, with spark-plug performances from all of UF’s most reliable singles players, the Gators were able to power through.

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Most Impressive Performances

Unexpectedly, the Gators dropped the doubles point after their court one team — Axel Nefve and Will Grant — got crushed 6-2.

After that disappointing start, Florida had to buckle down in singles to keep hope alive. Nefve’s match on court one ended first, and he redeemed himself after his disheartening loss. After the veteran got the ball rolling for the Gators, it became a slaughter.

UF’s Lukas Greif dismantled Jan Galka on court four, 6-0, 6-1. Freshman standout Tanapatt Nirundorn decided he was going to be the next Gator to win on court six, 6-4, 6-4. Finally, Will Grant completed the revenge tour with a straight-set win on court two.

After the win, Florida looked ahead to a David vs. Goliath matchup against UGA, a top-5 foe.

The Wheels Fall Off

On Friday, after a big win against Auburn, Florida took the court against rival Georgia. The match ended in a decisive sweep, in which Georgia’s lineup fully dominated.

In the four matches that decided the battle, Georgia did not drop a single set. The Nefve-Grant duo, a team that was dominant over the course of the regular season, lost its second match of the tournament.

After the Bulldogs quickly captured the doubles point, Florida did not regain its composure. In order, Tanapatt Nirundorn, Nate Bonetto and Axel Nefve went down in straight sets to knock Florida out of SEC contention.

Next for the Gators

The last milestone on the Gators’ schedule is the most exciting one of the season in college tennis.

The NCAA Tournament begins on May 5, and the Gators are hoping for a good draw.

Do not count the Gators out. Under head coach Bryan Shelton, Florida is consistently a threat.

 

About Steven Hieneman

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

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