Florida head coach Bryan Shelton earned his 200th win with the Gators in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend tournament championship. The win earned the team a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The No. 16 Florida Gators (3-1, 1-0 SEC) defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-1, 0-1 SEC) 4-2 Saturday afternoon.
The Gators ran into a challenging Mississippi State team after they had a strong showing Friday against South Florida.
Florida freshman duo Togan Tokac and Tanapatt Nirundorn beat Bulldogs graduate student Ewen Lumsden and freshman Michal Novansky 6-3 to give the Gators their first doubles win.
The Gators’ second doubles victory came when senior Lukas Greif and freshman Jonah Braswell beat Mississippi State freshman Petar Jovanovic and graduate student Gregor Ramskogler 7-5.
Florida graduate student Axel Nefve and junior Will Grant played Bulldogs juniors Nemanka Malesevic and Carles Hernandez. However, the match was called short since Florida earned the doubles point.
Nefve won his singles match against Malesevic in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3, to give Florida a 2-0 lead.
Mississippi State responded quickly. It won the next two singles matches to even the score, 2-2.
Jovanovic beat Grant in two sets, 6-3, 6-4. Hernandez then defeated Gators sophomore Nate Bonetto. The first set was a tight 7-5, before an easy 6-2 second set won the match for Hernandez.
Stuck in a tie, the Gators won the final two singles matches.
Greif defeated Bulldogs freshman Benito Sanchez Martinez in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6. Tokac then took out Ramskogler in a tough three-set match to clinch the Gators’ third win of the season. Tokac won the first set 7-6. Ramskogler then took the second set 6-0 before Tokac finished with a 6-2 third-set victory.
Braswell’s match against Lumsden was unfinished.
Florida earned a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago, starting Feb. 17.
The Gators will be on the road for their next three matches at the United States Tennis Association National Campus. The first match will be against the Florida State Seminoles Feb. 2.
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