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Saturday, March 02, 2024

No. 24 Gators crash out of SEC Championships as No. 4 Georgia scores shutout

Florida loses second match to Georgia in April

Florida senior Lukas Greif swings his racket during the Gators' 4-3 loss to the No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs Sunday, April 9, 2023.
Florida senior Lukas Greif swings his racket during the Gators' 4-3 loss to the No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs Sunday, April 9, 2023.

The No. 8-seed Florida men’s tennis team looked to clinch a spot in the semifinal round of the SEC Championships, but No. 1-seed Georgia had other plans and wasted no time announcing them.

The No. 24 Florida Gators (14-13, 5-7 SEC) fell to the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs (19-5, 12-0 SEC) 4-0 Friday evening in Auburn.

The first doubles match saw a clash of heavyweight doubles pairs. The No. 7-ranked Georgia pair of redshirt freshman Ethan Quinn and fifth-year Trent Bryde competed against the No. 4-ranked Florida pair of graduate student Axel Nefve and junior Will Grant. Georgia’s duo sent a message as they dispatched the Gators 6-2.

Court three saw an even more lopsided match; Bulldogs fifth-years Blake Croyder and Britton Johnston beat Gators freshman Jonah Braswell and senior Lukas Greif 6-1.

The doubles match that remained was retired since Georgia secured the doubles point. UF sophomore Nate Bonetto and freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn led UGA fifth-years Philip Henning and Teodor Giusca.

Giusca and Nirundorn finished their business in singles. The two faced each other, and Giusca came out on top in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.

Bulldogs sophomore Miguel Perez Pena put up an identical straight-sets performance to his teammate in his 6-2, 6-3 win over Bonetto. The win put Georgia up 3-0 and one win away from a semifinal spot.

Quinn, the No. 4-ranked singles player, got Georgia the match-clinching win. He needed only two sets to beat the No. 37-ranked Nefve 6-4, 6-4. The Bulldogs completed the quick 4-0 shutout to advance, while the Gators’ tournament run ended.

The remaining matches were retired since Georgia secured the win. No. 95-ranked Grant was up against No. 15-ranked Henning. No. 86-ranked Braswell faced No. 119-ranked Bryde. Greif was in a match against No. 101-ranked Croyder.

Florida will now wait to see if they get into the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament in May.

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

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