Gators
Tanapatt Nirundorn fist bumps in the Gators men's tennis team's match against Tennessee on April 7. Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Vasquez.

Gators Men’s Tennis Splits Matches at Fighting Illini Invite

This past Friday and Saturday the Gator men’s tennis team headed to Delray Beach, Florida to play in the Fighting Illini Invite against the Illinois Fighting Illini. Over the two-day invitational, the Gators and Illinois split the matches going 5-5, with Florida leading 3-1 in doubles and Illinois leading 4-2 in singles competition.

Day One

Doubles

Florida started with a clean sweep in the doubles matches. Henry Jefferson and Nate Bonetto defeated Illinois’ Hunter Heck and William Mroz after winning  6-4. Tanapatt Nirundorn and Adhithya Ganesan would finish strong for Florida’s doubles action after a 6-1 victory over Mathis Debru and Tyler Bowers.

Singles

After starting the day off strong, the Gators went on to struggle during singles competition. Bonetto would lose his first set to Jeremy Zhang 2-6, and then make a comeback to win the match after beating Zhang 6-3 and 6-2 in the match’s final sets. However, this would be Florida’s last win of the day.

No. 46-ranked Heck made quick work of 57th-ranked Aidan Kim winning the first two sets 6-4 and 6-2, giving the Fighting Illini their first win of the day. Bowers would get another two-set win for Illinois after beating Kevin Edengren 6-3 and 6-4. Ganesan looked to give the Gators one last win of the day but couldn’t finish. After losing the first set to Mroz 6-2, Ganesan was able to steal the second set 6-3. After a competitive final set, Mroz would come out on top 7-5.

Day Two

Due to inclement weather, limited matches were played in the second day of competition.

Doubles

The Gators started the day just like day one as 38th-ranked doubles partners Bonetto and Kim beat Mroz and Debru 6-2. However, Zhang and Bowers would get a win over Nirundorn and Ganesan by retirement after the set started 2-0 but was ended early due to the weather.

Singles

Ganesan had a strong win over Zhang winning the first two sets 6-3 and 6-1. Unfortunately for Florida, the last match of the day would end in another retirement due to the weather leading to Debru beating Bonetto. Debru won the first set 6-3 and was winning 3-2 in set two before the match was cut short.

The Gators are back in action this Friday when they host The Citadel at 11 a.m. and North Florida at 4 p.m. at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

About Michael Tubbs

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