Duarte Vale

The UF men’s tennis team comes into the 2020 season ranked No. 1 in the Oracle/ITA Rankings.

Florida’s top position was announced on Wednesday as it approaches its first match against Furman and FAU on Saturday.

This is the first time Florida has been slotted this high since it opened the 2006 season at No. 2.

Florida’s 2018-19 season was a bookmark year in terms of success and improvement. The squad finished 25-4 and won the SEC regular season title. It claimed the No. 4 spot in the final 2019 rankings.

This year’s No. 1 ranking is in large part to its dominant young athletes returning to the court in 2020.

Sophomore and team captain Sam Riffice will play a key role in Florida’s success this season. The 2019 SEC Freshman of the Year, ITA All-American (singles) and ITA Freshman of the Year provides UF with experience and leadership.

Senior Johannes Ingildsen and junior Duarte Vale will also provide leadership for the Gators this season.

That guidance will be needed in order to groom two budding blue-chip freshmen for Florida.

Freshmen Blaise Bicknell (the No. 13 recruit in the country) and Will Grant (the No. 16 recruit in the country) add to Florida’s roster and both will get the chance to make an impact right away.

Florida opens its spring competition at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex against Furman on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by FAU at 3 p.m.

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