The No. 1 Florida men’s tennis team’s season-opening trip to Texas began off with a heartbreaking, 4-3 loss against No. 5 TCU Friday evening.
TCU secured two of three doubles matches to claim a one-point advantage despite a shutout performance by No. 51 doubles pair Mattias Siimar and Andy Andrade. Senior Duarte Vale and freshman Abedallah Shelbayh lost their match by a score of 6-3 before the tandem of Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton came up just short in their match, 6-4.
TCU continued its hot start with wins on courts one and two as the teams began singles play — Riffice and Shelton each fell in straight sets. The Gators were down 3-0 with no room left for error.
Andrade ignited Florida’s fightback by overcoming TCU’s Tomas Jirousek in three sets, having to clinch it in a 7-3 tiebreaker. Vale clinched a court three victory over TCU’s Sander Long in three sets and Florida completed the comeback with Siimar’s two-set win on court 5.
With the score tied at 3-3, the matchup between Florida’s No. 111 Josh Goodger and TCU’s No. 76 Jake Fearnley. Goodger dropped a highly-contested first set in a tiebreaker before losing the second set, 4-6. With the final singles point, TCU was able to barely edge Florida with a 4-3 win.
Florida’s defeat Friday marked the first season-opening loss in program history, a disappointing start to a season in which Florida is favored to repeat as national champions.
Coach Bryan Shelton has embraced UF’s challenging schedule and expects this slew of nationally-ranked opponents to prepare his team for the rigors of SEC play
The Gators won’t have too much time to reflect as they complete their road-trip with an even stiffer test against the No. 3 Texas Longhorns.. Florida will look to bounce back and notch their first win of the season in Austin on Sunday at 1 p.m.