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Thursday, May 23, 2024
<p>Florida doubles pair Duarte Vale (above) and Abedallah Shelbayh opened Sunday&#x27;s match against UCF with a dominant 6-1 doubles victory. Photo from UF-TCU game March 17, 2021.</p>

Florida doubles pair Duarte Vale (above) and Abedallah Shelbayh opened Sunday's match against UCF with a dominant 6-1 doubles victory. Photo from UF-TCU game March 17, 2021.

Florida men’s tennis scored an emphatic shutout win against No. 14 Central Florida on Sunday. The win marks the Gators’ second in a row, as they move to 2-1 on the season. Unlike the Gators’ first two contests, which were both decided by one point, they won all seven points en route to a statement victory over the Knights.

Despite early struggles, Florida decided to withhold from making any changes to its doubles rotation. The Gators started off strong when freshman Abedallah Shelbayh and senior Duarte Vale won their doubles match, 6-1. Shortly after, senior Andy Andrade and graduate student Mattias Siimar wrapped up a 6-3 victory, ensuring the doubles point for Florida.

The tandem of Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton, who were leading 5-4 in their match at the time, had no need to finish with the doubles point secured.

Siimar notched the first singles point for the Gators. He won the first set 6-4 and was up 3-0 in the second before the Knights’ JC Roddick retired the match due to injury.

The Gators quickly stacked points with Riffice and Vale winning their matches in two sets. UF led 4-0 and had swiftly secured the win over the Knights.

However, Florida didn’t stop there. Freshman Nate Bonetto won a tiebreaker in the first set and squeaked out a close second set in his first appearance for the Gators this season. To add icing on the cake, Shelton and Andrade each completed three-set wins to deliver Florida the shutout.

The Gators return to action Saturday against Princeton as they host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Florida will compete in a championship or consolation match the following day pending results of their match. Florida State and North Carolina Wilmington will compete in the other half of the draw. All matches will take place at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

Contact Joshua Morgan at Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaMorgan37

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