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Saturday, April 13, 2024
Florida men's tennis sophomore Nate Bonetto during the Gator Fall Invite Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.
Florida men's tennis sophomore Nate Bonetto during the Gator Fall Invite Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

The Florida men's tennis team hosted its only home event of the Fall season and every player had successful outings. The Gators grabbed 27 wins over the weekend, including some victories over fellow teammates.

The Gators saw seven players — sophomore Nate Bonetto, freshman Jonah Braswell, junior Will Grant, senior Lukas Greif, graduate student Axel Nefve, freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn, freshman Togan Tokac — compete in the Gator Fall Invite from Nov. 4-6.

Braswell appropriately followed up his advancement to the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southeast Regionals. His first match came against Central Florida freshman Luca Hotze. Braswell won the match 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the second day of singles action.

In the second round, he faced Auburn junior Josh Raab. Braswell won in straight sets and dropped only three games for the second time and won 6-2, 6-1.

Braswell then bumped into his first Gator opponent, Tokac, in the next round. Braswell prevailed despite facing his toughest competition and won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.

Braswell’s one singles loss came against fellow Gator, Bonetto, who won in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Bonetto won two matches before facing Braswell, with his action starting on day two. His first match was against Miami freshman Antonio Prat, and he won in two sets, 6-4, 7-5.

Before reaching his teammate, he had to overcome Illinois junior No. 49 Hunter Heck. The match went to three sets, but Bonetto got the better of Heck and won after dropping the first set, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Grant also jumped to day two where his first match came against Auburn senior Raul Dobai. He took down his Southeastern Conference competitor in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Grant faced Duke sophomore Connor Krug next and also beat him without needing a third set, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

His final singles match of the tournament came against ranked teammate Nefve, who won two hard-fought sets, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Nefve played on all three days and became the champion of the Orange draw with relative ease. He first played UCF freshman Emilio Sanchez and dropped only two games, winning 6-1, 6-1.

On the second day, he started with a victory against Miami fifth-year senior Franco Aubone. Nefve only dropped three games, all in the first set, and secured a 6-3, 6-0 victory.

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He then played his teammate, Greif, who gave him his greatest challenge at the time. However, Nefve still managed a 6-4, 6-4 win to move on to the final round of his draw.

Greif’s first match of the tournament came against North Florida junior Rodrigo Crespo, and he came away with a victory, 6-2, 6-2.

He then took on Duke junior Andrew Dale to start his second-day action. Greif won two tough sets, 7-6 (6), 7-5, before running into Nefve.

On the last day of the tournament, Greif played Krug and won without much concern, 6-1, 6-3. 

Tokac opened his Gator Fall Invite action with a match against Illinois graduate student Oliver Okonkwo. He dropped only two games, securing a 6-0, 6-2 victory.

He then went against UNF junior Jonas Hartenstein and won the first set 6-1. The second set was closer, but the Gator still won, this time 6-4, before he played Braswell in the battle of Florida freshmen.

Tokac concluded his invite against Aubone. He won the first set 6-3 but lost the second 6-3. He came up clutch in the final set and won 7-5.

Nirundorn had a breakout performance in his first action in Gainesville. He opened the invite with his first collegiate singles win when he beat Miami graduate student Leonard Bierbaum 6-4, 7-5.

On the second day, he started with a loss to Krug, 6-1, 6-4. However, he bounced back in his next match and beat Dobai in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

His final match of the tournament came against Aubone. He managed a victory in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, to give him his third collegiate singles win.

Florida had three pairs — Bonetto/Nefve, Braswell/Greif and Nirundorn/Tokac— take the court for doubles play at the invite.

Bonetto and Nefve were the most successful pair of the group. They started their doubles action with a dominant 8-1 victory over Auburn’s pair of senior Spencer Gray and Raab.

The duo then convincingly defeated Miami freshman Martin Vergara Del Puerto and Prat 8-3. They concluded their tournament as a pair when they played fellow Gators Braswell and Greif. Bonetto and Nefve came out on top, earning a narrow 8-5 victory.

Before falling in their final doubles match, Braswell and Greif won their first two matches. They won two close matches, first against Hartenstein and Crespo and then when they played Illinois freshman Kenta Miyoshi and UNF’s Sanchez. Both of those matches were claimed with an 8-6 margin.

Nirundorn and Tokac started with a confident victory over UCF redshirt sophomore Quinn Snyder and Hotze, 8-4. Then, in a slightly more competitive matchup, they pulled through with a 8-5 victory over UNF junior PJ Kotan and sophomore Breno Marques.

They ended the tournament against No. 26 ranked UCF duo senior Lleyton Cronje and senior Bogdan Pavel. The Gators fell short and lost 8-4.

Florida men’s tennis’ Fall schedule is now over, and the team will turn its sights to preparing for team play in the spring. UF’s next action will come against Texas Jan. 15 in Gainesville.

Contact Kyle Bumpers at Follow him on Twitter @BumpersKyle.

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Kyle Bumpers

Kyle Bumpers is a fourth-year journalism major and the sports editor of The Alligator. In his free time, he cries about Russell Wilson and writes an outrageous amount of movie reviews on Letterboxd.

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