Federhofer, Watson claim doubles title

The Florida men’s tennis pair of Billy Federhofer (North Miami) and Gordon Watson (Naples) claimed their first doubles title as partners, winning the 2012 Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic. The Gators’ duo defeated Minnesota’s Mathieu Froment and Juan Pablo Froment, 8-2, in the final on Sunday afternoon.

Federhofer and Watson seemed to breeze through the competition over the weekend. After receiving a bye in the first round, they beat Miami’s Jack Murphy and Henrique Tsukamoto, 8-3. In the semifinal, the UF pair beat Princeton’s Zack McCourt and Dan Richardson, 8-3.

“I feel that this tournament was great for Gordon and me because we found a style that really fit both of our games and we played very well,” said Federhofer. “I think changing formations and always being unpredictable was a huge key for us in the matches and each match we saw patterns of what worked well and where we are best on the court so we would try and set the points up based on that.”

Froment and Ramirez beat Pepperdine’s Finn Tearney and Kento Tanaka-Tamaki, 8-4, to reach the final. Federhofer and Watson cruised to an 8-2 win to claim the title.

“It really boosted our confidence because we have had some good wins this fall,” said Federhofer. “This tournament we stayed consistent throughout, so we know we’re not just a streaky team and we’re capable of competing at a high level each time we play, and not second guessing ourselves.”

With the win, Florida claimed its fourth title in the fall season. Florent Diep (Paris, France) won the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional singles title, while Watson took home the singles crown at the Bedford Cup. Mike Alford (Tampa) teamed with Diep at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships to win the doubles title.

“I think it is huge for our team,” said Federhofer. “I feel that a lot of times people might wonder if teams could do it or not and if they’re the right fit, so whenever you win a title something is usually working pretty well. We have an unselfish team but having different teams win titles instills confidence in each other because regardless of who plays where, we all know we can do it and the titles this fall are proof of that.”

Courtesy of UF Communications