Coming off an impressive showing in doubles, sophomore Anna Danilina took the court for a singles match for the first time as a Gator.
What followed was pure domination by the Moscow, Russia, native.
Only dropping one game to her opponent, Danilina picked up the first singles point of the season and helped No. 3 Florida win its season opener against USF 6-1.
"It was an amazing experience for me. I’m trying to improve every match," Danilina said.
"I think I did a good job today, like everyone.
By that time, the Gators had jumped out to an early lead.
The No. 50-ranked duo of senior Brianna Morgan and Danilina swept USF’s Vera Bessonova and Juliana Cardosa 6-0.
Spencer Liang and Peggy Porter earned a victory against Nicole Dzenga and Vanja Klaric after dropping the first game, winning 6-2 and giving the Gators the doubles point.
The No. 5-ranked tandem of Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan edged out a victory over USF’s Jessica Cortes Chaves and Olga Martinez, winning a close 6-4 match.
"I thought we played really well in doubles. I was curious to see if how we looked in practice would come out when we played," coach Roland Thornqvist said.
"I think we lost the first game on two of the courts. ... But we really turned it around and played great tennis."
No. 110-ranked Danilina extended the Gators’ lead to 2-0, swiftly defeating Cardosa 6-0, 6-1. No. 56-ranked Josie Kuhlman defeated Cortes Chavez 6-2, 6-1 to bring the Gators one point from a victory.
In the third singles match, No. 25-ranked Keegan struggled early, unable to take a commanding lead over USF’s Ana Roman Dominguez.
But after taking a 3-2 lead in the first set, Keegan won the match 6-3, 6-1, clinching Florida’s first victory of the season.
"The only thing I could think about for the match was to not let the whole team down," Danilina said. "So I was super nervous for it, but I hope I did a good job."
No. 73 Liang won the first set over Bessonova 6-2 without once giving up the lead. The second set saw Liang down 5-4. Winning the next three sets in a close finish, Liang captured the win.
Quickly dropping the first set, Porter took the second set 6-3 and looked to have some momentum on her side.
But after going up 3-2 over Klaric, Porter couldn’t hold on, losing 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
In the night’s closest match, No. 3 Belinda Woolcock took on Olga Martinez.
Both players were neck-and-neck in the first set, which saw three ties and two lead changes.
In the end, it was Woolcock who came out on top, winning 7-5, 6-4.
"I think everyone is pretty nervous, but we always go out into a match thinking it’s just another match, not just a first match," Keegan said.
The Gators take the court again on Feb. 4 against in-state rival Florida State in Tallahassee at 4 p.m.
"Win or lose, we are going to come back out tomorrow, Friday, and next week and practice and hash everything out again," Keegan said.
"We had a lot of fun, it was great. Even though we were a bit nervous, we were able to get out the jitters."