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Monday, March 04, 2024

Tension was high, but Texas A&M's ever-present twelfth man wasn't able to save them on Saturday.

The UF men"s tennis team (4-0) defeated the No. 15 Aggies 6-1 in the second round of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Championships.

Johnny Hamui frustrated Kayvon Karimi so badly in a 6-1, 6-2 win that Karimi wouldn"t shake the sophomore"s hand after the match.

This was amid taunting by the Texas A&M team of Hamui and No. 87 Carlos Cueto about their native language of Spanish. The Aggies have no players descendant of Spanish-speaking countries.

"It was fun because they were trying to get under our skin by the way they were cheering," Hamui said. "They were cheering, they were loud. We were loud, but we were never bad (about it)."

Texas A&M"s inactive players and fans mocked Hamui and Cueto with chants of "vamos" and "vamanos" throughout the match.

Hamui shrugged it off, saying the No. 7 Gators took the teasing in stride.

"In my match, I got under the other guy"s skin, and in Carlos match, (Cueto) got under the other guy"s skin," he said. "That"s what you get when you play with fire."

UF coach Andy Jackson acknowledged a rivalry between the two schools that has expanded even to tennis. He believes the two may meet again.

"Texas A&M is hosting the NCAA (championship), so we may play them again at their place," he said.

The Gators will head to Chicago for the next round of the ITA Indoors. Jackson isn"t sure who they will face yet because results haven"t been received from other hosting venues.

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