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Sunday, May 09, 2021
Captain Duarte Vale follows through a serve against Auburn on February 21. Vale and the Gators were named the No. 1 seed in the country ahead of Regionals.
Captain Duarte Vale follows through a serve against Auburn on February 21. Vale and the Gators were named the No. 1 seed in the country ahead of Regionals.

Five days before the first serve is offered, the NCAA made their selections for both the men’s and women’s tennis national championship tournaments.

All eyes are on the Gators men’s team after it landed the No. 1 seed Monday. The team only suffered two losses on the year, most recently at the hands of the No. 3 Tennessee Volunteers in the SEC Championship final. 

Florida hosts a trio of teams in Gainesville for their initial regional competition. South Alabama will be the Gators’ first challenger. If Florida prevails, it will play either Duke or South Florida. 

The All-SEC awards were given out last Friday,and Gators head coach Bryan Shelton was named Coach of the Year, while captains Duarte Vale and Sam Riffice earned SEC first-team.

The 11th-ranked women’s team had a less than ideal run in the SEC tournament, getting burned in the first round by the South Carolina Gamecocks, 1-4. The landslide was the first loss of seven matches for Florida, who currently hold a 12-7 record. 

On Friday afternoon, Florida will begin the first round of regionals with a match against Siena College.

The tournament will officially begin Friday, May 7 with both teams beginning at home at Linder Stadium in Gainesville*. Should either team win its region, it would advance to the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida. Be sure to check FloridaGators.com for more information on how to watch the matches or follow live stats.

Contact Jesse Richardson at jrichardson@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @JesseRich352

*Correction: The Gators begin regionals at home, the story initially incorrectly stated the competition would begin at the USTA National Campus

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