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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Gators men’s tennis bounces back to take Georgia down

Florida found themselves down 0-2 and rattled off four straight wins to pick up the road win

Freshman Aidan Kim attacks the net looking for a volley against the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday, March 22.
Freshman Aidan Kim attacks the net looking for a volley against the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday, March 22.

The Florida Gators men’s tennis team (10-9, 4-5 SEC) picked up a road win Sunday, defeating the Georgia Bulldogs (10-11, 3-6 SEC) 4-2. The win marks the first road win of the season for the Gators.

In doubles, the Gators took Court 1, and the Bulldogs took Court 2. On Court 3, Gators sophomore Tanapatt Nirundorn and freshman Kevin Edengren led the match 4-1 against the Bulldogs’ duo of junior Miguel Perez Peña and freshman Cyrus Mahjoob. The Bulldogs pair flipped a switch and ran off five straight games to come back in the match and seal the doubles point for Georgia.

Georgia took a 2-0 lead following a dominant performance from junior and No. 61-ranked Thomas Paulsell on Court 1, defeating Florida freshman and No. 66-ranked Jeremy Jin 6-4, 6-0. 

Florida broke through on Court 6, where Edengren took on fellow freshman Freddy Blaydes. Edengren got off to a quick start, taking the first set 6-1. His strong play continued into the second set, gaining a 4-1 advantage before Blaydes started to find his game and started to mount a comeback. Ultimately, Edengren pulled through to win the match and continue his streak of solid play.

With the Gators' deficit cut in half, they got their next point from freshman Adhithya Ganesan on Court 3. Ganesan looked sharp in his return to the lineup after missing the last four matches due to lingering injuries. Ganesan faced off against another Bulldogs freshman, Niels Ratiu. They split the first two sets, both scored 6-3, before Ganesan pulled away in the third set, winning 6-1.

After dropping the first set of his match to Georgia junior and No. 58-ranked Ryan Colby 6-1, Florida freshman Aidan Kim stormed back to take the match on Court 2 to give the Gators a 3-2 lead overall. Kim took the second set 6-1 in dominant fashion. The third set was a battle. Tied at 5-5, Kim found one more gear to help push him over the finish line, winning the third set 7-5.

The Gators' clinching match came on Court 5 when Nirundorn defeated Mahjoob in yet another three-set match. Nirundorn took the first set 6-4, but Mahjoob fought back to take the second set 6-3. In a tight third set, Nirundorn pulled through, winning 6-4.

The Gators will be back in action Friday at home to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores at 5 p.m.

Contact Chandler Hawkes at Follow him on Twitter @HawkesChandler. 

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Luke Adragna

Luke Adragna is a third-year journalism student and the Florida Gators football reporter at The Alligator. He is a cat ethusiast and completes the NYT Daily Mini in less than a minute each day.

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