Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

No. 20 Gators lose to second straight top-10 opponent as they fall to No. 7 Bulldogs

Florida drops third straight match of SEC play

Florida sophomore Nate Bonetto hits the ball in the Gators' 4-3 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs Sunday, April 9, 2023.
Florida sophomore Nate Bonetto hits the ball in the Gators' 4-3 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs Sunday, April 9, 2023.

Florida men’s tennis headed into its matchup against Georgia Sunday confident — UF won its previous five matchups. Unfortunately for the Gators, that streak came to an end as the Bulldogs’ talent proved to be too much.

The No. 20 Florida Gators (12-10, 5-5 SEC) came up short against the No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs (16-5, 10-0 SEC) 4-3 Sunday afternoon in Gainesville.

The Gators’ No. 10-ranked doubles pair of graduate student Axel Nefve and junior Will Grant started off doubles play with a big win over their No. 7-ranked opponents. The pair beat Georgia fifth-year Trent Bryde and redshirt freshman Ethan Quinn 6-2.

Georgia evened the score in the second doubles match to finish as fifth-years Teodor Giusca and Philip Henning defeated Florida sophomore Nate Bonetto and freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn 6-2.

The match came down to the final match to determine which team would take the doubles point, a position the Gators haven’t been in often recently. 

Freshman Jonah Braswell and senior Lukas Greif were tied 5-5 with Bulldogs fifth-years Blake Croyder and Britton Johnston which created a first to seven scenario. The Gators’ pair won the next two games and secured the doubles point for UF.

Singles play started with a matchup between No. 3-ranked Quinn and No. 81-ranked Nefve. The graduate student Gator had already shown he can compete with highly ranked singles players; he defeated the No. 2-ranked player in Florida’s match against Tennessee Friday. Quinn proved to be a different challenge as he dispatched Nefve in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.

Bryde put Georgia up 2-1 with a straight-sets victory over the No. 102-ranked Braswell, 6-4, 6-1.

The four matches that remained all went into a third set.

Nirundorn and Giusca traded 6-4 scores; Nirundorn took the first, and Giusca won the second. Florida scored the point when Nirundorn came out with a 6-4 win to take the final set.

Henning, the No. 13-ranked singles player, held off the No. 92-ranked Grant in their third set. The first set went Henning’s way 7-5, but Grant won the second 6-4. The two played the third set to a tiebreaker, but Henning came out on top 7-6 (5).

Georgia needed one more point to clinch. Florida had to win the two matches that remained.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Greif started Florida’s comeback attempt strong as he won the first set of his match against the No. 107-ranked Croyder 6-3. Greif had a chance to end the match in straight sets, but Croyder got the second set to a tiebreaker, which he won. The set ended 7-6 (8). 

Croyder needed the third set to win the match for the Bulldogs. They played to another tiebreaker, and Croyder did it again. He took the set 7-6 (6) and secured the match win for Georgia.

The final match to end was played between Bonetto and Georgia sophomore Miguel Perez Pena. Bonetto won the first set 6-1, and Pena clinched the second 7-6 (2). Bonetto won the third set 7-6 (6), though Georgia had already won the match.

The Gators continue their home stand with a matchup against the North Florida Ospreys at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Contact Eitan Ohana at Follow him on Twitter @eitan_ohana.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.