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Monday, March 04, 2024

Gators men’s tennis concludes busy week at ITA All-American Championships

Jeremy Jin and JanMagnus Johnson reached main draw

Florida sophomore Nate Bonetto (left) and freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn (right) compete in their doubles match during the Gators' 6-1 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks Friday, March 24, 2023.
Florida sophomore Nate Bonetto (left) and freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn (right) compete in their doubles match during the Gators' 6-1 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks Friday, March 24, 2023.

After seven days of non-stop action, the Florida Gators men’s tennis team has returned from the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Florida had quite an eventful week, with the team combining for a 12-3 record in the singles qualifying round. 

Graduate student JanMagnus Johnson and freshman Jeremy Jin led the charge for the Gators in Tulsa. In a packed 256-player field, Johnson and Jin secured berths in the tournament’s main draw. Both men were eventually knocked out in the round of 64. 

Jin went on to snag a victory in a subsequent consolation match, but Johnson failed to match his teammate’s success in his own match.

Junior Nate Bonetto, and sophomores Tanaputt Nirundorn and Olek Orlikowski each chipped in with a pair of singles matches of their own. However, all three were eliminated in their respective final qualifying matches. 

In the tournament’s doubles action, Bonetto and Jin came away with a straight-sets victory in the round of 64 before falling in straight sets themselves in the round of 32.

Florida got off to a red-hot start on day one of qualifying action. All five Gators defeated their respective opponents from all over the country. Bonetto squeezed by Virginia senior Alex Kiefer in a hotly contested 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 match. Jin, Johnson and Nirundorn each went to three sets in their opening matches as well.

Jin beat Michigan State senior Sebastien Collard 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, while Johnson defeated TCU fifth-year Tomas Jirousek 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. Nirundorn went on to knock out Michigan junior Will Cooksey in a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 comeback victory.

Orlikowski secured a straight-sets victory to open up his qualifying round outing. Orlikowski cruised past Arizona State sophomore Constantinos Koshis 7-6(3), 6-3, while Nirundorn knocked out Michigan junior Will Cooksey in a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 comeback victory.

Following Monday’s action, each Gator needed two more victories to advance to the tournament’s main draw. They each started off Tuesday with a bang, as Florida collectively went 5-0 in their first five singles matches on the day. 

Nirundorn ousted UC Santa Barbara senior Pablo Masjuan in a 6-3, 7-6(3) win, while Orlikowski took care of business in a 6-3, 6-2 straight sets victory over Gonzaga senior Sasha Trkulja. Bonetto outlasted Florida State junior Jamie Connel in a 6-0, 3-6, 7-5 win. 

Later in the day, Johnson secured a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) victory over Ohio State freshman Bryce Nakashima. Jin eventually pulled off a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 comeback win over Wake Forest graduate student Holden Koons. 

In the final qualifying round, the Gators fell one by one. Nirundorn and Orlikowski went down in straight sets. The former lost to Indiana sophomore Sam Landau 6-3, 6-1, and the latter dropped a 6-4, 7-5 loss to USC senior Lodewijk Weststrate. Bonetto put up more of a fight against Auburn fifth year Raul Dobai, but he eventually went down 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4.

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Despite these losses, Florida refused to bow out of the tournament. Jin and Johnson kept the Gators alive with a pair of wins to advance to the ITA All-American Main Draw. Jin took down Oklahoma fifth-year Justin Schlageter in a 7-5, 6-3 straight sets victory, while Johnson hung on for a 7-6(8), 6-4 win over South Carolina junior Casey Hoole.

Johnson and Jin’s luck ran out at the conclusion of the qualifying round. In their opening main draw matches, both Gators were immediately knocked out of tournament play. Jin pushed USC junior Wojtek Marek to the brink in their match, but he ultimately came up short in a 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5 loss. Columbia sophomore Michael Zheng had an easier time against Johnson, securing a 6-2, 6-2 straight sets victory. 

Jin managed to avenge himself in his consolation matchup against Texas junior Pierre Yves-Bailly. He finished off his productive week in Tulsa with a 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1 victory. Johnson was not as fortunate; he fell in a 6-3, 6-3 straight-sets loss to Mississippi State sophomore Petar Jovanovic in their consolation match.

The Gators will return to the court in Atlanta next week for the ITA Southeast Regional. Florida will kick off tournament play Oct. 12.

Contact Jack Meyer at Follow him on Twitter @JackMeyerUF.

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Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a third-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In his free time, he enjoys running, spending time with friends, playing video games, and watching the Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins.

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