The Gators men’s tennis team is ready to hit the road again.
No. 8 Florida will travel to Athens, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend to take on SEC foes Georgia and Tennessee. The team will play Georgia on Friday at 5 p.m. and Tennessee on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Gators are coming off maybe their best stretch of the season so far. The Gators have won four in a row and the last three came at the Ring Tennis Complex.
The last two wins were the Gators biggest of the year. They beat No. 10 Mississippi State on Sunday 5-2. This win was huge in the Gators’ hope to win the SEC Regular Season Championship. On Wednesday, the Gators upset No. 2 Wake Forest 5-2.
This win came over the defending national champions and was the second year in a row UF beat the Demon Deacons.
Georgia, the Gators first opponent, is ranked No. 26 in the country. They are coming into the matchup with some momentum, having won six out of their last nine.
Their most recent outing was a 5-2 win over LSU. The Bulldogs have a record 6-5, however, four of those losses have come against teams ranked in the top 20, including Texas and No. 1 Ohio State. They have three players ranked in the ITA top 100 singles, No. 10 Jan Zielinski, No. 20 Emil Reinberg, and No. 95 Philip Henning.
Tennessee, the Gators opponent on Sunday, is ranked a little higher than Georgia. It is ranked No. 22 but are coming into the match struggling. They have lost three out of their last four matches. Its only win during that stretch was during LSU. The Volunteers have also lost to TCU, Texas A&M, and Georgia in the last two weeks.
This comes after Tennessee (10-4) started 9-1. It will be playing South Carolina on Friday at 6 p.m. before taking on the Gators on Sunday. The Volunteers have two players in the top 100, No. 59 Timo Stodder and No. 93 Adam Walton.
The talent of Zielinski and Stodder will increase the challenge for the Gators top player in singles, Oliver Crawford.
Crawford is coming into the match having beat the No. 2 player in the country on Wednesday, Petros Chrysochos. Florida has been dominate in singles of late, winning five out of six singles matches against both Mississippi State and Wake Forest.
The Gators trail 65-40-1 in the all-time series versus Georgia and are looking to recover from a 6-1 loss in Athens last April. UF is 42-28 all time against Tennessee and last beat the Volunteers 6-1 in Knoxville last April.
Follow Noah Ram on Twitter @noah_ram1 and contact him at [email protected].