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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

No. 20 Gators win every match possible in doubleheader sweep of Eastern Kentucky

Florida added wins 11 and 12 in the doubleheader

Florida junior Will Grant and graduate student Axel Nefve compete in their doubles match during the Gators' 6-1 win against the Arkansas Razorbacks Friday, March 24, 2023.
Florida junior Will Grant and graduate student Axel Nefve compete in their doubles match during the Gators' 6-1 win against the Arkansas Razorbacks Friday, March 24, 2023.

Florida men’s tennis flexed every muscle it had in a dominant doubleheader performance against Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels found themselves winless in every match that finished.

The No. 20 Florida Gators (12-8, 5-3 SEC) defeated the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (4-16, 1-5 ASUN) 4-0 in both legs of the doubleheader Wednesday afternoon in Gainesville.

The first match of the day set the tone.

Doubles play was over in short order. Gators Sophomore Nate Bonetto and freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn defeated Colonels sophomores Paul-Antoine Brazet and Kristoffer Stahlbrand 6-1 in the first match to end.

The second match to end saw the debut doubles performance for Florida’s Polish freshman duo of Olek Orlikowski and Borys Zgola. The pair captured a 6-3 win over Eastern Kentucky sophomore Esteban Castro Platonoff and junior J. Anurag Reddy. Florida secured the doubles point with the win.

UF’s No. 10-ranked doubles pair of graduate student Axel Nefve and junior Will Grant had their match against EKU junior Arthur Bugeaud and sophomore Moritz Mayer retired early since the doubles point was secured.

Singles play started about as cleanly as Florida could have hoped. Three of UF’s six singles players won their first sets 6-0.

Gators freshman Togan Tokac followed up his 6-0 first set with a 6-0 second-set victory over Castro Platonoff.

Grant, the No. 92-ranked singles player, replicated his teammates' performance as he shut out Stahlbrand in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

The No. 81-ranked Nefve was the third to dominate his singles match; he earned a straight-sets victory over Mayer, 6-0, 6-1.

Nefve’s win put Florida up 4-0 and secured the overall victory. The three matches that remained were retired. Orlikowski was up against Reddy; Bonetto faced Brazet; and Nirundorn played against Bugeaud. 

The second leg of the doubleheader looked very similar to the first.

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Nefve and Zgola defeated Castro Platonoff and Reddy 6-0 in the first match of doubles play. The No. 17-ranked doubles pair of Nirundorn and Tokac then defeated Brazet and Stahlbrand 6-1 to score the doubles point for Florida.

The match between Gators freshman Jonah Braswell and senior Lukas Greif and the Colonels’ pair of Bugeaud and Mayer was retired early since Florida already secured the point.

Zgola notched the first singles win of his Gators career as he held Castro Platonoff scoreless in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

Orlikowski got his win due to Reddy being forced to retire from the match. The Gators, up 3-0, needed one more win to end the doubleheader without a loss.

Bonetto delivered that win with a straight-sets victory over Bugeaud, 6-1, 6-3. The matches that remained were retired since Florida clinched the win.

No. 102-ranked Braswell led Mayer; Grief played against Stahlbrand; and Nirundorn competed against Brazet.

Florida will return to conference play as it hosts the No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers at 5 p.m. Friday in Alfred A. Ring Complex.

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

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