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The University of Florida men’s tennis team beat Furman, 7-0, on Sunday afternoon at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The Gators improved to 5-0 on the season and will hit the road for the first time next Saturday, traveling to Florida State.
Florida stormed out in doubles, as Billy Federhofer and Gordon Watson breezed past Alex Christ and Matt Browne at the top position, 8-1. Mike Alford and Luke Johnson then clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win over Furman’s Richard Casagrande and Jacob Behal. UF’s Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek led 7-4 against the Paladins’ Andrew Mellow and Tyler Droll on court two when play was halted.
“We came out and played pretty well in the doubles,” said head coach Bryan Shelton. “I thought we made some good adjustments today with how we attacked and looked to be really active. Whether we faked and stayed, whether we poached, we were a little more decisive today in the doubles and that kind of set the tone for the day.”
Singles play began with a quick point from Piro, who beat Christ, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 2 position. Federhofer gave Florida a 3-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles against Droll, and Watson clinched the victory with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Browne on court four.
“We talk all the time about executing plays,” said Coach Shelton. “For us, we were able to execute more often today. I felt like our guys were playing more offensively and looking to set up points based on their strengths. I was happy to see us finish at the net multiple times in multiple matches today.”
Alford and van Overbeek won in straight sets at No. 3 and 1 singles, respectively, while Johnson completed the sweep with a third-set tiebreak win at No. 6 singles.
“The more we are able to make the plays and execute, the better we’re going to be, and you want to be able to do it in the matches,” said Shelton. “It’s one thing to be able to do it in practice, but we’re working on it so we can actually execute it in the matches. Today we gained a little bit of confidence in making those plays. Hopefully it’ll help us as we prepare for Florida State this coming week.”
The Gators will travel to Tallahassee to face the Seminoles on Saturday at noon. The next home match for UF is Saturday, February 23, against Baylor.