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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gators score first five points in blowout win against Louisiana State

Florida finds footing in second SEC matchup

Florida graduate student Axel Nefve celebrates during the Gators' 5-2 loss to the Texas Longhorns Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.
Florida graduate student Axel Nefve celebrates during the Gators' 5-2 loss to the Texas Longhorns Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Florida men’s tennis put on a show in its second match of Southeastern Conference play.

The No. 19 Florida Gators (6-6, 1-1 SEC) defeated the No. 34 Louisiana State University Tigers (8-3, 0-2 SEC)  6-1 Saturday afternoon.

Junior Will Grant and graduate student Axel Nefve kicked things off for Florida in doubles play. The duo defeated Louisiana State senior Stefan Latinovic and graduate student Nick Watson 7-5 to take the first doubles match. 

UF sophomore Nate Bonetto and freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn found themselves in a tough battle in the next doubles match. The Gators pair trailed 6-5 to LSU juniors Chen Dong and Welsh Hotard before they fought back to win 7-6 (4). The win secured the doubles point for Florida and put the team up 1-0.

The final doubles match between Gators freshman Jonah Braswell and senior Lukas Greif and Tigers senior George Stoupe and sophomore Julien Penzlin was retired since Florida had already secured the point.

Singles play started with a match between Gators freshman Olek Orlikowski and Tigers junior Benjamin Ambrosio. Orlikowski defeated Ambrosio in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.

Grant followed up Orlikowski’s performance with a two-set victory over Dong, 6-4, 6-1.

Florida’s dominant day reached its crescendo when Braswell defeated Penzlin in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. The win put the Gators up 4-0 and clinched the victory.

Though the last three matches didn’t impact the winner, it was still an opportunity for players to show what they can do.

Nefve pulled off a comeback in his match against Latinovic. The Gators’ graduate student lost 6-1 in the first set but responded with wins in the last two sets, 6-3, 6-2.

Stoupe scored LSU’s first point of the match with his three-set victory against Greif, 1-6, 7-5, 10-6.

Bonetto finished the day off with a straight-sets win versus Hotard, 7-5, 7-6 (3), to seal the 6-1 Gators victory.

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Florida will head home for its next match against the Alabama Crimson Tide March 12.

Contact Eitan Ohana at eohana@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @eitan_ohana.

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