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Saturday, April 20, 2024
<p>Ben Shelton on Feb. 21, 2021 against Auburn. Shelton announced his decision to forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility and turn pro Tuesday.</p>

Ben Shelton on Feb. 21, 2021 against Auburn. Shelton announced his decision to forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility and turn pro Tuesday.

The No. 1-seeded Florida men’s tennis team defeated South Alabama 4-0 on Saturday and advanced to face USF on Sunday. 

The Gators rolled in the doubles point against the Jaguars, exorcising a streak of three losses in the category. 

Head coach Bryan Shelton changed the duos who struggled in the SEC tournament. He paired redshirt senior Johannes Ingildsen with senior Duarte Vale and sophomore Will Grant with senior Brian Berdusco. The tandem of junior Sam Riffice and freshman Ben Shelton was preserved. 

Florida repeatedly broke service games in doubles to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. UF capitalized on early double faults and inconsistent net play from South Alabama to take momentum into the singles portion. 

Florida’s heavy hitters came to play against the Jaguars. Vale, Riffice, and senior Andy Andrade all registered straight set victories in singles to shut the door on South Alabama’s tournament hopes early. 

Blaise Bicknell, who remains undefeated in singles play on the season, was noticeably absent from UF’s lineup. Shelton played junior Lukas Greif in the sophomore’s place, but the top three seeds’ decisive victories rendered the substitution meaningless. 

Early Saturday morning, before the excoriating Gainesville heat descended upon the complex in the afternoon, Florida hosted USF and Duke. The Bulls defeated the Blue Devils 4-2, to advance to face the Gators in the round of 32. 

First serve is expected at 2 p.m. Sunday. Be sure to check floridagators.com for live updates and statistics from Saturday’s matches.

Contact Ryan Zehnder at rzehnder@ufl.edu and follow him on Twitter @ryan_zehnder

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