The Gators' freshman pair of Tanapatt Nirundorn and Togan Tokac excelled in their matches against the UCF Knights en route to Florida’s first win of the 2023 season.
The No. 17 Florida Gators (1-1) defeated UCF (0-1) 6-1 in Orlando Saturday night.
The Gators got off to a quick start in the match with the No. 10 freshman duo of Nirundorn and Tokac winning their doubles match against the UCF freshman pair of Paul Colin and Luca Hotze.
The UF freshman pair won the first set and never looked back, winning 6-0.
Florida took the doubles point after freshman Jonah Braswell and senior Lukas Greif cruised to win their doubles match 6-1. The No. 43 pair defeated Knights freshman Mehdi Benchakroun and sophomore Cooper White.
UF junior Will Grant and graduate student Axel Nefve trailed 4-5 to UCF’s No. 28 seniors Lleyton Cronje and Bogdan Pavel before the match was stopped.
Tokac captured the Gators' first singles match against Hotze on court 5. The Florida freshman won both sets decisively, 6-3, 6-2.
Nirundorn won his singles match against Colin. He won the first set 6-3. Nirundon trailed Colin in the second set 4-5 before forcing a tiebreaker and securing the win 7-6 (4).
Florida’s other four singles matches went to three sets. Nefve came out on top against Cronje to give the Gators their first win of the season.
Nefve led the first set 4-3 before Cronje won three straight games to take the opening set. The Florida graduate student jumped out to another 4-3 lead and, this time, held on to a 6-4 win.
He won the third set comfortably 6-2 to give UF the win over UCF.
The Knights avoided the shutout, with Grant being defeated by Pavel in three sets. The two went back and forth in the first set, but Grant took it 7-5.
Pavel cruised in the second set to a 6-2 win and put Grant away in the third set, 6-4.
No. 93 Braswell defeated Benchakroun in three sets.
It was a tale of two sets for the Florida freshman. He won the first set 6-2 but lost the second set 2-6.
Braswell won the decisive third set 6-4.
Greif concluded the evening with a win over UCF redshirt sophomore Quinn Snyder. He lost the first set 4-6 but proceeded to take the next two 6-3, 7-5.
The Gators will return to Gainesville for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-off Weekend. Florida’s first match of the four-team tournament will be against the South Florida Bulls at 2 p.m. Friday.
Jackson Reyes is a UF journalism senior and The Alligator's Fall 2023 Sports Editor. He previously served as Digital Managing Editor and was a reporter and assistant editor on the sports desk. In his free time, he enjoys collecting records, long walks on the beach and watching Bo Nix.