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Friday, May 24, 2024

It’s a busy weekend for tennis in Gainesville.

The Gators men’s and women’s tennis teams are both hosts in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

Fresh off their 6-1 victory over UCF on Wednesday, the No. 8 UF women’s tennis team will play BYU today.

Coach Roland Thornqvist said his team improved its play in both singles and doubles against UCF, the second match of the season.

A victory over BYU would advance Florida to the championship match against the FIU-SMU winner.

“We’re going to try to go out there and do the same thing, but there’s always room for improvement,” senior Anastasia Revzina said after the UCF match.

Her approach is in line with her coach’s outlook on the season.

“We’re ultimately trying to get better with every competition,” Thornqvist said. “We want to be playing our best tennis in May.”

The women’s portion of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend ends Saturday, with a consolation match at 10 a.m. followed by the championship match at 1 p.m.

When the Gators men’s tennis team play Furman on Saturday, they will be looking to bounce back from Sunday’s road loss to No. 6 Baylor.

Men's coach Andy Jackson said it was good for his team, especially the young players, to play against top competition. He thinks the team will be better prepared for conference and post-season play after playing Baylor.

Florida, despite its No. 11 ranking, is the fourth-highest-ranked team in the SEC behind Tennessee (No. 5), Georgia (No. 7), and Ole Miss (No. 10).

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Jackson believes one of the best ways to prepare for top 10 teams in your conference is to play strong non-conference opponents in January and February.

“It’s a goal of ours to be one of the 16 teams in Charlottesville,” Jackson said at a press conference Monday.

A trip to Charlottesville, Va., means playing in the ITA Indoor Championships Feb. 12-15.

To get there, Florida will need to beat Furman on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s championship round. A win there, and the Gators will play the winner of Georgia Tech and Penn. State on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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