Alfredo Perez

Junior Alfredo Perez came back from being down a set to clinching Florida's win over No. 13 Michigan.

Alligator File Photo

Only silence traveled with the ball as Michigan senior Alex Knight launched a forehand deep out of play. The error settled Florida junior Alfredo Perez’s comeback victory on the No. 1 singles court and clinched the UF men’s tennis team’s first win over a ranked opponent this season. The crowd in Ann Arbor shut down immediately.

On Friday night, the No. 11 Gators (4-1) defeated the No. 13 Wolverines (3-2) with a final score of 4-2. Perez’s 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory was the match’s deciding fourth point.

To open the action, UF’s doubles lineup featured a switch up from previous contests. The nation’s No. 2-ranked duo of Perez and sophomore Johannes Ingildsen played separate from each other, leaving freshman Duarte Vale and junior McClain Kessler on the No. 1 court.

Ingildsen and senior Chase Perez-Blanco handed an overwhelming 6-0 defeat to Michigan’s No. 3 doubles pair and gave Florida the early advantage. But after Perez and freshman Oliver Crawford lost 6-4 on the No. 2 court, the doubles point came down to center court.

Vale and Kessler — the nation’s No. 5-ranked pair — faced two match points before finally overcoming Michigan’s Knight and senior Runhao Hua 7-6(6).

With the advantage heading into singles action, the Gators quickly lost ground. Michigan secured the first set on four of the six courts and forced Florida to fight from behind.

Crawford and Perez-Blanco were the first players off the court with losses at the No. 4 and No. 6 positions, respectively. Soon after, Ingildsen evened the score at 2-2 with his 6-2, 6-3 defeat over No. 42-ranked Hua.

Vale secured UF’s third point after breaking away from junior Myles Schalet in the third set of a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory at the No. 3 position.

Florida will now travel to No. 2 Ohio State to continue the weekend’s road trip. The Gators and Buckeyes will begin play at noon on Sunday.

Follow Benjamin Brandt on Twitter @bhb1227 and contact him at [email protected].

Benjamin Brandt is a sports writer for the Alligator and covers the University of Florida men's tennis team. He has worked at the paper since Fall 2017.