Florida men's tennis coachAdam Steinberg talks to a player during a match against SMU at the Ring Tennis Complex on campus Jan. 21, 2024. [Lee Ann Anderson/WRUF)]

No. 3 Texas Takes Down Florida Men’s Tennis

The No. 3 Texas Longhorns defeated the Florida Gators 4-3 Saturday in Austin, Texas.

It was the Gators’ fourth consecutive loss after a 3-0 start. The Longhorns improved to 6-1, only losing to the Virginia Cavaliers which was ranked No. 1 at the time.

Every Serve Counts

To start, Texas was 4-2 in doubles competition, while Florida was 3-3. The Longhorns had the upper hand in this matchup with the No. 5 doubles team in the country, Eliot Spizzirri-Cleeve Harper.

Florida’s Aidan Kim-Nate Bonetto teamed up for the second time this season. After losing their match against Florida State, they had a strong performance against Texas. They defeated Siem Woldeab-Pierre-Yves Bailly 6-4 in No. 2 doubles.

Off to a quick start, Adhithya Ganesan-Tanapatt Nirundorn had a 3-0 lead over the Longhorns star duo Spizzirri-Harper during the No. 1 doubles match. It would be short-lived as the Texas pair rallied to tie the match 3-3. From there, the teams would go back-and-forth until the set was tied 6-6. Ganesan-Tanapatt swept Spizzirri-Harper in the tiebreaking set 7-6 (7-0) to get the upset and give Florida the doubles point for the first time in three matches.

The final doubles match went unfinished between Florida’s Henry Jefferson-Jeremy Jin vs. Texas’ Micah Braswell-Gilles-Arnaud Bailly.

Too Much To Handle

The Longhorns knew what they needed to do to win and did just that. On Court 5, Harper tied the match 1-1 after taking out Nirundorn 6-1, 6-2. No. 1-ranked singles player Spizzirri took care of business on Court 1 beating Ganesan 6-2, 6-2.

Texas now had the lead 2-1, but the Longhorns kept their foot on the gas. Kim was the next Gator to fall as Gilles-Arnaud Bailly won 6-2, 6-3 on Court 2. Florida’s Kevin Edengren would have the same fate on Court 6 when Jonah Braswell beat him 6-3, 6-3, and Texas secured the win 4-1.

The final two matches were played out with Florida winning both in a third tiebreaker set. Bonetto took down Woldeab on Court 4 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-8). Last was Jin on Court 3, who beat Pierre-Yves Bailly 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 1-0 (13-11).

Florida’s next match is at 3 p.m. Feb. 18 as it returns home for the first time since late last month to face UCF at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

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