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Thursday, May 26, 2022
<p>Marlee Zein</p>

Marlee Zein

The Florida women’s tennis team’s trip to the Bahamas was not pleasant.

Inclement weather cut play short on Sunday afternoon and the Gators ended the weekend at the Pink Flamingo Cup with just seven wins across singles and doubles play.

Senior Tsveta Dimitrova dominated the singles competition, logging wins on each day of the Cup. Dimitrova defeated UCLA’s Sasha Vagramov, who is ranked No. 108 in the world, in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) on Friday. She followed that by beating Miami’s Maya Tahan (6-3, 6-4) on Saturday to end her weekend. On Sunday, she dispatched Texas’ Tijana Spasojevic (7-5). The weather caused the singles matches to be just one-set matches.

The rest of the No. 21 Gators did not fare as well against the assembled competition, which included No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Texas and No. 23 Miami. UF is used to the stiff competition, though. A season ago, the Gators finished just 13-12, but thanks to a difficult schedule, they finished ranked 24th in the final ITA rankings.

Dimitrova’s win on Friday was the only tally in the victory column on the day for Florida, but on Saturday, sophomores Marlee Zein and Sydney Berlin also came out victorious in singles.

Zein defeated Miami’s Yuna Ito (6-3, 6-4) and Berlin notched UF’s second ranked victory with a win over No. 69 Selma Cadar of Miami (4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (13-11)).

Sunday was the best day of the Cup for Florida. Juniors Victoria Emma and McCartney Kessler defeated the duo of Daevenia Achong and Estela Perez-Somarriba (7-5) from Miami to end the doubles drought. Kessler also notched a singles victory over Texas’ Bianca Turati on the same day (6-1).

Coach Roland Thornqvist thought his team failed to take advantage of several opportunities.

“We had three singles matches with 4-1 leads we let slip away and against a team like UCLA, who may be the favorite to win the National Championship along with Texas, you will be punished,” he said in a release.

As a team, the Gators went 1-8 in doubles play against Texas and UCLA on the weekend.

Florida now has two weeks off before the ITA Kick-off weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, with a match against Oklahoma.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @Kkylewood and contact him at kwood@alligator.org

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Marlee Zein

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