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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Gators men’s tennis team opens its spring dual match season against in-state competition at home and then hit the road for an early season out-of-conference.

Fresh off a strong performance at last weekend’s SEC Indoor Championships in Atlanta, Florida faces an opponent it has dominated in the past.

Florida has won all 10 of the previous matches against UCF.

Head coach Andy Jackson does not think his team will take UCF lightly and look ahead to Sunday’s match against No. 6 ranked Baylor in Waco, Texas.

“We’re excited to be playing at home. With three freshmen eager to make their first college starts, focus is not an issue,” Jackson said.

Junior Alexandre Lacroix looks to improve upon a strong start to the season.

Lacroix, ranked No.7  in singles and part of No. 10 doubles team with senior Antoine Benneteau, enters Friday’s match with a 15-4 record on the season including nine wins over ranked opponents.

Lacroix and Benneteau began this week winning the doubles title at the SEC Indoor Championships and advancing their record to 12-1.

The history between Florida and Baylor is more balanced with Baylor holding a 4-3 record in the teams’ seven meetings.

They last met on Jan. 25, 2009 when Florida sent Baylor home with a 7-0 loss.  

Jackson expects revenge to be extra motivation for Baylor.

“We had a couple of matches last year, Florida being one of them, where we got beat 7-0. I don't think that is a characteristic of a championship team,” Baylor head coach Mark Knoll said in a released statement.

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Jackson thinks the match could have easily gone either way.

“They played us close in four of those seven, they could have won,” Jackson said.

For three incoming freshmen, Sunday will be their first away dual match.

“They faced good competition at the SEC Indoors, but this will be the first time they experience opposing fans and a road environment against top competition,” Jackson said.

Florida hosts UCF on Friday at 3 p.m.  Sunday’s match in Waco against Baylor begins at 2 p.m.

The No. 8 ranked women’s tennis team begins its dual match season when it hosts North Texas at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Coach Roland Thornqvist’s team recently sent four players to compete in the Freeman Memorial Championships.

“We had three players who had not competed in a long time and it was good to see them back out on the court,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said in a released statement.

Once the rust was off, Thornqvist said his players got better as the tournament went along.

The women’s tennis team features two players in the Campbell/ITA top 100 singles poll: seniors Marrit Boonstra, No. 81, and Anastasia Revzina, No. 92.

Boonstra and Revzina will be looking to rebound from a 9-7 loss to North Carolina’s Sanaz Marand and Sophie Grabinski, the top-seeded doubles team in the tournament.

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